A cappella group to offer annual singing Valentines
Jennifer Willox has been receiving singing Valentines from the Huron Valley Harmonizers for several years. Her husband Iain sings with the group.
"I always look forward to a very handsome quartet coming out to my work," Willox said. "I usually grab a few extra folks to go upstairs with me. I sit in a large chair while being serenaded and I try to keep eye contact with each of my suitors."
HVH has been offering Valentine's Day performances for about 15 years, said William Stutts, Jr., the group's assistant director.
"Out of the days of the barber shop calendar, this is one of my favorites," he said. "You get reactions and you get people who’ve possibly never heard barbershop before. It’s really kind of awesome."
AnnArbor.com file photo
Each year, people arrange for HVH to send barbershop quartets to serenade their loved ones, often at work or at restaurants over dinner. The quartet sings two songs and delivers a rose with a card.
Stutts said the performances tend to be pretty emotional.
“Sometimes people have a very visceral response," Stutts said. "...We get a spectrum of emotion that happens. Of course, usually the places that we sing at, there are other women who are around and they tend to get teary eyed."
HVH asks for $50 for each performance and all proceeds help fund the group. Customers can also pay $25 for a quartet to sing two songs over the phone, or send a video of the serenade to customers with Apple iMessaging.
Last year, they had 17 in-person gigs, Stutts said. This year, they're hoping for 30.
The service is offered between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Valentine's Day and customers are asked to designate a 4-hour window of time during which the Valentine can be delivered. If a more specific window is necessary, they can adjust rates to accommodate needs.
HVH will send quartets anywhere within 50 miles of downtown Ann Arbor. However, Stutts said the group can outsource valentines to other a cappella groups via the nationally organized Singing Valentines website.
The repertoire of songs to choose from includes "Let Me Call You Sweetheart,""Heart of My Heart," and "Love Me Tender". Additionally, one of the quartets in HVH offers "You Are So Beautiful" and "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You." If a couple is engaged, they also may request, "Sweet and Lovely."
The Valentines are arranged through HVH's website.