Reporting Kate Merrill
BOSTON (CBS) – They’re keeping alive the songs of the sea, and on July 4th the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters take center stage on the Esplanade. The chorus is thrilled to be part of the celebration and to be performing with the Boston Pops. On Monday, the Sea Chanters visited Old Ironsides and brought back the era of wooden ships.
They performed the national anthem during “morning colors,” the daily flag raising on the USS Constitution and tried out a few traditional sea chanteys as well.
GUIDE: Fourth Of July Events
“The Sea Chanters are the official chorus of the United States Navy. We were formed in 1956 as an all male chorus with the aim of preserving sea chanteys,” says Musician First Class Michael Webb. Chanteys were the work songs of sailors who traveled the world on the great wooden ships of old.
On July 4th, backed by the Boston Pops, the Sea Chanters will perform not only the chanteys, but a 70′s sing along and patriotic selections as well. “You grow up as a musician hearing about the world class orchestras, and the Boston Pops is right up there, just an amazing orchestra. To be able to perform with them is an honor,” says Musician First Class Casey Elliott.
The group has long included women in the 18 member unit. “Here I am singing with the Boston Pops, and what better occasion to be here singing with them than the Fourth of July,” says Senior Chief Georgina Todd who has been with the chorus for 19 years.
The U.S. Navy Sea Chanters does some 200 performances each year, and the next one is in Boston. You can see all the performers and fireworks display right here on WBZ-TV starting at 8pm on July 4th.