GRAND CONCERT ON THE MARS

 

Courier & Argus

Monday, 9th March.

 

      On Saturday evening a concert of vocal music took place on board the Mars, which formed an agreeable relief to the monotonous routine of life on board the ship. The entertainment was given by a choir, composed of about twenty ladies and gentlemen selected from some of the Church and Temperance Choirs in Dundee. This choir, which is under the leadership of Mr Douglas, has, during the present winter, performed voluntarily at the entertainments given to the inmates of the various charitable and philanthropic institutions in the town and neighbourhood…

     The choir, accompanied by a large party of ladies and gentlemen specially invited to be present, left Dundee with the Tay Ferries Steamer for Newport at 5 o’clock. From Newport the party walked to Woodhaven, whence they were conveyed to the Mars by the ships boats. Captain Scott received his visitors courteously as they arrived on deck; and he kindly conducted them over the vessel. After examining the various departments of the vessel the company assembled in the lower deck, where the concert was held. This was a large and spacious compartment amidship. It was lighted up with lamps, and the beams and pillars were draped with bunting. The visitors were accommodated with seats in the centre of the deck, and the boys were seated on the tiers of benches fitted up on the port and starboard sides. The young tars were mustered in the schoolroom on the main deck, and marched to the concert room under the charge of their officers. The tramping of between 300 and 400 feet marching in the deck above had a peculiar effect when heard in the lower regions. The length of the time occupied by the march gave the visitors some idea of the space within the vessel. At last the head of the procession appeared on the stair, and for fully five minutes the army of young “bluejackets” kept pouring down the steep steps, two deep, in a steady stream, falling off right and left, and taking their places on the galleries in perfect order. There are at present about 360 boys on board, and, with the exception of a few in hospital and a small party on duty, the whole ship’s company were present at the entertainment. The brass band, under their leader, occupied their practising room, which is on the same deck, and was only separated from the concert room by a thin partition, Captain Scott presided in the absence of Admiral Miatland Dougal of Scotscraig, President of the Institution. The programme was well selected, and compromised some of the most popular national and nautical songs. Choruses, part-songs, duets, quartettes, and solos were rendered with taste and skill. Mr Douglas gave “Jack’s Yarn” with spirit and feeling, the choir taking up the chorus.” The Boatie Rows” (a quartette) was admirably executed. “The Death of Nelson” was sung by Mr Stevenson with fine effect, and the enthusiastic applause of the boys showed how they relished this highly popular and patriotic song. “Caller Herrin’,” by Miss Keay and “Cam ye by Athole,” by another young lady, were also well received. Amongst other pieces on the programme were “The men of Harlech,” “Annie Laurie,” “Steering home,” “See the land appearing,” “The Marines of England,” &c. The Mars band and the choir of the boys performed the “See-Saw” waltz in an admirable manner. In the course of the evening Mr James Scrymgeour addressed the boys in his usual happy style, giving them some sound advice as to the way in which success in life was to be gained…

    The entertainment was concluded with the singing of the National Anthem by the whole company, accompanied by the brass band. Led by Captain Scott, the boys gave three hearty cheers for the choir and Mr Scrymgeour…

     The visitors were then invited into the cabin, where refreshments were served, and a pleasant half hour was spent. The boats were at last announced, and the party were rowed back to Woodhaven Pier, giving three parting cheers as they left the ship.