THE town’s Casterbridge Male Voice Choir joined forces with the Old Gaffers for their latest performance to stage a fund-raising concert helped along by the Devon-based group, a crew of nine men who perform sea-based shanties.

Under the leadership of Julia McFarlane, with piano accompaniment by Louisa Dukes, the chosen programme of the Casterbridge group was also mainly watery, starting off with the famous song Sailing and moving along with a Pirates of Penzance medley and the iconic Titanic film song My Heart will Go On to name just a few.

The difference in musical styles between the two groups made the evening very stimulating, the restrained choral harmony of the Dorchester men being in direct contrast to the vigorous and vibrant outpouring of the Devon boys who sing without accompaniment, each song being led by a different solo vocalist.

The Old Gaffers’ colourful style is strictly informal as they share jokes, tease each other and generally have a good time, all of which is infectious and fun. Their strong voices maintain a good pitch and they manage subtle harmonic rhythms that maintain the good quality of their performance.

The appreciative audience to this enjoyable concert were invited to make a donation to support the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and it can be pretty well guaranteed that there was a generous response to this good cause, thanks to the efforts of the Casterbridge men and their guests.