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Chantey singers sail into summer with June 18 gathering

While most MIT activities quiet down for the summer, one musical activity will sail on: the MIT Chantey Sings. The next one is slated for this Sunday, June 18, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the MIT Museum.

With a core group of 20 to 30, these fans of historic songs celebrate the sea and the hard work that went into exploring it. The monthly event has attracted as many as 70 enthusiasts from as far as Maine.

Books of maritime songs and stories are put in the middle of the circle of attendees to serve as an inspiration, says Chantey Sing organizer David Kessler, program assistant in the MIT Sloan School of Management. One song leads to another in what Kessler calls a "musical conversation that jumps randomly as songs jog people's memories."

"It's relaxed, informal and open to anyone with a voice and an idea," he said. "We cast a very broad net when defining 'maritime,'" he said, although songs usually revolve around "ships, sailors, the sea, the docks, etc."

The Chantey Sing moves outdoors -- fittingly to the MIT Sailing Pavilion (134 Memorial Drive) -- on Sunday, July 16, and Sunday, Aug. 20.

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