Smith Opera House in Geneva hosts "A Cappella Sunday" this weekend, with nine groups performing

All apologies and due respects to instrumentation of all sorts — from full orchestras to garage bands, from accordions to zithers — but there's just something central and elemental about the human voice. Particularly voices, in harmony and counterpoint, preparing a rich musical feast without help from their string, brass or woodwind cousins.

That being said, a cappella music has often been considered a musical niche, the province of choirs and barbershoppers. But it's a niche that's growing in profile: Consider that the Texas-based a cappella group Pentatonix is something of a household name, and there have been no fewer than three "Pitch Perfect" movies about collegiate a cappella groups.

It's a profile that Kathleen and Todd Horton and Doug Peeso would like to see further rise. They're the organizers of "A Cappella Sunday," set for Sept. 9 at Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St. Geneva, during which multiple groups from the Finger Lakes will perform. It's the first A Cappella Sunday — though Kathleen Horton is quick to add "the first ANNUAL."

Kathleen Horton, who along with Todd will be singing as part of So Noted, said they hope to foster interest in this form of making music, among people of all ages.

"I see it growing on college campuses, but I don't see it growing as community groups," she said. "We're trying to let people know a cappella is out there and it's wonderful — and if you enjoy it, go find a group, it's tons of fun."

"The motivation to bring this program to life is from both a love of singing and a love for the Smith. This is a wonderful venue to hear some of the best vocal music that the Finger Lakes has to offer," Peeso stated in a release. Peeso, in addition to co-organizing this event, is a volunteer with Smith.

Sunday's concert includes nine area groups, and while many of them are rooted in the barbershop style there remains a great deal of diversity. The program includes songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Louis Armstrong and many more, as well as attangements of such standards as "Shenandoah" and "What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor"— proving that with good voices and an artful arrangement, an a cappella grouping can tackle just about anything.

— Finger Lakes Chorus, a long-standing grouping — founded in 1946 — based in Geneva.

— Heardin' Katz, a grouping within the Finger Lakes Chorus

— Ithaca Gay Men's Chorus, celebrating its 10th anniversary

— Full Swing Quartet

— FUSION, a Rochester-based quartet

— So Noted, a fairly new group based in Geneva, which made its debut at the city's Musical Porches Event

— Barbershock, a young quartet

— The Mark Twain Chorus, another longstanding group (founded in 1954) based in the greater Elmira-Corning-Watkins Glen area

— Harmonic Collective, from Liverpool

Some of these groups are quite accompnished, having represented the Barbershop Harmony Society's "Seneca Land District" region at the 2018 international compeition in Orlando. Harmonic Collective finished 22nd worldwide at the event's Chorus Finals, and Barbershock placed 13th in the NextGen Varsity Quartet category.

The concert starts at 2 p.m. at the Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St., Geneva. Admission is $10 (free for youth 5 and younger), with part of the proceeds supporting the Geneva Center of Concern. Tickets are available at the door one hour before the concert and in advance at www.thesmith.org.

A feast of folk

"Folk music" is a big-umbrella term, containing everything from English balladry to mountain music, from bluegrass to Cajun to singer-songwriter acoustic pop. The Golden Link Folk Singing Society has welcomed a wide variety of performers under that umbrella, performing during its yearly concert series and at its annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival

This weekend is Turtle Hill time again, with the festival scheduld for Sept. 7-9 at Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 Five Points Road, Rush. There will be concerts Friday and Saturday night, plus plenty of workshops, presentations and jamming opportunities throughout the weekend.

Friday night, Sept. 7, features sets from Pepper & Sassafras, Jamcrackers, and Christine Lavin, from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday's sets include Matthew Corrigan, Reggie Harris & Scott Ainslie, and Bruce Molsky with special guest Alison de Groot.

The gate opens at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with the festival wrapping up by 3:30 p.m. Sunday. General-admission tickets for the night concerts only are $32 each night, $18 for day entry only, and $72 for the whole weekend. (Tickets are discounted for Golden Link members.) Tickets are available at www.goldenlink.org. Rough camping (tents or RVs) is $10 per site for the weekend; a bunkhouse bed can be reserved for $15. Food and other vendors will be on site.