Love is in the air this Valentine's Day at Penn, thanks in-part to the Penn Glee Club and its festive singing valentines.
This long-standing tradition of the Glee Club, which started annually over a decade ago, has become a welcoming sight for Penn students and faculty each Valentine's season. Members of the club are separated into quartets — consisting of one tenor, two baritones, and one bass singer — before traveling around campus fulfilling numerous order requests in between their classes.
This year, the Glee Club is running the singing valentines in coordination with Penn Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program. All proceeds will go towards funding free health screenings in medically-underserved communities in Philadelphia.
For many, the singing valentines are a fun and creative way to spread cheer, whether for a loved one or just a friend. As Glee Club head of promotions and College sophomore Toni Rinaldi explained, “Everyone really likes to do special things around Valentine's day … but to have someone send you a personalized singing valentine is really unique.”
Nursing sophomore and Glee Club Band member Kathryn Wilson added that the lighthearted and unserious nature of the singing valentines can be refreshing.
“There’s not a lot of pressure involved with sending a singing valentine," Wilson said. "I think it is just a fun way to put a little levity into what can be a stressful school day.”
Singers are performing a selection of love-themed songs, from a rendition of the barbershop classic “My Eveline” simply retitled “My Valentine,” to other quartet pieces like “Margie” and “After Dark.”
While not every student in the Glee Club will be participating in the actual singing of valentines, club President and College junior Sam Orlin was quick to point out the unanimous dedication by all members to the project. “It is really a team effort. It really takes everybody in the club to come together to do [the valentines]. There’s a lot of orders to handle over the course of eight hours.”
He also added that the highlight of the festivities is undoubtedly when the groups get to serenade Penn President Amy Gutmann. “It’s just a blast. I think she really enjoys it...It’s a nice reward for people who put in a lot of work.”
The Glee Club is also in preparation for their upcoming yearly musical show. This year, the club will be performing an original comedy about club culture at Penn, titled “Nec & Nec.”