This year’s February 14th was not only the annual romantic holiday of Valentine’s Day, but also the last day before CPSD’s February vacation, so what better way for CRLS to kick off the vacation than with its iconic tradition, Singing Valentines?
Singing Valentines have been an ongoing way for students and teachers alike to communicate romantic and platonic love through music. CRLS a cappella groups arrange a variety of love songs, practicing two to three times a week in preparation for the event. A few days before Valentine’s Day, CRLS community members purchase tickets for certain groups to sing to their special someone(s). Singing Valentines have been a great outlet for students to surprise and embarrass their friends, for teachers to give a gift to their classes, and for others to reveal their crush. Taking on this year’s celebration were four of the a capella program’s groups: Pitches and Dos, Fermata Nowhere, Note to Self, and Sassafras.
On the day of the event, there’s no time to waste as the whole school gets into the fun spirit. Groups usually sell out, each having a total of 80 valentines to sing throughout the day, or 20 per period. They have little to no time for breaks as they rush through buildings, floors, and bridges to sing to others. But to many singers, at the end of the day, the exhaustion is worth it. Zoe Gill-Errada ’21, leader of the group Note to Self, enjoys the smiles of the people and how the reactions and intimacy make Valentine’s Day “one of [her] favorite days of the year.”
Many would agree that even if they don’t enjoy this lovey-dovey holiday or don’t enjoy the embarrassment of receiving a Valentine from their friends, taking time out of class to receive a musical and romantic break is always welcome. Andre Williams ’22, a member of Pitches and Dos, expressed his appreciation for the day: “I like the fact that when people come in, they stop the entire class just for music.”
Valentine’s Day receives mixed reactions. Some don’t like the holiday because they are single or don’t receive Valentines, but for others, it’s a special day because they are in love and want to celebrate that fact.
Either way, CRLS manages to connect the whole school by offering an avenue for people to show care for one another, whether that’s in the form of friendship or romantic love. It even connects the a cappella community itself as the groups come together to create.
Freshman Phoebe D’Amato, a member of the new group Fermata Nowhere, conveys her gratitude for the program and event, saying, “I didn’t even get callbacks to a cappella groups. It’s just like we didn’t come from anything, hence, Fermata Nowhere. We were able to stick together and make something fun [for Valentine’s Day].” The same way new members enjoy the tradition, those leaving the program do too.
Teesa Manandhar ’20, a leader of Sassafras, reflects on her a cappella journey, concluding, “It’s kind of sad that I’m leaving it. It’s been fun for the last four years. I love this tradition. I love my group.”
The Spring A Capella Jam is on May 1st.
This piece also appears in our February 2020 print edition.