When one thinks of Valentine’s Day, flowers and chocolate are usually the first gift ideas that come to mind. However, two groups of musically gifted students at Howell High School put a twist on those gifts with their Singing Valentines. Classicality and Calamity spent the entirety of Valentine’s Day visiting various classrooms and singing love songs to students in a class. It’s an annual tradition for the all-female and all-male a cappella groups.
The valentines went on sale during lunch on Thurs. Feb 7, and within two days they were all sold out. Both students and teachers alike were serenaded on Valentine’s Day. The reactions from the recipients ranged across the emotional spectrum- from delight to shock to embarrassment. HHS senior and 4th-year Classicality member Lindsay Schnute told of her experience:
“I’ve learned that music has a powerful way to speak to people. When we sang to Ms. Sebestyen, she explained how music has such a way with her emotions. She teared up while we sang and expressed how it made her feel. Classicality has taught me all about loving other people and leading them through experiences in performing,” Schnute said.
According to first-year Classicality member and HHS junior Kaleah Fulton, work on the valentines started back in December.
“It’s a big commitment- we meet three times a week at 6:25 in the morning and it’s lots of work,” Fulton said.
However, the hard work and effort had its benefits when all was said and done.
“It was so much fun! We had been working so hard, and it’s so cool to see how it pays off,” HHS freshman and first-year Classicality member Brooke Studebaker said.
Some classic songs performed by Classicality throughout the day were Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey” and a mashup of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and Ingrid Michaelson’s “Everybody.”
As for the Calamity boys, they performed hits such as The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and “Latch” by Disclosure and Sam Smith. HHS senior and second-year Calamity member Brandon Tann expressed his pride in the latter:
“My personal favorite song to perform was Latch because I partially composed it. It was great to see how well something I put a lot of work into was received by everyone.”
For the senior members of each group, performing their last round of valentines was a bittersweet experience.
“It was easy at first to dwell on the fact that this was my 4th time doing singing valentines but also the last time. This is a tradition I will never forget, and I’m so fortunate to have been able to take part in it while I could,” Schnute said.
Tann expressed the same sentiment.
“It was really sad because I’m gonna miss it a lot,” said Tann. “It’s one of my favorite bonding experiences to have with this group and knowing I won’t be doing it again is a little bittersweet,” he said.