The choral group that brought a stirring and beautiful rendition of the National Anthem at the recent presidential inauguration will be performing in Pauls Valley at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5 at the high school auditorium.

Sponsored by the Pauls Valley Arts Council and the Garvin County News Star, the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters is the official chorus of the United States Navy.

Free admission tickets for the Navy Sea Chanter concert are available to the public at the following locations:

Pauls Valley — The Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce Office located at 112 E. Paul.

Maysville — The Garvin County News Star located at 402 Williams.

Elmore City — The Elmore City Bank, a branch of Pauls Valley National Bank, located inside Luster’s Market.

Stratford — The Garvin County News Star located at 100 N. Pine.

“We’re very excited about bringing this quality concert to Pauls Valley,” said PVAC President Kevin Stark.

“This is just one of many military bands the PVAC has brought to Pauls Valley over the past five years and we know patrons will not be disappointed when they see the Navy Sea Chanters.”

In 1956, Lt. Harold Fultz, then the band’s assistant leader, organized an all-male vocal ensemble from the Navy School of Music to sing chanteys and patriotic songs.

An immediate success, Admiral Arleigh Burke, then Chief of Naval Operations, transferred them to the Navy Band, named them the “Sea Chanters,” and tasked them with perpetuating the songs of the sea. Women were added in 1980, increasing their repertoire.

The Sea Chanters chorus is one of the nation’s preeminent professional choral ensembles. It has played a vital role in comforting the nation in times of mourning, such as the memorial services for former President Ford and the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia, and for the Presidential wreath laying ceremony at the crash site of United Airlines flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa.

At the National Day of Prayer in Washington’s National Cathedral after the events of 9/11, their performance of “Amazing Grace” inspired all in attendance and an international television audience.

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, as well as on “Larry King Live,” “CBS This Morning” and at the premier of the motion picture Pearl Harbor.

During their 2008 spring tour, the Sea Chanters performed in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilberg, for a 30-minute broadcast of “Music and the Spoken Word,” which was distributed around the world and reached an audience of several million.

Noted choral directors Dale Warland and Donald Neuen have conducted the ensemble, and renowned composers Roger Bourland, William MacDuff and Lloyd Pfautsch have written works especially for them.

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