The Navy Band Sea Chanters, the United States Navy's official chorus, will perform a free concert in Fort Dodge Friday.
The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music. Under the leadership of Senior Chief Musician Georgina L. Todd, the Sea Chanters perform for the public throughout the United States.
At home in Washington, D.C., they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries.
In 1956, Lt. Harold Fultz, then the band's assistant leader, organized a group from the Navy School of Music to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. An immediate success, Admiral Arleigh Burke, then Chief of Naval Operations, transferred them to the Navy Band, named them the Sea Chanters and tasked this all-male chorus with perpetuating the songs of the sea. In 1980, the group added women to their ranks and expanded their repertoire to include everything from Brahms to Broadway.
The Sea Chanters are frequently found at the center of national events, including Inauguration Day, 2009. They have played a vital role in comforting the nation in times of mourning, including appearances at memorials for the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia and the presidential wreath laying ceremony at the United Airlines flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pa. Their performance of "Amazing Grace" for the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance at the National Cathedral in Washington after the events of 9/11 inspired all in attendance as well as a national television audience. In 2004, the chorus participated in former President Reagan's funeral at the National Cathedral, and in 2007 performed in the U.S. Capitol's rotunda as former President Ford was lying in state.
The chorus was instrumental in the dedication ceremonies of the World War II Memorials in Bedford, Va. and in Washington, D.C. In 1994, they provided music at the funeral of former President Nixon in Yorba Linda, Calif., and the interment of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery.
If you go:
What: The Sea Chanters Chorus concert
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Decker Auditorium, Iowa Central Community College
Cost: Free, however, tickets are required as seating is limited. Tickets are available at The Messenger, 713 Central Ave., or by mailing in the coupon found in advertisements in The Messenger. Ticket holders must be seated 15 minutes before the concert. At that time, unclaimed seats will be released to non-ticket holders. There are no reserved seats.
The Sea Chanters are sponsored by The Messenger, the Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge and Iowa Central Community College.
They have appeared at the Kennedy Center Honors and with the National Symphony Orchestra for the nationally telecast "National Memorial Day Concerts" at the U.S. Capitol. In addition the group has appeared on "Larry King Live" and "CBS This Morning" as well as at the premier of the movie "Pearl Harbor."