Through The Years With Sea Notes   

They say variety is the spice of life, and so it has been with Sea Notes. On the serious side of the spectrum, Sea Notes has performed an impressive list of works including the Bach Magnificat, Mozart’s Mass in C, Faure’s Requiem, the Vivaldi Gloria, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with Harp, and of course the complete Messiah with professional orchestra. On the lighter side, performances have included numerous artistic choral pieces, sacred, gospel, folk, pop and Broadway selections, Gilbert and Sullivan, and a wide array of Christmas octavos.

Patriotic programs have been produced annually since 1974 for the NC Fourth of July Festival in Southport; consequently, the repertoire includes almost every notable patriotic choral work published. The Brunswick Concert Band has performed with Sea Notes in numerous July 4th concerts.

In addition to the regular concert seasons, Sea Notes has participated in major civic and cultural functions over the years, notably the Dedication of the Governor Russell Ferry, the dedication of the Thomas J. Harrelson segment of US Highway 17, from Winnabow south to the South Carolina State Line (Tommy Harrelson, former NC Transportation Secretary, is a charter member of the Sea Notes,) as well as the dedication of the Coastal Carolina Museum and Ingram Planetarium. Sea Notes has sung for many of the annual Ecumenical Worship Services and for several of the Naturalization Ceremonies.

During the Christmas season, Sea Notes has on occasion caroled for the Christmas by the Sea Candlelight Tour in Southport, for the historic Brunswick Town Open House, and in Wilmington for the Festival of Trees, the Olde Wilmington Candlelight Tour, and the Tree Lighting at Hilton Park. As current events develop and civic duty demands, Sea Notes steps up to the plate.


1974: The Sea Notes Choral Society organized in May of 1974 for a Brunswick County Bicentennial Committee fundraiser. The group decided to continue singing together as a new Community Chorus, performing that year for the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival and at Christmas for the Southport Woman’s Club Holiday House.  The fledgling chorus borrowed music from New Hanover High School in Wilmington to get the ball rolling.

Late 1974: The name Sea Notes was chosen and officers were elected.

1976:  I Love America, a musical by John W. Peterson and Don Wyrtzen, was performed twice in 1976 with singers from New Hanover and Brunswick Counties as part of the Bicentennial Celebration.  It was much loved by singers and audiences alike and has been repeated often through the years.

1992:  Sea Notes participated in several events for the Southport Bicentennial Celebration.

1993: Sea Notes was featured at the Pawley’s Island Autumn Music Festival.

1994: Sea Notes produced a two-day USO Show and World War II memorabilia display at the Southport Community Building (one of the first USO buildings built in the United States.)  Sea Notes Christmas Concert that same year was the last event held in the building before it burned in January of ’95.

1994: Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Trial By Jury” was presented at the Southport Centennial Center which at that time was the school gymnasium.  It, too, was well received.

1996: Sea Notes collaborated with Brunswick Little Theatre on a production of Fiddler on the Roof.

1999, 2000:  Handel’s Messiah part I was offered at Christmas while parts II and III were presented the following Spring.

2001: In the wake of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Sea Notes was proud to contribute time and talent to Southport’s ‘Operation Flag Waving’ on the Garrison Lawn on Southport’s waterfront.  A beautiful program to honor those lost also raised more than $16,000 for the American Red Cross.

2002:  A similar memorial event was held one year later September 11, 2002.

2003:  With the Long Bay Symphony Orchestra Sea Notes offered Handel’s Messiah…a familiar and oft presented selection.  In early years the Messiah was the traditional Christmas offering.

2004:  The associate director of UNCW as guest director offered “The World of Folk” which included the oratorio “Untraveled Worlds”.  Since he took his musicians on annual tours to Europe, he invited us to join them.  Several of us did and sang in venues normally missed by larger groups in Salzburg, Munich and other cities. Getting to know and sing with a younger generation assured us that the world of music was falling into capable hands.

2007:  Sing the Spirit of We the People covered the history of the United States from discovery in 1492 through the Vietnam War.

2008:  Of the many popular music shows done throughout the years, “Swinging Through the 50’s and 6o’s” stands out.  Who can possibly forget “West Side Story”,  the Beatles, and ‘It’s my Party and I’ll cry if I Want To’… And Doo-Wop.

2010:  ”Christmas Holiday Pops” was a collaboration of the Brunswick Concert Band, Sea Notes Choral Society, and Brunswick Big Band.

2011:  Barbershop is king in “Oh…What a Night”.  With the BlackJack Barbershop Quartet featured.

2012:  This year’s program was a collection of songs recalled fondly from “Remembering the Music of Our Lives” including memories of hoe-down tunes, special hymns, days of first loves, and piano lessons.  Along came the sixties with haunting social action music, and stage and music productions… a little something for everyone.

2016:  “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” so “Thank You for Being My Friend” in this “Oh What a Wonderful World”

2018:  Who can forget the “Unforgettable” virtual duet with Natalie Cole and her father Nat King Cole.  We imulated it as well as the very familiar show tunes of this concert.

2019:  “Be Our Guest” to theMagical world of Disney” from Pocahontas to Pinocchio with Jiminy Cricket wishing on a star. I will never be too old for

2022:  After being cooped up for the Covid two years, we were ready to burst out in song…rather “Sing, Sing, Sing”…  a potpourri of traditional music beginning with spirituals advancing to the mid-twentieth century Sinatra/Big Band popular tunes, and ending with medleys of recognizable favorite Broadway shows.