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The Penn Glee Club has been serenading members of the Penn community as part of their annual Singing Valentines event for the past twenty years.

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Glee Club

Valentine’s Day is not just a holiday filled with love, flowers and chocolate — it’s also an opportunity to get serenaded by well-dressed men.

Every year, the Penn Glee Club organizes Singing Valentines, an event where people can place orders to have members deliver songs to their valentine. This is the club’s 20th year planning the event.

This year, the Glee Club’s proceeds will be donated to the Penn Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children.

When delivering their valentines, the members split up into small groups and sing one of three songs — one of the most common being “My Valentine.” They deliver messages to almost anyone on campus, from the average student in a dorm room, to the president of the University. “It’s kind of an annual tradition, actually, surprising Amy Gutmann and taking a photo with her,” business manager of the Glee Club and Wharton senior Justin Kim said.

On Saturday, suited Glee Club members paraded into Pottruck Health and Fitness Center ready to work out their vocal chords. After climbing two flights of stairs, the group delivered a valentine in the middle of a Zumba class. Other stops on their trek included Sansom West, the high rises and fraternity houses along 42nd Street.

They deliver the songs in-person or through the phone. In-person deliveries remain a fan favorite. “It’s fun to interrupt a big lecture class for one specific person,” College freshman Mack Finkel said. “I really love it when it’s awkward. Even when it’s uncomfortable, people still really enjoy it.”

Romance mixed with friendly embarrassment is a hallmark of this annual tradition. “Some people are embarrassed, some people are happy and some valentines are kept anonymous,” Kim said. “One of them was from a ‘secret admirer in the same classroom,’ and everyone was looking at each other. It was a small classroom, only 20 people or so.”

For some, Valentine’s Day made them bashful. “On Thursday, I went into a room and was like, ‘Is this person here?’ and they were sitting in front of us, apparently, but they just didn’t even respond, so we just kind of sang to the room,” publicity manager of the Glee Club and College junior Daniel Carsello said.

Although the members of the Glee Club enjoy Singing Valentines, planning the logistics can be stressful. For service chair Danny Park, it was up to him to coordinate the singers’ availabilities and reach out to professors. The club’s next performance will be their production of “Philadelphia Noir,” which will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Iron Gate Theatre. “The night before is always the worst. People will pull all-nighters,” Carsello said.

Despite the stress, the Glee Club members said they genuinely enjoy spreading the message of love. “We get really happy whenever we see ourselves singing, like part of Snapchat stories, or when we show up on the newsfeed of Facebook with quotes like, ‘These are roses I received from my boyfriend, and you guys made my day,’” Kim said. “Those are little things that mean a lot to us.”

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