Singing valentines: one avenue for hopeless romantics

Photo illustration by Phil Wooley and Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Photo illustration by Phil Wooley and Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Some gestures of love never go out of style.

Flowers, chocolate and jewelry can all make for a special Valentine's Day, but there are a few things that make the heart glow just a bit more.

Things like a singing valentine, or hand-written note of affection can make a person feel loved. If this is what a person wants, the Partners in Harmony and Sierranaders can fulfill the need.

The two quartets, part of the Carson City chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, will deliver on Valentine's Day a personalized greeting card, one red rose, a chocolate lollipop and sing three songs to the recipient for $30.

On most occasions, the person on the receiving end isn't expecting something quite like this.

"We had one lady answer the door in a long T-shirt and her hair in a towel because she just got out of the shower," said Tom Hammill, who sings bass.

"Well, she got to crying and lifted the bottom of her T-shirt to wipe her eyes ... well ... we were signing to the ceiling about that time. When we got done, she said she'd give us all a hug but she didn't have time to put her teeth in."

Bob Wise, tenor, who has been with the local chapter of barbershop singers for 58 years, said he sees genuine romantics each year, and many are younger couples.

"We went to one apartment, and you could tell the couple couldn't really afford it, but the husband did it out of love," said Chuck Abercrombie, baritone.

Gil Graham, who sings melody, has been with the group 24 years and said they even had a long-distance request.

"Two years ago we had a guy in Alaska call after seeing the story on the Internet, and had us sing to his wife in Carson City," Graham said.

Many times, the person initiating the call will arrive about the same time as the quartet to photograph or videotape their significant other being serenaded.

"We got to one house and the husband had a video camera set up in the driveway," Graham said. "We knocked and knocked, and finally the lady answered in her robe with a towel on her head, took one look at us and said, 'Oh s***,' and slammed the door in our face.

"She did open the door again and pointed to her husband and said to him, 'I'm gonna kill you.' We got a good laugh out of it."

The people receiving the singing valentines aren't the only romantics. Their reactions cause yet another reaction in the quartet.

"As I've gotten older, the more it affects me," Wise said. "When they cry, I start to tear up. I'm getting more sentimental."

The singing valentines are a fundraiser for the group to support activities throughout the year. They also perform for anniversaries, birthdays and special events.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.

Make your move

WHAT: Singing valentines

WHO: Partners in

Harmony and Sierranaders quartets

WHEN: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Carson City, Carson Valley and some

outlying areas

COST: Minimum $30 donation includes red rose, chocolate lollipop, personalized card, three songs

CALL: Ted Nagel 720-8316


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