PLAINVILLE - The music of the high seas is coming to the Middle School of Plainville today and Saturday, as the Plainville Choral Society performs several historic sea chanties and maritime-themed folk songs.
“World of Waters: Maritime Music” will be held at 7:30 p.m. both days at the school at 150 Northwest Drive.
The Plainville Choral Society will perform under the direction of Greg Wilfrid, with five pit musicians and 40 singers.
Wilfrid, who has taught music at Toffolon Elementary School for the past seven years, said that each year, the Plainville Choral Society performs a spring concert at the middle school with a different theme.
Past themes have included musicals and the music of Billy Joel and Carole King. This year, his first performing with the Plainville Choral Society he chose to focus on chanties, which he said is a subject very dear to him.
Wilfrid said that he has “always been into” folk music and studied it at the Hartt School of Music. He also uses folk music in his classroom at Toffolon School and, for the past nine years, has performed throughout Southern Connecticut as part of the folk band The Jolly Beggars.
“The Plainville Choral Society has been very welcoming of me and I’m eager to begin this new voyage with them,” he said. “We will be performing traditional songs passed on since the 1600s, 1700s or 1800s and during one of them, ‘Drunken Sailor,’ we will be having the audience sing along since that song is so well known. We will also be singing ‘Low Bridge’ (the Erie Canal song) and medleys of songs from two musicals, ‘Showboat’ and ‘H.M.S. Pinafore.’ ”
Wilfrid added that the Plainville Choral Society will also include a song written about the Farmington Canal, which was used for transportation through Plainville during the 19th Century.
“There is no set melody for the song, but in researching it at the library, I found an arrangement that was played with it,” said Wilfrid. “One verse lists off the names of people from the 19th century who served on the canal, but one of our soloists asked if we could change it. So, we put in the names of people who are important to our group.”
Wilfrid encouraged people to attend the performance and see why these folk songs have endured for hundreds of years.
“There must be something good about them for them to last this long,” he said. “We have some wonderful soloists and amazing musicians. Come and hear some old music brought back to the stage. It’s going to be a great time.”
Tickets are $15 for adults or $5 for children in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets can be purchased from Plainville Choral Society members, Dancingly Yours, Irene’s Culinary in Forestville, the Plainville Senior Center, Saint’s Restaurant in Southington, Family Barber Shop and at pcsmusic.net.
For more information, call Michael Fox at 860-471-5137.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.