The U.S. Navy choral group the Sea Chanters will present a free concert Thursday at Veterans Memorial Gym on Main Street in Sanford. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. performance.

The U.S. Navy choral group the Sea Chanters will present a free concert Thursday at Veterans Memorial Gym on Main Street in Sanford. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. performance.

SANFORD — A military salute, popular music from the 1950s to the present day and, of course, sea chanteys, are all on tap for a free 90- minute concert by the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters.

The Sea Chanters, a 20-member choral group, will perform at the Sanford Veterans Memorial Gymnasium, 678 Main St., at 7 p.m. Thursday as part of their 2016 tour.

“They’re all amazing singers,” said the group’s public affairs spokeswoman, Sarah Blecker, in a telephone interview from a tour stop in Albany, New York, on Monday. “Its a great family friendly show, and there’s a meet-and-greet after the performance.”

The concert will be a mix of songs performed a capella, accompanied by a pianist, a drummer and a bass guitarist. The setlist will include a tribute to veterans and those still serving in the military.

“We always salute our veterans,” said Blecker. “We recognize those who served, and are serving.”

Blecker said the group will also perform traditional sea chanteys, spirituals, a Motown medley and more.

The tours are a way to showcase the U.S. Navy in communities where that branch of the service is not seen on a daily basis, she said .

When they’re not on tour, the Sea Chanters are at home in Washington, D.C., where they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries.

The Sea Chanters was formed in 1956 to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. At that time, it was an all-male chorus. The Navy added women to its ranks in 1980, and the chorus expanded to include everything from Brahms to Broadway.

The Sea Chanters are frequently found at the center of the nation’s most important events, including inauguration day. 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.”

While the concert is free, tickets are required to get first dibs on seating. Tickets are available at Sanford Parks and Recreation Department, 919 Main St., Sanford.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the performance. Tickets holders get in first, then the doors open to all, as space is available, at 6:45 p.m.

Sanford Parks and Recreation may be reached at 324-9130.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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