Laughter, challenges, purpose…that sums up the volunteer efforts that surrounded the creation of the Harvey Hall Sea Shanty. Starting from a mere suggestion in casual conversation to a final professional digital video production, its evolution was a thoroughly fulfilling and successful effort.
Regrettably, due to a lack of volunteers, the idea didn’t launch, but the familiar tune was ringing in someone’s ears. On a rainy Saturday in April, Jane Chrysostom couldn’t get the tune or Alison’s idea out of her head and sat down to put some relevant Harvey Hall lyrics to the song. Steve Chrysostom helped fine-tune the rhythm and rhyme of Jane’s adaptation.
At the weekly music session with their steady-15 Covid social group, the talented Dorothy Brzezicki at the Art Haus Café spied the Harvey Hall Sea Shanty paper in Steve’s music folder. All other music was quickly set aside due to the immediate interest in this new idea. Dorothy's harp, Peter Brzezicki's bodhran, Rick Morcom’s flute, Steve’s guitar, Dejah Morcom’s wood recorder and Jane’s viola were tuned, and a recogniz- able version was soon arranged for all instruments.
Peter shared his vision for a music video that included the musicians, the interior and exterior archi- tecture of Harvey Hall, the surrounding beauty of its location, and other talented area musicians. Peter got busy inviting cellist Tim Isaac, piper Ian Duncan, banjo player Joseph Bridge, singer Paul Toner and Brian Woodworth to carry the beat with a resounding and steady drum. The idea that this video could generate some serious exposure, interest and funding for the Harvey Hall soon became the focus and purpose of the small group.
Practice sessions, uncoiling metres of recording cables, coordinating Covid protocols, directing drones, perfecting iambic pentameter, arranging harmony, creating the Harvey Hall HURRR t-shirt, developing and syncing layers of instrumentals, vocals, and visuals took hours and hours…and hours...of volunteer talent and time for several weeks.
In early May, the reveal of the Craig Norris video was an exciting and emotional culmination of a handful of people’s efforts and devotion to bring attention to a worthy community cause ‒ saving and restoring the Harvey Hall. Fundraising efforts are still on-going and volunteers are still needed to re-open those doors.
Watch at youtube.com/watch?v=VyQmEdsPqo4, share and join in the camaraderie of your neighbours so we can once again gather in the Harvey Hall.
There will always be challenges in life; when we gather as a community, we can meet and overcome them!