Kamis, 18 Februari 2021

South Street Seaport Museum Offers Free, Virtual, Sea Chantey Webinar Tonight, Plus Monthly Chantey Sings - Forbes

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Sea chanteys have been around for centuries, their recent rise to fame, thanks to TikTok and Stephen Colbert, notwithstanding.

Long before TikTok and Colbert turned their attention to sea chanteys, the South Street Seaport Museum in Manhattan has explored them, even doing so virtually once the pandemic began.

At 7 p.m. EST tonight, February 18, it will expand its programming with the first installment of the Sea Songs and Sea Lives webinar series, Sing in Rhyme, Work in Time: Sea Chanteys and Workers' Voices, hosted by Bonnie Milner and Deirdre Murtha, members of maritime singing groups the New York Packet and Johnson Girls, and other guests. Registration for this free event is required

The series will explore the lives of diverse groups of sailors today and in history through conversations with singers, sailors, historians and others. 

During the Age of Sail, ships were made up of crew members from all over the world and sailors' songs reflected that diversity. 

Among the stories included will be those of sailors of African descent, who played a key role in the Underground Railroad; women sailors who still face barriers in their trade; and queer sailors whose lives have only recently been treated respectfully in musical compositions. 

Each webinar will tackle traditional repertoire while considering the challenges of old-time sailors on long voyages, who spent months living together in close quarters with no outside entertainment, no new people to interact with and a monotonous diet.

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Attendees will hear examples of many types of chanteys and will be invited to sing along. A short Q&A will follow, along with resources for building repertoire and finding opportunities to sing.

"Sea chanteys fit in beautifully with the New York tradition," said Laura Norwitz, the museum’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 museum's monthly, free, sea-music event, Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music - the original New York City chantey sing—will continue virtually on Sunday, March 7, and Sunday, April 4, at 2 p.m. EST. Participants can join a round-robin of shared songs featuring members of the New York Packet and friends. Registration also is required to receive a Zoom link 24 hours in advance. 

This event will also include a virtual visit to the museum, showcasing links from the song selections to artifacts in its collection.

After years of meeting in person on the South Street Seaport’s historic tall ship, Wavertree, the museum’s chantey sing moved online last April. It has evolved into one of the world’s preeminent virtual chantey sings, featuring a global group of professionals and amateurs, old salts and new initiates. The museum actively recruits and supports new and diverse singers for each sing.

Located in the heart of the historic seaport district in New York City, the South Street Seaport Museum preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working nineteenth century print shops and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of "Where New York Begins."

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February 18, 2021 at 02:18PM
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South Street Seaport Museum Offers Free, Virtual, Sea Chantey Webinar Tonight, Plus Monthly Chantey Sings - Forbes

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