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South Street Seaport Museum Announces Holiday-Themed Edition of Virtual Sea Chatneys

The Virtual Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music broadcast will be taking place on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 2pm.

South Street Seaport Museum Announces Holiday-Themed Edition of Virtual Sea Chatneys

South Street Seaport Museum has announced a Holiday Virtual Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music Broadcast form the deck of 1885 tall ship Wavertree on Sunday, December 6 from 2pm-4pm ET. From our living rooms and kitchens, and even from the deck of Wavertree, join a round-robin of shared holiday songs featuring members of The New York Packet and friends. Listen in, lead or request a song, and belt out the choruses for your neighbors to hear on the first Sunday of every month. The December session will be moderated by Bonnie Milner of The Johnson Girls.

The event is FREE. Sign up here to receive the Zoom link 24 hours prior: southstreetseaportmuseum.org/chanteysing/.

Old-time sailors on long voyages spent months living together in close quarters with no outside entertainment, no new people to interact with, a monotonous diet, and each day pretty much just like the day before. How did they keep their spirits up? Singing together! Work songs and fun songs, story songs and nonsense songs, songs of nostalgia and songs of up-to-the-moment news - all were part of the repertoire onboard. At South Street Seaport Museum, the Chantey tradition lives on.

"Sea chanteys fit in beautifully with the New York tradition," said Laura Norwitz, SSSM's Senior Director of Program and Education. "Sailing ships were a melting pot of languages and cultures, and chanteys and forecastle songs, along with hard work and shared challenges, helped sailors merge into one community. When we sing these songs today - some old, and some updated with up-to-the-moment lyrics - we celebrate our connection with our maritime heritage and also with the community we create enjoying home-made music together."

The New York Packet was established over 30 years ago as the official maritime singing group of South Street Seaport Museum. First singing on the iconic vessel Peking, they have endeavored ever since to keep chantey singing alive in lower Manhattan. Even when the Seaport encountered "heavy weather" during and after hurricane Sandy, the Packet found places to fill with sound while awaiting a return to their beloved ships at the Seaport. In May of 2019, the moment came when the Packet could return and sing aboard Wavertree. It was a magical and welcome moment.

Photo Credit: Richard Bowditch



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