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Let me call you sweetheart

Barbershop Chorus taking orders for Singing Valentines

February 4, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Cape Chorale Barbershop Chorus is now taking orders for this year's Singing Valentines.

For a $50 fee, people can have a tuxedo-dressed quartet sing two love songs to their special someone, as well as deliver a live rose, a card and a box of chocolates, in recognition of Valentine's Day.

"It's been a neat tradition that we've kept going, and we hope to continue for a long time," Larry Cunningham, a member and spokesman for the chorus, said Tuesday. "This is our 17th year."

Orders can be made for Cape Coral, Fort Myers, North Fort Myers and Pine Island.

"We can go to someone's home. We can go to someone's work," he said. "We try to stay within our geographic service area."

Deliveries to surrounding areas, like Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs, can be discussed.

"We can do that for an additional charge," Cunningham said.

"Heart of My Heart" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" are two examples some of the traditional Valentine's Day songs that the handful of quartets will sing as they make their rounds.

"We're hoping to deliver about 100 Valentines this year," he said.

Last year, the quartets - made up of members of the chorus - sang to approximately 60 lucky recipients. In past years, the number of Singing Valentines delivered rose as high as 180.

As of Monday, about 40 orders had been placed with the chorus.

"We'll be taking orders right up to Valentine's Day," Cunningham said.

He explained that if someone places an order before the early afternoon of Feb. 14, the chorus should be able to accommodate the order and send out a quartet to deliver the Singing Valentine.

At least half of their business each year are repeat customers.

"Usually, the person is very surprised to see them," he said of the recipients.

Last year, a quartet met a man and his girlfriend at Centennial Park in Fort Myers, and they serenaded her before he proposed. Another Singing Valentine was ordered for an employee who was retiring.

"There's kind of unique situations like that that come about every year that we're able to help with," Cunningham said.

Proceeds raised from the Singing Valentines benefit the Cape Chorale Barbershop Chorus, with a portion going to the Pediatric Speech Therapy Unit of Lee Memorial Health Systems.

"It's a fund-raiser for that cause and helps to pay our expenses," he said.

In the past 16 years, the chorus has donated nearly $30,000 to the therapy program.

"We have this project," Cunningham said of fund-raisers. "We also have an annual show."

On Feb. 22, the 2014 Annual Show will be held at Island Coast High, with performances at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. The show will feature the Cape Chorale Barbershop Chorus and chapter quartets, along with the Ditchfield Family Singers and My Three Sons, a quartet composed of members of the Ditchfields.

Advance tickets cost $18 per person; tickets will be available at the door for $20.

To order a Singing Valentine or for more information, call (855) 425-3631.

To buy advance tickets to the 2014 Annual Show, call Bob Lachance at (239) 574-7861.

The Cape Chorale Barbershop Chorus is a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and has been entertaining audiences in Southwest Florida for 21 years. The chorus is open to men of all ages.

Rehearsals are held Mondays at 6:45 p.m. at the Tony Rotino Senior Center, at 5817 Driftwood Parkway. Those interested in joining the chorus are invited to stop by for more information.

Information can also be found online at:



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