A Cappella Singing Valentines Return

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Eman Abdurezak

CRLS group Sassafras performs a cappella love ballads for students on Valentine’s Day.

Lou Targoff, Around School Editor

The prospect of sitting in front of your math class and getting serenaded with love songs, by students you may have never met, might not seem very enticing. Yet, on Monday, February 14th, students and teachers across the school experienced just that, by way of CRLS A Cappella’s Singing Valentines.

For each valentine, one of four a cappella groups interrupted the class of the recipient and serenaded the student or teacher with a classic Valentine’s Day song—The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” were just a few out of twelve titles performed. In the weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, students flooded the Bagel Benches to purchase Singing Valentines with such high demand that the a cappella groups sold out of their 320 total performance slots. Whether joking around with a friend, or showing appreciation for a teacher or significant other, Singing Valentines have become a staple in CRLS school spirit. They “bring friends together,” according to junior Mahia Rimzim. Cherace Lin ’23 also shared her excitement about the occasion, telling the Register Forum, “[the Singing Valentines] bring so much energy and excitement around Valentine’s Day. I feel like it is one of the only holidays where we get to drum up this much student participation.”

However, for many students, receiving a Singing Valentine mid-lesson is the opposite of an ideal class period. Sonia Kim, a junior member of the a cappella group Sassafras, remarked to the Register Forum that many of the recipients “were so embarrassed, which is understandable.” She continued, describing the valentines as “a way of … getting revenge on your friends.”

Whether joking around with a friend, or showing appreciation for a teacher or significant other, Singing Valentines have become a staple in CRLS school spirit.”

Whether eagerly anticipated or dreaded, Singing Valentines may seem like a few short interruptions for most of the CRLS community. For members of the a cappella groups, however, it is a taxing day-long performance—yet, this is part of the appeal. While Singing Valentines require a stressful dash about the school, tracking down the right room numbers, they also allow for a day spent with one’s a cappella group. Senior Eva Kaufman, a member of the group Pitches and Dos, told the Register Forum, “As a senior in a group with a lot of freshmen and new faces, I really enjoyed spending some quality time with all of them. It’s for sure a great bonding experience for the entire group.”

For seniors, this is the last time they will experience the excitement and commotion of the CRLS Valentine’s Day bustle. The sounds of the Valentine’s spirit filling the entire school is a tradition that many students look forward to and won’t forget. Senior Imogene Botka, realizing this was her last Singing Valentines experience, told the Register Forum, “I’m really sad that this is going to be the last time I ever experience them. I think it is a really good CRLS tradition.”

Singing Valentines have much to offer for the entire CRLS community; even teachers enjoy taking part in the musical celebration. Interim World History teacher Dr. Tristan Husby received two Singing Valentines in just his fourth period class. Although this was only his first experience of the tradition, he told the Register Forum that he could feel the students’ excitement: “It seemed like everyone really enjoyed it.”

Junior Isaac Wheatley is one such student. After experiencing numerous Singing Valentines for his classmates and even himself, couldn’t help but reflect positively upon the process: “It builds school community because people are all experiencing one thing,” he commented to the Register Forum. “They get to bond over it.”

This piece also appears in our February 2022 print edition.