Navy Sea Chanters visit AHS for their yearly performance


The Navy Sea Chanters performing a theatre musical piece, “Prima Donna,” from Phantom of the Opera.

Galilea Sejas, Arts Editor

On Tuesday Feb. 19, the Navy Sea Chanters came to AHS to perform in their last dress rehearsal before they went on tour to 9 different states, performing a wide range of songs to various audiences.

“Our performance was just a bunch of different types of genres of pieces,” alto and first musician of the Sea Chanters Rachel Sarracco said. “We had some patriotic, theatre, smaller group, choral music and some sea chantees.”
Through their performances, they are able to showcase all these genres to amuse and entertain their audiences; especially since the people in the audience are financing their jobs.

“Taxpayers are paying for this, and all you’re going on tour to sing for people that are paying your salary,” choral teacher Patrick Vaughn said. “You have to sing for people in such as way that people go, ‘I am so glad that part of my taxes go for paying for that’ and ‘that brings me joy. It makes me proud to be an American.’”

Mr.Vaughn was able to schedule their performance a year in advance. Through his connections and running a clinic with them in years past, it has always been a tradition for the Sea Chanters to come to AHS to perform for the past three years; it will hopefully inspire a couple of chorus students to pursue a similar music path.

“I loved seeing the performance tonight. It’s just amazing to have professionals come here, especially since they’re such big units of our country, being the navy,” senior and Annandale singer Araceli Cabrera-Ortuno said.

Of course being a professional musician or singer, especially a Sea Chanter, is anything but stress-free.

“I would say it’s a really hard road and being a musician, in the military or not, is really tough, so you don’t want to do it unless you can’t imagine not doing anything else, like if you can’t imagine yourself being a professional musician,” Sorracco said.

Though being a Sea Chanter is anything but easy, it does not mean to say that no one is able to pursue this sort of career in the future. The majority of them have already studied music or singing in college, so when they have to audition, they are fully prepared and should have enough experience to make it through the audition process.

Once they are accepted as a Sea Chanter through their three-part audition, they immediately delve into any song chosen for them or song that they chose and was approved by their leadership, as well as their production team of three.

“To prepare for the song, it would depend on the difficulty of the song, sometimes we are learning foreign language pieces, with interesting pronunciations that we are not familiar with,” said alto and first musician of the Sea Chanters, Chelsi Vanderpol. “With other pieces that are more pop, it would take us a couple of weeks.”

Much of their rehearsing process or preparation for their performance is similar to what the music students at AHS do, but much more difficult, since the time needed to prepare a song can be shortened or lengthened, depending on the event they would be performing at.

“I think that the Navy Sea Chanters are an absolute inspiration to everyone in every music department in AHS,” senior and Annandale singer Garrett Patterson said. “They are fantastic and professional.”
Hopefully through their performances, it enables more and more students to gain more knowledge on potential careers in the future, that involves subjects or things that they are passionate about; whether it be playing an instrument or singing.

“To the younger generation wanting to pursue singing, I would say go for it,” Vanderpol said. “It takes work, and can be really tedious, but as long as you are willing to put in the work, there’s nothing that can stop you.”