Songs of the Sea raise the roof


Tongswood Chamber Choir, led by musical director Martin Bruce (also Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer at RNLI Rye Harbour) gave a fundraising concert in aid of the RNLI on Saturday  October 5.

The Church of the Holy Spirit, the roof of which is modelled on an upturned boat, was full of supporters of the volunteer crew at the Harbour. The music was varied, from Elizabethan to Edwardian and Martin spoke knowledgeably before each piece. The audience was given a mini-music-history lesson which was very entertaining.

The choir was polished and performed brilliantly, the singers communicating their enjoyment of the music to the appreciative audience. There was added poignancy hearing these songs in the church in which the memorial to the 17 gallant and brave crew of the Mary Stanford lifeboat, which sank in 1928, adorns the wall.

Martin Bruce’s singing of Ship in Distress, in which he accompanied himself on the plaintive concertina, was a stark reminder of the capricious nature of the sea and of the real dangers faced by our volunteer lifeboat crews around the coastline when they go out to save lives at sea.

The sum of £570 was raised for the charity and Paul Bolton LOM (Lifeboat Operations Manager) at Rye Harbour, who attended with his family, was delighted with the result.

The RNLI relies upon fundraisers to give up their time and come up with different ways of raising money: we are indebted to these singers who gave of their time so freely to entertain their audience and to raise so much money.

Image Credits: Kt Bruce .

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  1. This was a most enjoyable evening. A real treat to hear this wonderful choir delivering an excellent assortment of sea music. Holy Spirit Church was an ideal venue…..warm and cosy on a cold damp autumn evening. More of the same again soon, please.


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