Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music continues virtually on Sunday, October 4.

South Street Seaport Museum Announces Virtual Sea Chanteys And Maritime Music Broadcast

South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly sea-music Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music continues virtually on Sunday, October 4, from 2-4pm ET.

From our living rooms and kitchens, and even from the deck of Wavertree, join our round-robin of shared 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 event is FREE. Sign up here to receive the Zoom link 24 hours prior: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ehaneke181efab6f&llr=4pcqx8iab.

On Sunday, October 4, Laura Norwitz, Senior Director for Programs and Education, will host a virtual broadcast from atop the foredeck of Wavertree. The October singing session will be moderated by Bonnie Milner of The Johnson Girls; Dan Milner, song collector and author; and other members of The New York Packet, a collection of traditional chantey singers in the New York area.

The South Street Seaport Museumwill also open the 1885 tall ship Wavertree to the public for in-person visits that day with timed entry from 11am-5pm at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets), as well as on September 26, and October 3 and 10. Entry is FREE and includes access to the ship’s outdoor areas, including the main deck (via stairs and an angled gangway) and raised rear deck (accessible via ladder-type stairs). Reserve timed entry tickets and find more information at seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree

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. Sound familiar? 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. The September singing session will be moderated by Deirdre Murtha of The Johnson Girls and The New York Packet, a collection of traditional chantey singers in the New York area.

South Street Seaport Museum hosts Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music on the first Sunday of each month from May to September. This year virtual sings will continue through the fall and winter.

“Sea chanteys fit in beautifully with the New York tradition,” siad 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.

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