The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: April 12, 2002

U.S. Navy's Sea Chanters chorus will perform at Clapp Recital Hall April 23

Click on photo for enlargement

Sea Chanters, the official chorus of the United States Navy from Washington, D.C., will present a free concert of patriotic, popular and Broadway selections at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

The concert is free, but tickets are required. Free general admission tickets are available from any Iowa City or Coralville Hy-Vee store, or at the main office of the UI School of Music in the Voxman Music Building.

The program for the tour includes selections from native Iowan Meredith Willson's "Music Man"; a selection of World War II-era songs; the popular sea chantey "Haul Away Joe"; a group of Gershwin songs; a selection of "The Best of Doo-Wop"; and an arrangement of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

This special performance by the Navy's official chorus is part of the Navy Band Sea Chanters' national tour. As the official chorus of the United States Navy, and one of five performing units of the U.S. Navy Band, the Sea Chanters promote the Navy's proud heritage of the sea.

The repertoire encompasses all types of choral music including sea chanteys, patriotic selections, folk songs, sacred hymns, opera and Broadway. The group has appeared throughout the United States on concert tours and performs frequently at the White House, the Vice-President's house, and for dignitaries at Washington embassies.

The Sea Chanters have been featured in national events such as the 2001 "United in Memory" memorial service at the Pentagon, the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and the dedication ceremony of The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.; the memorial service for the USS Cole at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.; and the site dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

They appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra for the National Memorial Day Concerts directed by Erich Kunzel at the U.S. Capitol in 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997 and 1995. In 1998 they performed at the American Choral Directors Association Convention in Providence, R.I., and at the memorial service for Rear Admiral Alan B. Sheppard at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. In addition, the Sea Chanters appeared in concert with The United States Navy Band at Carnegie Hall in March 1996. In 1994 the chorus provided music at the funerals of former President Nixon in Yorba Linda, Calif., and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Arlington National Cemetery.

Their national tours have elicited critical raves in cities and small towns across the country. The critic of the Malone, N.Y., Telegram wrote, "The performance was simply fantastic. The Sea Chanters represented the U.S. Navy in its finest tradition." In Appleton, Wisc., the Post-Crescent critic wrote about "an absolutely wonderful musical event at Pickard Auditorium," and in Elizabeth City, N.C., the Daily Advance reporter noted that the group ."brought the house down . . . presenting a musical feast, the Sea Chanters let no one leave the table feeling hungry." The Dunkirk-Fredonia, N.Y., Evening Observer's critic wrote, "These are outstanding voices, on a par with the very best that Broadway and the major opera choruses can boast."

Senior Chief Musician John R. Bury is the unit leader and a baritone vocalist for the Sea Chanters. the A native of Lanham, Md., Bury studied at the University of Maryland in College Park. He was a soloist with the Lanham Chorale for six years and worked in Prince George's County's Young Life, Inc. He was also a cantor at St. Matthews Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Since joining the "Sea Chanters" in 1978, Bury has sung leading roles in numerous Navy Band productions including " The Marriage of Figaro" and "Carousel," and Naval District Washington's "Navy Summer Pageant." He has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Bury has served the group as chief-in-charge, assistant conductor and guitarist. In 2000, he entertained audiences as Harold Hill in 'Seventy-Six Trombones" for the Navy Band's 75th Anniversary Tour and Concert.

Chief Musician Keith D. Hinton, a native of Yorktown, Va. is the Musical Director of the Sea Chanters. Hinton completed a bachelor of music degree in 1990 at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. and toured 17 cities in Japan with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He also appeared with the Heidelberg (Germany) Festival Orchestra.

He enlisted in the Navy in November 1991 and reported to the Navy Band in 1992. He was a featured soloist on the Navy Band's 1994 National Tour of six Southwestern states, and performed with the Harp-Flute Duo. He has also performed on the band's chamber music recital series and been the producer for six Navy Band recording projects. He was appointed musical director of the Sea Chanters in March 2000.

The performance of the Sea Chanters is sponsored by the Iowa City Press-Citizen and Hy-Vee Food Stores, in collaboration with the UI School of Music and the Division of Performing Arts.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.