Friday, April 11, 2014

Singin' Shanties - Victorian Heritage Festival

I had no idea of what to expect in the way of attendance at the Port Townsend Victorian Days shantey sing. We had set up eight chairs thinking that would be adequate. Within minutes of the first song those chairs were full, and people kept streaming into the Hastings Building on Water Street to join in the music…some leading songs, joining in on choruses, or just enjoying listening. It reminded me of my days in Michigan during the great folk scare. People got together to share in the joy of a community voice, singing, unrehearsed and unfettered by what someone else might think. Wow! What fun!
Mike James, Sing Shanties song leader
The shanty sing was a huge asset to this year's Victorian Festival. Shanties bring together so much of what is Port Townsend - community and the sea, music, earthiness and good humor. It distills why we're here into something we can share. 
Nathan Barnett, Victorian Festival director