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02/02/2024

US Navy Band Sea Chanters will perform at Fine Arts Center

EACC will host a performance by the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters on Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the EACC Fine Arts Center. The public is invited to attend and there will be no charge for admission.  Tickets should be reserved through the Fine Arts Center Ticket Office in person or by calling 870-633-4480, ext. 352.

The official chorus of the United States Navy and one of the six performing units of the United States Navy Band, the Sea Chanters chorus, accompanied by piano, bass, and drums, will perform a repertoire of choral music, including sea chanteys, patriotic fare, opera, Broadway, and contemporary music.  This special performance is part of the Navy Band Sea Chanters' national tour.

The Sea Chanters regularly perform for the public in the Washington, D.C. area and throughout the United States while on national tours. At home in Washington, 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 vocal group from the Navy School of Music to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. Recognizing the ensemble's immediate success, Adm. Arleigh Burke, then Chief of Naval Operations, transferred the group 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 its ranks and expanded its repertoire to include everything from Brahms to Broadway.

The Sea Chanters are frequently found at the center of the most important national events, including inauguration day performances and state funerals. 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, Pennsylvania. 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 President Reagan's funeral at the National Cathedral, and performed in the U.S. Capitol's rotunda as President Ford was lying in state in 2007. The chorus was instrumental in the dedication ceremonies of the World War II memorials in Bedford, Virginia, and in Washington. In 1994, they provided music at the funeral of President Nixon in Yorba Linda, California, and the interment of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery.

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." In 2008, the Sea Chanters performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilburg. Noted choral directors Dale Warland and Donald Neuen have guest conducted the ensemble, and renowned composers Michael McCarthy, Roger Bourland, William MacDuff, and Lloyd Pfautsch have written works especially for the ensemble. Other notable orchestral appearances include the Kansas City Symphony, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

The Sea Chanters have enjoyed a great reputation performing with such stars as Perry Como, Marian Anderson, Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie. Throughout their history, the Sea Chanters have remained true to the Navy's watchwords of pride and professionalism, and they continue to flourish as a vibrant ensemble.

To reserve the free general admission seating tickets, please call 870-633-4480 ext. 352 or visit the EACC Fine Arts Center Ticket Office. The EACC Fine Arts Center is located at 1700 Newcastle Road in Forrest City just off of I-40.

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