Sounds of Love: Pages of Harmony Chorus members revel in singing valentines
Sun., Feb. 5, 2023
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and for many of us, the pressure is on to show the one we love the true depths of our feelings.
There are lots of ways to say I love you – candlelit dinners, chocolates, cards or flowers. But for sheer showmanship, nothing beats a singing valentine. If singing isn’t your specialty, the Pages of Harmony vocal group is here to help.
On Valentine’s Day, quartets from the Spokane barbershop chorus will fan out across the region delivering musical messages of love.
“It’s fun to surprise someone with a song from their sweetheart,” music director Logan Shevalier said. “We sing two songs – usually ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart’ and ‘Heart of My Heart.’ ”
Shevalier accepted the directorship this summer, but he’s not new to Pages of Harmony.
“I sang with them for four years while I was in college.”
He recently graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a bachelor of arts in music.
“It really excited me to direct a choir at the community level,” he said.
Some new faces have been added since he last sang with the group. In 2021, Pages of Harmony invited women to become members of the chorus and several joined.
“Things are actually getting done on time, and we’re singing better since they joined us,” longtime member Lauren Rants said. “Their voices add to the texture of our music. I wish we’d done it a long time ago.”
He’s delivered singing valentines for many years, but this Valentine’s Day he has an added perk.
“My wife is in my quartet this year!”
Rants enjoys the annual tradition.
“I’ve had incredible experiences,” he said. “Some of the most important times for me musically have been the singing Valentines.”
Likewise, member Tom Rakes has fun memories of the deliveries.
“Once we sang to one of the ladies at a jewelry store in the Valley Mall,” he recalled. “Another lady grabbed her phone and said, ‘Listen to this! This is what Mary’s husband did for her!’ ”
He also recalled the time they sang for a young adult Valentine’s banquet at a church.
“Not everyone was part of a couple, so we sang an un-Valentine song–‘How can I Miss You if You Won’t Go Away.’ ”
Proceeds from the singing valentines help defray the group’s competition travel costs as well as funding their Christmas musicals and spring musicals.
“Our Christmas show was a big success, and our spring show will be Disney themed,” Shevalier said.
Pages of Harmony member Dennis McMullen said he’s been delivering singing valentines with the chorus since he was “wet behind the ears.”
His quartet once sang for a fellow at a manufacturing facility.
“We had to wear hard hats with our tuxes,” he said, chuckling. “It’s wonderful and well worth doing. I get more out of this than anything else.”
Members are hoping their Valentine visits might prompt new folks to join the barbershop chorus.
“Anyone can join,” Shevalier said. “People are welcome to pop in and listen or sing with us during our Wednesday rehearsals at Thornhill Memorial Chapel.”
He’s looking forward to surprising sweethearts with a song or two.
“It’s our gift to the communities of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.”
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