The Barbershop Harmony Society is part of the Cherry Capital Chorus; and has been swooning Traverse City residents on Valentines Day for 19 years. The six groups deliver around 150 songs every V-Day to unsuspecting recipients.
Its a 12-hour day. We start at 8:00 a.m. and go until eight or nine at night, says Maurie Allen, founder of the group. Its a long day, but a labor of love.
The quartets make visits to a variety of businesses and homes within a 15-mile radius of Traverse City, creating lasting memories for all involved. Allen recalls one such memorable moment:
Several years ago, we performed for a gentlemen who worked in a quick lube place. His girlfriend made the request and, low and behold, we got there and discovered he was deaf, Allen says. While we were singing, his girlfriend was signing all the words to him. It was a very emotional scene.
While most people are happy to receive a singing Valentine, others arent so receptive to the idea.
We were out at this place in Kalkaska, a pretty macho hangout spot, and this gal had ordered for one of the guys in there, Allen says. We introduced ourselves and before we could say anything else, he said, Oh no youre not! Some people just get really embarrassed.
Another group, the TC Central Choral-Aires Singing Valentines, is made up of 16 high school students. The Choral-Aires is a select ensemble group that will be raising money this year for an educational trip to Chicago. The students are divided into quartets and also deliver songs within 15 miles of downtown Traverse City.
Last year the group delivered over 85 singing Valentines, said Eileen Mikulski, who is one of several choral parents that volunteer to help the group.
Both The Cherry Capital Chorus and the Choral-Aires Singing Valentines will make their rounds two days this year, Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. Both groups offer a personalized song, along with other goodies. You can reach the Cherry Capital Chorus at www.cherrycapitalchorus.org. For the Choral-Aires Singing Valentines, call 231-590-1075.