As part of Bagaduce Music’s “Worksong Week” (June 3-7), The Worksong Project’s founder Bennett Konesni will lead singing sessions while rowing on the water and at Tinderhearth Bakery, Four Season Farm and other workplaces. THE WORKSONGS PROJECT PHOTO

Music to our ears!

BLUE HILL — “Haul, boys haul. Haul, boys haul. Heave away the capstan, lads, and let’s get up the trawl. When the winds a blowin’, the ship’s a gently rollin’…” So goes “Haul, Boy, Haul,” an old sea shanty, sung while sailors heaved at a ship’s capstan to weigh anchor.

That sailor’s hauling chant is just one of many maritime work songs that set a rhythm and helped push tall ships’ crews to haul up the anchor, raise the sails and get other jobs done.

Sea shanties and other work songs will be sung and celebrated during Bagaduce Music’s “Work Song Week” kicking off Monday, June 3, at the Stonington Opera House, where Belfast farmer/musician Bennett Konesni will perform and bring to life a wealth of work songs discovered in the Blue Hill musical lending library’s rich archives of sheet music.

“We continue to collect, preserve and loan music,” said organizers of 36-year-old Bagaduce Music’s “Work Song Week.” “We have recently expanded our mission to include more emphasis on music performance and education.”

“Work Song Week,” running June 3 through June 7, is just one of Bagaduce Music’s creative initiatives to reach out and better acquaint the public with its lending library’s collection of over one million pieces of written music.

A Middlebury College graduate, Konesni’s passion and vocation is unearthing and reviving work songs and showing their uplifting and motivational power in the workplace around the world. Previously, he and his musical wife, Edith Gawler, served as a U.S. State Department Folk Music Ambassadors traveling with the Old Gray Goose band to Ukraine and Mongolia. He and Edith operate Duckback Farm in Belfast, where singing songs is an integral part of work.

In that spirit, as part of his ongoing “The Worksong Project,” Konesni will lead a weeklong series of lively hands-on events engaging the public on the water rowing and at Brooksville’s Tinderhearth Bakery, Four Season Farm in Harborside and other venues in Deer Isle and around the Blue Hill Peninsula. The cost per event ranges from $10 to $20 per person.

To learn more and pre-register, contact Community Outreach and Events Manager Michele Corbeil at 374-5454 or visit For more info about Konesni, visit

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

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