Singing Valentines Sing Their (and Your) Hearts Out

William Reed, Layout Designer

February 14th brought with it increased spirit in all CRLS classrooms; songs about romance and love could be heard permeating through the halls, sung by the five a cappella groups here at our school.

Singing Valentines have been one of CRLS’ traditions for many years. In the weeks before the 14th at the bagel benches, students purchased hundreds of Singing Valentines—a serenade to a single student or class that students can send to one another during school. Every year at CRLS, Valentine’s Day not only features chocolates and thoughtful cards, but also the talented student singers in the a cappella program.

The first student-directed a cappella group at CRLS began in the fall of 2009; today, the five a cappella groups are Pitches and Do’s, Girls Next Door, the Transpositions, Sassafras, and Tonal Eclipse. Throughout the year, the a cappella program has hosted a variety of shows in the school’s auditorium. Singing Valentines, which have also been a tradition for many years, give the groups a more intimate setting, with more student reaction than the Fitzgerald Theatre allows.

Junior Andy Naranjo, a member of Pitches and Do’s, reflected on the day, stating, “It’s really fun seeing people’s reactions and getting to skip class and bonding with my group.” Not only do students who are in one of the five a cappella programs get to skip their classes, they also get to display their vocal prowess. For reasons one might imagine, having a group of teenagers singing romantic songs in front of you could be embarrassing, but members of the various groups think that’s all a part of the fun. Naranjo said, “Embarrassing people makes the whole day more fun, because their uncomfort makes it feel like we’re doing a good job.” Senior Harry Greenblatt, a member of the same group, agreed with Naranjo: Embarrassing students is all a part of the tradition.

Senior Lily Fitts admitted watching Singing Valentines is “really uncomfortable,” but she enjoys “watching other people receive them and feeling the ‘love’ in the air.”

Some of the songs sang by the five groups included “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel, “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey, and “You are the Music in Me” by the High School Musical Cast. The a cappella groups spent all day serenading students around the school.  

“[Singing Valentines are] a lot of work; prepping for it all takes so much effort from the a capella program and doing it the whole day is super tiring,” said junior Sydney Down of Sassafras. “By the end of it all, we usually have walked six to seven miles … when we track our steps. It will still be my forever favorite seeing everyone so happy all day.”

When 45 CRLS students were asked if they liked Valentines Day or not, 38 responded with “yes” while seven responded “no”. This enthusiasm is a testament  to the immense amount of student-induced spirit CRLS has to offer; this event even fell into the Student Government ran “Spirit Week,” with Valentine’s Day falling under “Feel the Love Thursday,” a day of, well, feeling the love. Student Body President Grace Austin explained, ¨Singing Valentines have been some of the highlights of my high school career.” She continued by saying, “They bring together the people who are sung to, the people who are singing, and all those watching in an entertaining and happy way to spread the love.”

Six teachers opted out of allowing Singing Valentines in their classes, a theme that has been continuing in recent years. While some teachers might find them to be distracting, the CRLS a cappella program’s annual Singing Valentines franchise was, naturally, a big hit. If you liked the Singing Valentines, don’t miss CRLS’ Spring A Cappella Jam on Friday, April 26th!


This piece also appears in our February 2019 print edition.