Choir sings their hearts out


Armonia Choir member, sophomore Francesca Bellora (left), and Armonia and Madrigals Choir member, sophomore Elizabeth Hughes (right), sit in the cafeteria as they manage the Singing Valentines sales. Singing Valentines are for sale for $5 a song. (Photo by Zach Anderson)

Zach Anderson, Reporter

As the shelves become stocked with hearts in red and cards in hot pink and the smell of chocolate fills the air, it’s clear that Valentine’s Day has arrived. For some, February 14 is a day is filled with joy, where one is able to see their loved one and let them know just how much they care about them. For others, however, this day is just a yearly reminder that they have been single for yet another year.

Fortunately, the McLean Choir is keeping up their annual tradition of offering Singing Valentines, this year. They have been available for sale in the cafeteria for $5 per song during the eight lunches on February 12 and 13.

“Singing Valentines are a fun way to show your friends some love on Valentine’s Day,” said junior Sofia Ortiz, member of the Madrigals Choir. “The Choirs split into groups, go to different people who were sent Valentines and sing to them in front of the entire class for about a minute and a half.”

Although it may seem like these are only for couples that are trying to express their love, students can also purchase Singing Valentines for platonic purposes. McLean Choir wants to make sure that everybody is able to participate in this cheery, holiday activity.

“We sing a lot of songs about romantic love, and even sometimes just general love. It could be for anything. We try to make it non-gender specific,” Ortiz said.

This all-inclusive attitude is what seems to be the main factor in making Singing Valentines such a memorable part about February at McLean High School.

“[I love] being given the creative freedom to arrange an acapella piece on our own, [and] I think people enjoy them because they can be romantic, but they can also be a fun way to embarrass a friend in your class.” said sophomore Caitlin Bishop, who is in the Armonia Choir. “My favorite part about performing Singing Valentines is definitely the look on people’s faces while we’re singing to them. They get really red and embarrassed, and it’s super funny.”

Like Bishop, Ortiz finds that the reactions of Singing Valentines tend to be the most entertaining part. She even digs deeper, stating that when the whole class laughs, its an enjoyably cathartic experience.

“My favorite part about Singing Valentines is making everyone else in the class laugh. Usually they laugh at the fact that there are 10, 12, 13 people singing at one person, and they also laugh at just the nervous energy that is coming off of the person who received the Valentine,” Ortiz said.

Aside from the laughs, it’s a great way for McLean Choir to get some recognition.

“My favorite thing about singing valentines is how it allows people to hear songs we have been working on in a fun, interactive way for the whole class,” said junior Alex Weinstein, who sings for both the Madrigals and Bass Choirs.

The process is fairly simple. Just go to the first table on the left in the cafeteria and choir representatives will be there to help you submit your order for the Valentine.

“You can say who it’s by, but generally people choose to go anonymous. You have to say which class period and which class the person is in. [While] you can’t choose what song specifically, each choir has two songs. So there’s eight different songs that [your recipient] could get, but they’re all good songs,” Ortiz said. “And the money is going towards our funding for our trip to Iceland and just for general funding for our choir.”

If you want to buy a Singing Valentine, but don’t have a boyfriend, girlfriend or friend that you’re looking to surprise, it would still be a very generous effort to buy one to support your local choir because McLean Choir works around the clock to make their music meet the mark of perfection.

“The biggest challenge is that we have a lot of other concerts and performances to prepare for, so adding these acapella songs is difficult, as we only have a few days to work on them,” Weinstein said.

Make sure to purchase a Singing Valentine in your lunch this week, and be sure to get out that video camera to record the sweet, serenade that your valentine will be receiving.