Vocal Valentine group sings to student
Vocal Valentine group sings to student
Shiva Vahmani

Melodies from the Heart : Spreading Love through Vocal Valentines

Another Feb. 14 of hearing their voices down the hallway and wondering what classroom they would wander into next. That’s right! The familiar tunes of Vocal Valentines as they surprise students and teachers with songs gifted by their peers. 

Set up at all lunch blocks the weeks before Valentine’s Day, Vocal Valentines can be purchased every year for $2.  The funds benefit State High’s music program and booster club, Tri-M. At the table there is a list of songs students can choose from. This year’s options included classics like “Lollipop” by Chordettes, “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid, and “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel. Other songs included  “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, “Love Story” By Taylor Swift, and “Love You Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor. 

Each group of Vocal Valentines’ performers consists of four singers who auditioned for the event. Often, there will be a soloist while the other three singers sing in the background before they join in for the chorus. 

The surprise of the Vocal Valentine can lead to a range of emotions for the one receiving it as well as the audience of classmates around them. 

“It’s fun to send them but getting them can be awkward. I’m okay with receiving them cause I’m not really embarrassed but I also don’t know what to do, I don’t know who to look at. It’s more funny to have it not be you and to watch someone else not know how to react,” junior Stella Colocino, who had received a Vocal Valentine, said.

The reactions from recipients added to the joy and excitement of the Vocal Valentines.

“There were some freshmen that got really excited and there were some freshmen that got really embarrassed and my favorite is when they’re like ‘oh no’ and they think they can do something about it like there’s no stopping it. Somebody even tried to bribe me to not sing to them but I sang to them anyway,” junior and Vocal Valentine performer Genevieve Clayton said. 

While many teachers enjoyed watching the Vocal Valentines being sung to the students, many performers can sense when a teacher isn’t happy about the disturbance of class. 

“It makes me feel bad because it’s like Valentine’s Day. Don’t plan a test or a review day for Valentine’s Day,” Clayton said. “Also there’s an exemption list so if you don’t want people to come, [so] get on that list.” 

The reactions from teachers can put a damper on the love and joy of the day.

“The problem is when teachers don’t say they don’t want Vocal Valentines because they don’t want to be that teacher but then they’ll just be mean and you can tell they don’t want us there which just makes me a little sad because it’s like one day of the year, it’s fun, its school spirit we want school spirit,” Clayton said. 

However other teachers will prepare the day differently because of the interruptions.

“I usually try and think of something that would be okay to have the Vocal Valentines come in on because it’s a great cause so why wouldn’t you want to encourage that,” science teacher James Bleil said.

Despite some student’s and teachers’ dismay at the performances, most are met with love, admiration and enjoyment from the school.

“You anticipate that there are going to be interruptions and that’s okay. [Vocal Valentines are]  a good thing for the high school community because school is more than just your class, it’s everything that is happening in the building you kinda have to be mindful of that as well. You want it to be something that is fun for kids to do and it’s fun and for a good cause,” Bleil said. 

The entertainment, the songs, and the fundraising it supports are some of the many reasons why students will purchase a Vocal Valentine for their peers. 

“I’ll get them as a joke for my friends or if they’re sending one to me I’ll send one back, it’s funny from my friends. I also know a lot of people performing so I also like supporting that,” Colocino said.  

Vocal Valentines spread love throughout the school bringing joy to the senders and performers alike.

“It’s actually so fun, embarrassing people is so fun, and it’s the one day of the year the school’s like, ‘yay the music program,’ and appreciates us,” Clayton said. “Which is not supposed to be a dig at the school, but also I feel like there’s a lack of support for the music program and when there is recognition for it, its kinda like, ‘oh the music program ew,’. So it’s the day of the year that I feel like everyone supports us and it’s also just really fun and funny to see all the people’s reactions.”

Even with mixed reactions from teachers and students, Vocal Valentines remains an exciting way to spread the love of Valentine’s Day around State High.  It is a tradition that will continue once again next year, so consider planning to send some to your peers next year. 

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