Review of Ahoy! Holy Trinity Privett, Saturday 15th October
What a wonderful evening at Holy Trinity Church in Privett with Froxfield Choir and children’s choirs from Froxfield, Steep, and West Wittering. Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose was composed in 2013 by Alexander L’Estrange in celebration of the “Mary Rose”, King Henry VIII’s warship lost in the Solent in 1545, raised in 1981, and now in its own museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
There is no doubt children’s voices add something very special to any choral work. Ahoy! is very cleverly composed with adult and children’s choirs beautifully blended as they illustrate the narration of the “Mary Rose” story with well-known folksongs, Elizabethan songs and Sea Shanties. The choir and especially the children sang lustily and they will remember their performance all their lives.
It is impossible to review all the items, but special mention should be made of “Haul Away”, bursting with energy, and the beautifully sung “Greensleeves”. All the singers went to town with “The Drunken Sailor”! “Full Fathom Five”, with soprano soloist Mary Snuggs, and the folk song “O waly, waly” were both excellent. The performers were accompanied by piano, drums, accordion, violin and double bass which of course added so much to the performance. The evening ended with a hornpipe and the shanty “Up she rises”, reprising some of the earlier tunes and sung by all with great enthusiasm!
The packed audience did not get away lightly as we were all worked hard in the warm up. But there was no risk of letting the side down as it was very clear everyone had a great time from start to finish. The whole evening was ably directed by conductor Michael Servant who has a charming way with choirs and a great sense of humour and obviously enjoyed adding children to this programme. So thank you Froxfield Choir, and thank you children and all the performers for an unforgettable evening.