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News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 15, 2014
Ellacappella wows them in Wilmington
Group receives standing ovation from crowd

A Cappella group Ellacappella of Blue Hill, Maine

Rebecca Duhaime of Surry leads Ellacappella during a song at the “Spring Sing” in Wilmington, Delaware in May 2014. The all-female a cappella group were the only performers to receive a standing ovation. Behind Duhaime, from left, are Jen Myers, Joyce Newkirk, Nancy Hatfield and Sherry Pfister.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Hatfield

Thanks to the support from friends and family in the Blue Hill Peninsula, Ellacappella, a local a cappella group, traveled to the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Del., in early May to attend the 57th annual American A Cappella Alliance (known less formally as the “Spring Sing”).

The weekend, according to information provided by Ella members, is devoted to singing, forging relationships, sharing musical knowledge and, above all, having the opportunity of spending time with other amateur singers who share a common passion. “The weekend couldn’t have gone better,” said founder Nancy Hatfield, who said that it was the first trip of its kind for the all-female group.

In addition to Ellacappella, other groups came from Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Philadelphia, Princeton, N.J., and Washington, D.C. Four groups were men only, two were all-women, two were mixed groups and there was one quartet. Ages ranged from college age to 88.

The Peninsula’s support enabled Ellacappella to considerably improve its singing and choreography during its weekend in Wilmington by listening to the other groups and sharing their knowledge.

Ellacappella was the only group to receive a standing ovation. As a result, it is likely that Ellacappella will be invited to sing at the event next year in Denver, Colo., said member Joyce Newkirk, adding that Ellacapella is “deeply grateful to their supporters for allowing them to enjoy a memorable weekend.”

Pictures from the weekend were not available to The Packet before press time, but photographs were taken at the group’s final rehearsal the Wednesday before at the Blue Hill Town Hall.

Members include Nancy Hatfield, Karen Milliken and Sherry Pfister from East Blue Hill; Bonnie Hardy, Lisa Lesko and Joyce Newkirk of Blue Hill; Jessica Booth and Janet Simpson of Brooksville; Jennifer Myers of Ellsworth; Rebecca Duhaime of Surry; and Sabrina Wirey of Bangor.