Singing Valentine love spreads across the Drive

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Photos by Amena Matcheswala

One of Athens Drive Singing Valentine’s groups performing a song full of love by “Rickrolling” a student.

A day of affection, love, and care spreads across the drive annually. This year, new restrictions in place with COVID mean the Athens Drive Chorus Department has had to find ways to spread that love safely while still sticking to an age-old tradition: Singing Valentines. Singing Valentines is a yearly tradition that is held by the Athens Drive Chorus Department. Each year, chorus students split into groups to come together and arrange the music of all kinds, which are played on many types of instruments. 

 

Teachers who work hard for this event also share a great love for it. 

Singing Valentines is important in a few different ways. It is a great small group project which allows students who are interested in leadership roles to really have a chance to shine.  It allows students to use their voices and musical skills to work together on something positive.  It also is great to share music with the school community,” said Michael Santangelo, chorus teacher. 

This support system by the chorus department teachers helps students perform their absolute best and work with small groups to perform singing valentines. 

The Athens Oracle

 

Groups spend hours practicing for a song and try to make different sets of arrangements for the song that they choose. 

“What I love most about Singing Valentines is getting to create our arrangements and twists on songs that have been heard the same way over and over again,” said Sara Sublette, senior and President of the Choral Board. 

Chorus students themselves have a lot of fun while rehearsing for these. Under the stress of getting all the notes right, making sure every part is sung correctly, and their performance being spot on. Many say they have a blast rehearsing for it. 

“As a student within the chorus, the best part of Singing Valentines that only we get to experience is the end of the day, during 4th period. Everyone piles into the chorus room and we all get to sing to each other, we video it and it’s overall just a great time for music, lovers, and family,” Sublette said. 

This event is also very special to chorus students because it helps them develop skills of public performance and increases their confidence to put themselves out there. Students in the choral program benefit from all of these abilities in many different areas of their lives. But some of these lessons were stopped suddenly because of the change in our lives with the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Singing Valentines a lot especially financially by being unable to be held last year, which affected the choral department as a whole.

“This fundraiser represents about 10% of our annual budget. Those funds go towards helping to pay for sheet music and accompanists for concerts and other resources for our classroom including learning applications like Sight Reading Factory,” Santangelo said. The student choral board is also trying to always find new events for chorus to increase our reach to students and fundraise as much as we can 

“The choral department funding is crucial to continue the program for many years to come. The main goal of the student choral board with this event is not just fundraising but to spread the choral departments’ reach” said senior Sara Sublette, President of the Choral Board.

The choral department funding is crucial to continue the program for many years to come. The student choral board also plays a role to fundraise as much money as they can “The main goal of the student choral board with this event is not just fundraising but to spread the choral departments’ reach” said Sublette. 

 

  Singing Valentine is not only an event for fundraising. This event plays a huge role in expanding the reach of the chorus department to new kids wanting to unleash their singing abilities. 

“We’re always looking for new students to join our chorus family, and since we go to so many classes during this event, the kids who see us perform may think, “Hey, I would love to arrange a song like that” or “I would love to sing a solo like that,” said Sublette. 

Chorus is like a family which is created by the love everyone shares; the love for music. It’s a way to connect and meet people to experience the great pleasures of singing together and spreading love across the drive.

 

“Music is something that brings us together and creates community. People connect through music, and Singing Valentines brings our school a day filled with it,” said Santangelo.