Singing Valentines


Photos by John Rappl

Each Singing Valentines group from Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble pose for group photographs. These are place upon the chorus and theatre department call board every year.

Singing Valentines is an annual tradition and fundraiser for the Athens Drive Chorus Department. Every year students in Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble break into groups and select songs to perform. These songs are arranged by each of the groups to be performed to students throughout the school on Valentine’s Day.

“A LOT of work goes into singing valentines. Groups spend hours arranging songs and practicing. Lots of changes and edits are made to the original plans, and everyone’s ideas come together to make a great piece of music. The parents and board members help out with sales and arranging schedules to make sure everyone gets sung to. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” said Kasey Fountain, senior in Vocal Ensemble.

Music is not the only aspect choral students focus on though. They spend the days leading up to the event collecting the student bodies song orders. Once these orders are collected they are assigned to each group and the group’s schedules for Valentine’s day are made. All of this is done by the chorus students and parent volunteers.

“The second chunk involved collecting the orders, assigning them, and planning out each group’s individual schedule for each period so that everyone was accounted for.”

On Valentine’s Day, all of the hard work the put in comes together for the big event. Last minute changes are made and details are figured out before the groups start going to classes.

“Then finally, the third chunk involved the actual singing. As soon as we got to school we started collecting and organized everything we needed for first period (bears, balloons, speakers, props, etc.). We warmed up, practiced and got ready to go sing at our first location. We did that for the whole day until fourth period,” said Sara Sublette, freshmen in Women’s Chorus.

While Singing Valentines is a very fun and entertaining experience for Athens students and teachers it does serve a greater purpose. Singing Valentines is an excellent way for the chorus department to raise money for new equipment. According to the New York Times, “after many lean years, the singing telegram has re-emerged as a multimillion-dollar business.” This is reflected at Athens. Singing Valentines has allowed the Athens Drive chorus department to raise over 2000 dollars this year. This money goes towards many different events and items for choral students and is a major source of funds for the choral department.

Singing Valentine’s and the people who participate have come a long way. Every year improvements are made that make the experience more enjoyable for the performers and the audience.

“The first time I did singing valentines I was in a group with a lot of other people who were also brand new to the event. We had a hard time getting our act together, and it was stressful. Everything worked out in the end, but this year we made sure to divide up the groups a little more carefully, so we had people of all different voice parts and skill sets in each group. This made it so much better, and I’m really glad to see the program growing so much!” said Fountain.

Choral students get to have a bit of fun as well. Every year during fourth period they stop going all around the school and gather in the chorus room to give singing valentines to each other. It is a very special moment for many of the students as they come together as a chorus family.

“My absolute favorite part was fourth period. All of the chorus students sat and performed their songs to everyone, the students who had gotten a Singing Valentine sat in front of the group and was serenaded. When you’re a performer, there’s something magical about watching other people sing and perform to you for a change. Everyone I saw that day had a smile on their face, some even cried they were so happy, I love doing that, making people happy.” Sublette, said.

Performers, students and teachers all love and appreciate the Athens tradition of Singing Valentine’s. It is looked forward to every and through the hard work of the choral department it is made great every year.

“Overall Singing Valentine’s are one of the best events I will experience in chorus, it’s an amazing opportunity to raise money for our department but also such a fun and enjoyable time for students singing, being sung to, and even teachers getting to take a break for a minute and enjoy a song,

Each Singing Valentines group from Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble pose for group photographs. These are place upon the chorus and theatre department call board every year.

” said Sublette.