‘Chantey Singers’ to perform free concert
The Urbanna Oyster Festival Marine Science Legacy Program will offer a free public concert featuring the “Northern Neck Chantey Singers” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at St. Clare Walker Middle School on Route 33 in Locust Hill.
This group of local men worked on fishing boats when nets teaming with menhaden were pulled aboard by hand. To coordinate their movements, they often sang. African-American work songs stem from a West African tradition of call and response. The lyrics were often improvised to express what was happening in their lives.
The Northern Neck Chantey Singers is keeping alive this great tradition with booming voices and clever lyrics. The group has been featured on National Public Radio and has headlined the Urbanna Oyster Festival Education Day and waterfront stage.
“It would be well worth your time to join us for this special concert that will help us peer into the past of one of our most important fisheries,” said Kim Olsen of the Urbanna Oyster Festival Marine Science Legacy Program.
This concert is made possible by a Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund license plate grant.