The auditioned Midcoast a cappella vocal ensemble VoXX: Voice of Twenty will open its 2017 summer concert series, titled Where There is Love …, Friday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Church UCC, 8 Court St.

The program will feature music that explores that most human of emotions. Early works, both sacred and secular, by Monteverdi, Victoria, Weelkes and Wilbye; are contrasted with contemporary pieces including two iterations of “Ubi Caritas” (one by Ola Gjeilo and the other by Maurice Duruflé) and a pair of brand-new love songs written for VoXX by Music Director John Mehrmann.

A small flock of bird songs also is interspersed throughout the program, the strangest of which without a doubt is the enigmatic “Owls” by Edward Elgar. The group also will reprise “The Bluebird” by Charles Villiers Stanford, with its soaring soprano line. As usual, VoXX will sing in various configurations from duet to small ensemble to full group.

Now in its second decade, VoXX has sung up and down the Maine coast and generally performs two scheduled concert sets per year, in January and mid-summer. VoXX likes the challenges of unusual vocal music, yet more familiar works are also central to the repertoire. The group mainly performs a cappella, but appropriate instrumentation (recorders, percussion, strings) is occasionally added.

VoXX is unusual in that it is a collectively run, all-volunteer organization. Membership is by audition (the group is currently seeking new members; see the group’s website for details), and singers come from all walks of life. The group has built a strong following and is well known for its efforts to inform audiences through extensive program notes.

Admission is $15 (cash or check), at the door. VoXX will present four full performances of Where There is Love …. After opening in Belfast, the tour continues Friday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Lewiston’s  Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul (benefits the Basilica Organ Fund); Sunday, June 25, at 4 p.m. in Union Hall, 24 Central St., Rockport; and Sunday, July 9, at 4 p.m. at the Old South Cushing Church on Salt Pond Road (benefits the Cushing Historical Society).

For more information, visit The group’s CD, “VoXX: Voice of Twenty: Favorites Old and New,” is available at the group’s concerts and website; and via

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or