Since the creation of the Lübeck Shanty Choir "Möwenschiet in 1980, the choir was under the direction of Thomas Pohle until 1996. During this time, the choir developed a high standard of quality, so that radio and television became aware of the Möwenschiet choir. Under Thomas Pohle's direction an LP, a single and two CDs were produced.
In 1996 there was a change in the musical management of the choir. The qualified violin teacher Martin Stöhr has since been the director with about 40 amateur singers. Although, until then, the area of shanty music was not his world, the enthusiastic choirmaster has led us to new zeniths.
It is probably a stroke of luck for the choir that this young choirmaster is still open for musical experiments and can overwhelm us with new sound experiences. Anyone who observes our choir director Martin Stöhr at a performance will not fail to notice that a thoroughbred musician is at work. Many shanty choirs envy us for our choirmaster. We hope that we can successfully work together for a long time in the future.
Meanwhile, the choir has produced 2 more CDs as live recordings, representing the mood of the choir when it performs.
For over 35 years the choir has been headed by Egon Ruland, the first chairman.
As a musical ambassador for the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, the choir accompanies the Hanseatic Days at important venues and was there in Mainz when Lübeck was chosen as City of Science. The Möwenschiet choir traditionally opens the Travemunder Sailing Week. We would also like to mention that we entertained the G7 Foreign Ministers with maritime songs in the Lübeck Audience Hall during the preparation for the summit in Lübeck.
To make fun and have fun is our motto.
The story about the founding of the Lübeck Shanty Choir
(formerly Coastline Choir) "Möwenschiet " 40 years ago is:
It is noticeable that many shanty choirs were created in the 1970s. The reasons should actually be researched in more detail. Shanties and various coastal songs were popular favourites by artists such as Hans Albers and Freddy Quinn, by Lale Andersen, Lolita (for example, "Sailor, Your Home Is the Sea") or Melina Mercourt ("A Ship Will Come,"), all well-known songs. Maritime songs also found its audience through literature. The figure of the sailor Kuttel Daddeldu by Joachim Ringelnatz stands for much more here. From this setting, the emergence of "Möwenschiet" is plausible.
Of course, "Möwenschiet" not only has an unorthodox, mischievous and ambiguous name, but also a very unusual origin. If you listen to the story from Rolf Uwe Haschke (* 1959), you immediately have the feeling that “Kuttel Daddeldu” somehow had a hand in the tale. Only the modern Kuttel, now called Ole Pinelle, comes from the pen of Fritz Graßhoff (1913-1997), then known in relevant circles as a draftsman, writer and pianist. He was somehow acquainted with Harry Hockauf, owner of an insider pub in Lübeck's Engelsgrube, which was named after Graßhoff's quirky sailor "Ole Pinelle".
Harry Hockauf wanted to be creative and provide his guests with other exceptional and catching entertainment. He invited Fritz Graßhoff to a reading in his pub and to another on the ship "Passat". The artist requested a shanty choir for the introductory programme. The negotiations then started between Hockauf and the Passat Choir (founded since 1976) but failed due to the amount of the requested fee (allegedly 2,000 DM). Before more good advice became expensive, Harry Hockauf doggedly and pragmatically decided to announce to his regular guests: "We're going to form a Shanty choir, you're all in support!" Rolf Uwe Haschke (*1959), then a 21-year-old, built like a tree, when he recalls this historic hour - the birth of "Möwenschiet”, tears swell in his eyes. The approximately 12 to 15 regular guests, an accurate figure can today no longer be determined, came virtually from a booze mood to "duty obligated". Stephan Fleck, who at the age of 16 was still at school, became the musical advisor to the regular guest’s choir due to his talent, and his brother Peter, owner of the classic car firm "Norden", was also present. Incidentally, Stephan Fleck is currently the choirmaster of the Passat Choir. First choirmaster of Möwenschiet "was Wolfgang Schlicht, who practiced with the choir in the pub " Tube "in the lower Meng street. and appeared at performances shining in a white suit.
A joint weekend action, namely the help in the interior gutting of a Lübeck old town house, yielded the considerable sum of 1,000 DM for the otherwise hard up choir cashbox. From this uniform choir clothes were purchased, as up until then individuals had appeared at initial performances dressed "wildly" in a "sailor pirate look". Harry Hockauf also distributed all tips received into two donation boxes on the counter of the pub, one for the preservation of the ship "Passat" and the other, of course, for Möwenschiet. Incidentally, Fritz Graßhoff had promised to compose a song for "Möwenschiet", probably in the style of "Take me, Captain on the Journey" by Hans Albers, in memory of his emotive and overnight founding of the shanty choir. Unfortunately, he did not keep his promise. But comedy, humor, absurdity and a love of ships, the sea and unusual people, Graßhoff as a character, bequeathed his spiritual heritage to "Möwenschiet".
Even today it is important for the Lübeck-based shanty choir "Möwenschiet" to engage its audience in the performances and to encourage them to sing along, so that the great voyage around the world can be made fun. Since: seafaring is fun even though, in reality today, it is mundane everyday work.