Courtesy of @villanovasingers
The Villanova Singers took their melodious ways to the virtual world this Valentine’s Day. The group’s long standing tradition of singing Valentine’s Day grams persisted, despite COVID-19 protocols.
The Villanova Singers is an all male choir on campus. Their tradition of delivering Valentine’s Day grams dates back to 1979, and since has involved members of the group suiting up in tuxedos and serenading individuals on Valentine’s Day.
In conventional years, the Singers have options for a wake up serenade, which involves a dorm room wake-up, or classroom performances, where singers come into receivers’ classes to stop proceedings and welcome the subject of the song to sit in a chair in the center of the room for their song.
Last year, only virtual grams were available because of the pandemic, and this year’s grams were similar.
Cristian Rodriguez, Secretary of the Villanova Singers, shed light on the preparation that goes into the day’s romantic festivities.
“Every year we actually sing the same song,” Rodriguez said. “It is a spin-off of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ that Singers of the past have modified to fit Valentine’s Day. Our members learn their parts when they first become a part of the group and then they teach new members as they continue to enter the group. It is a long standing tradition and we always have a lot of great feedback from the community.”
Although this beloved tradition looked different this year, Rodriguez elaborated on just how much love they were able to spread to members of campus on Valentine’s Day.
“If I remember correctly we had around 150 calls and emails combined this year,” he said.
With all that musical love permeating through the air, these Villanova Singers always find their day of serenades to be a wonderful experience. Wonderful enough to continue the tradition for decades.
“Unfortunately because of the pandemic, I have not gotten the chance to take part in the classroom deliveries,” Rodriguez admitted. “But in doing the calls this year, my favorite part of the experience is hearing the excitement in the voices of peoples’ family members when they realize they are being sent a Singing Valentine.”
Student Emma Blenke was one of those who received a Valentine gram phone call, sent to her from her roommate’s mother.
“I enjoyed the call because it was really funny and a bright spot of my day to know that someone was thinking of me,” Blenke said. “Nothing can replace in person singing but it was a fun alternative.”
Although sending Valentine grams is a well-known feat for these men, the day of love is not the only time one can hear the group perform together. The Singers have events throughout the year, often performing with campus acapella groups. Some of their performances for the fall semester included a 9/11 Memorial at the Bryn Mawr Fire Company, the national anthem at a Villanova football game as well as for the Philadelphia Phillies.
This year might have looked different than years past for the members of Villanova Singers and the recipients of their yearly Valentine grams, but one thing that is for sure is that, with this telnet group and their hearts full of song, a visit from them will leave one’s own heart a little more full as well.