Highlights & Memories

A few items from our scrapbooks

Spring 1953

First meeting of what was to become the Newport Navy Choristers



December 13, 1954

The Navy Wives Chorale presents its first “public” concert (for relatives and friends) at the Chapel by the Sea



January 22, 1956

The Navy Wives Chorus participates in the “Music Scholarship Fund Concert” at the Newport Art Association



August 31, 1958

The Chorus sings for a Sunday worship service at the Chapel by the Sea. This service was attended by President Eisenhower who was vacationing at Ft. Adams. The group was asked to sing an additional selection - "In the Garden" - one of the President's favorites, on one hour's notice.



February 1959

“Navy Wives Chorus” becomes “Navy Choristers” (the group began using “Newport Navy Choristers” in the Spring of 1963)




Marian Van Slyke becomes Director




Began charging admission to concerts and donating funds to charity



May 15, 1963

"A Ballad of the Blue and Gray" sponsored by the Preservation Society of Newport County. This performance at Rogers High School was part of the 8th observance of Rhode Island Heritage Week.



April 30 & May 1, 1965

"A Tribute to American Words and Music" sponsored by the Naval Base Officer's Wives Club to benefit the Newport Community Center Building Fund. This performance was recorded and broadcast on WCRQ-FM (105.5) on May 16th; a 2 record set of this performance was produced and sold to the general public. A copy was also donated to the Redwood Library


January 14, 1969

First independent performance of "Choristers 12" (forerunner of the Nautical Notes)



May 3, 1974

Premier performance of "City of Ships" during the "Proudly We Sing" concert at Rogers High School in conjunction with the Rhode Island Independence Commemorative at Newport.  This song is was a poem by Walt Whitman set to music for the Choristers by Wayne C. Ward.



June 18, 1975

Participation in "Navy Night at the Pops" at Symphony Hall, Boston



October 1975

200th Birthday of the U.S. Navy events:


10th - the Chorus sang at the NETC Navy Bicentennial Birthday Ball

12th - participation in a memorial service at the flagpole at Dewey Field

13th - participation in a "Concert by the Sea" at Dewey Field

21st - Performance at USS Constitution (Nautical Notes)




Marian Van Slyke is selected as the 1980 Woman of the Year by the Newport County Chamber of Commerce and receives the U.S. Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Award



June 30, 1981

The Choristers sing at the Marble House for a dinner sponsored by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Hayward.



Decemebr 9, 1989

Nautical Notes sing for the commissioning of USS Normandy at NETC Pier 2 (Oh, was it cold that day!!!!)



December 19, 1989

First performance at the Newport Marriott as part of the WADK/WOTB Christmas broadcast



June 1, 1991

Tribute to the Armed Forces/Desert Storm concert at Fort Adams




Fortieth Anniversary Reunion



March 1996

Marian Van Slyke retires; JoAnn Loewenthal becomes Director




First "Music in Our Schools" concert



May 2, 2002

“Music for a Lifetime” (formerly “Music in Our Schools”) with guest conductor Mac Huff; world premier of “This Is My Homeland”



September 2002

9/11/01 Memorial dedication at the Naval War College

Christmas 2002
Pat McGue presents a plaque commemorating our 25th Christmas in Song concert at the First Baptist Church, Fall River, Massachusetts


May 16 & 17, 2003

Choristers Fiftieth Anniversay Concert & Reunion (see 50th Anniversary page)


October 18, 2003


USS Chafee commissioning

Christmas 2003 - St. Lucy's, Middletown

Christmas 2003 - 1st Baptist Church, Fall River

Newport's First Night, 31 December 2003.  The Choristers at the Newport Marriott Hotel.
At The Breakers 11/20/04
Christmas in Song at 1st Baptist Church, Fall River 12/05/04
Naval War College Tree Lighting 12/06/04


Last updated April 25, 2005