Remembering CRLS’ Singing Valentines


Willa Rudel

Singing Valentines were impossible this year due to COVID-19, but it is a tradition that will live on.

Luna Valayannopoulos-Akrivou, Around School Editor

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that receives an array of emotions. Traditionally, CRLS has been able to find a balanced medium, through Singing Valentines, where students can demonstrate their gratitude for one another, whether it be to embarrass a friend, to surprise a significant other or a crush, or to catch a teacher off guard. Sami Friedman-Wellish ’23 mentions that “even if someone doesn’t get a valentine that is actually for them, it is still fun to see all the groups singing.”

Unfortunately, the annual Singing Valentines tradition will not be held this year, for the first time since the start of the tradition at CRLS. Indeed, a day CRLS students best remember for its excitement and unavoidable embarrassment with a capella groups dressed in fun red and pink outfits, harmonizing and singing love songs to celebrate the romantic holiday, will not happen. Regarding the absence of the tradition, Anais Killian ’22 says, “It is super saddening considering the immense joy that it brings to CRLS each and every Valentine’s Day.” Typically, members of a cappella groups spend the two to three weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day at the bagel benches every day selling Singing Valentines. Leo Kupferberg ’21, senior group leader of Pitches and Dos, adds that “it’s a chore, but it’s still fun anyways! And so I am missing that.” Moreover, in preparation for the celebration, student singers would practice up to three times a week, perfecting their performances.

… it was so goofy and unique and fun, and I think people enjoyed getting Valentines, even if it was a little embarrassing.

— Phia Teller '21

Ultimately, their hard work behind the scenes pays off. On Valentine’s Day, CRLS’ a capella groups—Pitches and Dos, Fermata Nowhere, Note to Self, and Sassafras—would run from classroom to classroom singing love songs, and creating a cheerful spirit. Phoebe D’amato ’23, member of Fermata Nowhere, tells the Register Forum she really enjoyed being “able to spread some joy and laughter through the school.” Phia Teller ’21, from Note To Self, adds that “it was so goofy and unique and fun, and I think people enjoyed getting Valentines, even if it was a little embarrassing.”

The fast-paced schedule the groups had to follow only made the day more exciting. During the span of an 80 minutes class, the vocal groups had to reach an average of 20 classrooms, running up flights of stairs, rushing to get in and out of buildings, and furiously crossing the sky bridges. A true workout! Izzy Windington ’23 mentions, “I’ll probably miss the excitement of running around the school all day with my group like a stampede.”

Remembering the holiday as an iconic staple of the CRLS community, Note to Self’s Jinho Lee ’22 recalls, “My favorite memory of Singing Valentines was singing to the kids in the daycare; we sung ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and they were dancing, and it was so wholesome!”

Madeleine Yu-Phelps ’21, from Fermata Nowhere, shares her group’s charming creative twist on a popular song: “my group sang ‘Hey There Delilah’ but personalized it so it was Hey There [insert person’s name here].”

Ultimately, CRLS’ Singing Valentines go beyond celebrating the popular holiday of love with flowers and chocolates, but rather through silly-kind gestures and fun songs which will definitely be missed this year.