BY: SARAH GOVERT
It’s that time of year again: chorus kids running around frantically, classes getting interrupted, students and teachers alike enjoying the music that the day brings. You guessed it — it’s Singing Valentines season! Valentines Day at Cary High brings with it a tradition that dates back over 25 years, even before Mr. Yasick, our beloved chorus teacher, started teaching here. For those that don’t know, Singing Valentines is a yearly tradition at Cary High where the students of Concert Chorus form groups with their fellow class members, make arrangements of two songs, and go out and perform them to students and teachers all over the school on Valentines Day. Anyone can buy a Singing Valentine, and they go on sale on Wednesday, February 5th for 1 for $3 and 2 for $5. Almost all Concert Chorus students will have them and are more than happy to sell them to you!
An enormous amount of work behind the scenes goes into crafting and perfecting arrangements of songs in preparation for Sweetheart Serenade and Singing Valentines. In the words of senior Ian Rood, “My favorite part of the experience so far has been crafting this puzzle, making this musical puzzle with my team. We’re slowly putting the pieces together and it’s been really cool seeing them all come together.” All seven groups have been crafting their musical puzzles for what will be almost three weeks by the time Singing Valentines rolls around, putting in hours of class time and even getting together after school and on the weekends to piece together their arrangements.
Working on Singing Valentines has become an experience that many chorus kids have grown very fond of. When asked what their favorite part of Singing Valentines is, a majority said that collaborating and getting to know those in their group was one of their favorite parts. Ella Green, a senior on her third year of Singing Valentines, said that, “My favorite part of Singing Valentines is running around with my friends and just singing for everybody and (of course) missing class.” Performing their Valentines for their fellow peers and teachers is a rewarding experience, and senior Ross Bowen says it best when asked his favorite part of Singing Valentines: “I really like walking around and singing to the students. Seeing their reactions are my favorite thing because it can either be really funny or it’s kind of awkward when they’re really uncomfortable.”
Alongside Singing Valentines comes one of the most fun (in my opinion) chorus concerts of the year. After many parents began to say that they never got to hear the Singing Valentines that their child put an incredible amount of work and effort into, Sweetheart Serenade was created in 2008 to showcase all of the Singing Valentines groups. This year, it takes place on February 13th. In addition to displaying the talent of the groups, Sweetheart Serenade allows for solo, duet, and/or group performances selected by the chorus officers through audition. These performances come in between Valentines groups performing, and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite parts of the evening. In the words of senior Tarra Scott, “I like the Sweetheart Serenade because I get to see everyone perform solos and stuff, which is not something that we usually get to see. Everyone’s so good, and it’s really fun to watch them do actual performances when they usually don’t.” In addition to the solos and Singing Valentines performances, the Concert Chorus performs two pieces as an ensemble to open and close the evening. This year, the pieces consist of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, originally performed by Simon and Garfunkel and “What I Did For Love” from the musical A Chorus Line.
Sweetheart Serenade also provides an opportunity for the president and vice president of chorus to have some fun, crack some jokes, and make the evening an overall enjoyable time. This year, Michael Shorb and Gwen Muncy-Champitto will get to be the emcees for the evening, the part Michael said that he is most looking forward to. He stated, “I think this year, my favorite thing will be emceeing because the emcees are always the funniest so I have to live up to that.”
Singing Valentines has become one of the experiences most looked forward to by the students of chorus, and we can’t wait to perform our songs for the students and faculty on Valentines Day! The songs chosen this year are shown below, and we encourage you to buy Singing Valentines to hear all the hard work that every group has put into their arrangements this year.
Can You Feel The Love Tonight by Elton John
Dream Lover by Bobby Darin
Put Your Head On My Shoulder by Paul Anka
Sucker by The Jonas Brothers
Loving Is Easy by Rex Orange County
Don’t You Want Me by The Human League
Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Swede
The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
Out Of My League by Fitz and the Tantrums
Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You by Lauryn Hill
I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston
Can’t Smile Without You by Barry Manilow
History by One Direction
We Found Love by Rihanna