Singing Valentines available in Red Deer region

Singing valentines are now available again through the Wild Rose Harmonizers – a tradition that has spanned nearly 30 years.

The barbershop style group is currently accepting submissions and reservations for Feb. 13th and 14th, at a price of $40 for in-town presentations and $45 for out-of-town deliveries.

“We are offering a quartet that will appear at the home or workplace – or wherever – of the recipient that you have, and we will sing two love songs, present a rose and also take a picture of the occasion,” said David Crozier-Smith.

“For each singing valentine we do this year, $10 will be donated to the Normandeau School music program, in order to help them purchase some band instruments.”

The program has been well-received since its inception. Crozier-Smith said that they have always had a good response, and the group enjoys being able to give back to the community that supports their music.

“People really seem to enjoy it and we’re very pleased with the response we get each year. It is something that we love doing for the reaction that we get from people when we’re presenting the singing valentines,” he said. “It’s a unique way to say ‘I love you’ to your sweetheart, or anyone else you want to send a valentine too. This is also a way for us to give back to some of the people who support us.”

Out-of-town valentines would include areas such as Lacombe, Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake and Penhold. For specific information on available delivery limits, contact the Wild Rose Harmonizers. Reservations will be taken until Feb. 12th.

“We love to entertain people in the area and improve our own skills as singers. For the valentines, we sing classic love songs. Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Leo Freidman is always a crowd favourite. Another common one is Heart of My Heart.

“There are a number of songs that we will sing but those two are traditional barbershop songs,” Crozier-Smith said.

In previous years, the Wild Rose Harmonizers have raised funds for other schools and music programs. Last year the proceeds from the valentines were sent to the Shalom Counselling Centre. Each year the group chooses a community centre, non-profit or local cause to donate to.

Past recipients of the funds raised at their performances include the Ronald McDonald House, Loaves and Fishes, the Red Deer food and clothing banks and the Red Deer Hospice Society.

“This year we’re trying to do some outreach to the schools, and we heard Normandeau is having trouble getting funding for their music program, so we decided to put our donations there.”

Later this year, the group will host the Evergreen Division III convention and competition ‘Wild About Harmony’. This event will bring together all of the barber shop chorus in Alberta over two days, ending with what is called a Show of Champions, an open public event. It will take place at the CrossRoads Church in Red Deer.

“That show is fantastic for people who want to hear some of the best barber shop music that we have here in Alberta. It’s an old style of singing that came about many, many years ago and our main goal is to keep that style of singing going,” Crozier-Smith said.

“The convention that we’re having at the end of May is the Alberta Choruses and Quartets. The winners of that will go onto the Evergreen Division Convention that happens in the end of October in Spokane, and then the winners will go onto the International competition, which will be held this year in Pittsburgh.”

For information or booking of a singing valentine, contact Fran at 403-347-0436 or Ralph at 403-347-9852. Please order early as bookings are limited.

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