The Best Way to Spread Valentine’s Day Cheer is Singing Loud for All to Hear


Avery Havird

The Vocal Valentines sing to a student in the middle of class on this past Valentine’s day of 2023.

Lea Wassom, Staff Writer

Every year on February 14th, an auditioned choral group called the Vocal Valentines surprises State High students with songs gifted by peers. For only $2, State High students can purchase vocal valentines for others. Options include “Take a Chance On Me” by ABBA, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” from The Lion King, and “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. 

Vocal valentines can be purchased every year during the week before Valentine’s day at lunch. When the valentines are delivered, singers interrupt class to announce the name of the valentine recipient before belting into song in for them.

Feature singers, or soloists, sing the majority of verses, while the other three singers sing in the background before joining in for the chorus.

The abruptness of these valentines can result in a broad range of emotions experienced by the recipient, sometimes excitement, embarrassment, or enjoyment. These emotions are also often due to the intensity of the singer’s eye contact with the recipient.

TRI-M senior treasurer Madeleine Christopher explained that despite typically having consistent eye contact while singing. “Unless it’s somebody that I know that I’m singing to I totally will look around the room. Often I will get distracted by like signs in the room and then have to remember I’m supposed to be singing to this person,” Christopher noted. The awkwardness of vocal valentines often leads to laughter for students and teachers alike. 

The Vocal Valentines are officially run by TRI-M. “TRI-M is the club that does it, so it’s Music Honors Society basically, which is the equivalent of National Honors Society but for students who are in music ensembles,” Christopher said.

Christopher further noted that the group has a strategic process to find singers for the valentines managed by State College Area High School choral director Erik Clayton. “Mr. Clayton helps us audition singers to do it, and so he ranks them. And then, we place them in groups based on how they ranked in the audition process,” she said.

After choosing singers and having students sign up and pay for valentines at lunch, the vocal valentines begin the process of coming to classrooms where valentines were delivered and singing to recipients. 

Vocal valentines are a tradition that has been a part of State High Valentine’s day for years and continues to be a highlight of the month of February.