School choirs join internationally renowned composer to perform worldwide hit

Alexander L'Estrange
Alexander L'Estrange

Crawley scores a remarkable coup on Wednesday, June 24, with a performance of the outstanding Ahoy! Sing For The Mary Rose at The Hawth, Crawley.

The show features a huge diversity of local talent, as well as internationally renowned composer/performer Alexander L’Estrange and his jazz quintet.

Alexander L'Estrange

Alexander L'Estrange

West Sussex school choirs, Crawley’s own Songbirds Choir and Alexander L’Estrange are joining forces for a celebration of song and rhythm few are likely to forget.

Other groups performing the acclaimed piece include Pound Hill Junior School Choir, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary School Choir, the Silver Birch Singers, Weald Choir and Cantatrice Horsham.

Supporting the line-up will be singers from Concordia, Fusion, The Pleasure Singers and Billingshurst Choral Society.

Ahoy! is based on sea shanties and Tudor music and has proved a hit with audiences worldwide.

The piece premiered in July 2013 in Portsmouth, sponsored by The Mary Rose Museum. It celebrates the fact that after 450 years, this infamous ship was raised from the seabed and now sits proudly in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for visitors from across the globe to admire. In just two years, the piece has filled theatres across the UK and global performances have been held as far afield as Australia and Canada.

The event is part of the Crawley Festival and Chairman Bob Burgess will be compèring and performing the part of ‘Narrator’ in the piece, which was performed by celebrity Hugh Dennis at the première.

“I am really looking forward to being part of this community event where Crawley people of all ages are coming together to put on a show for Crawley people,” said Bob. “This is another example, among many that happen throughout the year, of an event where Crawley parades its talents to Crawley.”

Alexander L’Estrange has an impressive pedigree. With a First Class Honours Degree in Music from Oxford and a formidable reputation as an exceptionally versatile singer, L’Estrange has worked with some of music’s greatest names, including jazz icons Johnny Dankworth, Kenny Wheeler and Bobby Wellins. He has composed extensively and his first work, Zimbe! has seen more than 150 performances worldwide. He is also reckoned to be one of the best bass and piano players in the world, has arranged popular James Bond film themes and is also the voice of BBC’s ‘Helicopters’ idents.

Alexander said, “It is a pleasure to be part of an event that brings the community together as it is one of my passions.

“I love that children as young as seven will be singing with adults as old as 80!”

Doors open at 6.30pm for a start time of 7pm.

Tickets (£12 adult, £6 child) are selling fast for this one-night performance, so music lovers are advised to book quickly. Contact The Hawth Box Office on 01293 553636.

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