Barbershop quartets ready to deliver your valentine
After a short Covid-related break, the popular "singing valentines" barbershop quartets are back for Valentine's Day in 2023.
For over a decade, the foursomes of experienced barbershop singers have been surprising, delighting, and serenading sweethearts -- both women and men -- across the western suburbs and, by special request, in the Loop and downtown Chicago.
From Aurora to Hinsdale, Naperville to LaGrange, Downers Grove to Oak Brook, and Wheaton to Lisle, the singing gentlemen always bring smiles -- and maybe a tear or two -- delivering four-part harmonies on tunes such as "Love Me Tender," "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," and "I Love You Truly."
They also deliver a long-stemmed rose and sweet Valentine's card to lucky recipients. Sometimes, special song requests can be arranged, if planned in advance.
Most often, the singers visit offices, schools, homes, senior care centers, malls and restaurants, where they surprise unsuspecting valentines in their tuxedos and with their talent and showmanship.
They can be part of wedding proposals, romantic valentine dinners, or drop in on a luncheon gathering or senior center.
"We are on the go from morning to night on Valentine's Day," says John Morrison, a longtime barbershop singer from the Chorus of DuPage and resident of Downers Grove.
"And it's as fun for us as the people we meet," he adds. "The element of surprise and uniqueness of a serenade is fun and meaningful for the recipient, as well as their co-workers, family, or friends, who become part of the event."
With a chuckle, Morrison recalls one delivery made several years ago: The quartet had done a performance on Feb. 14 in an Elmhurst tavern. A husband, who had forgotten to get a gift for his spouse, asked the group if they would stop in down the street at the Elmhurst police station to serenade her, where she was on duty at the front desk.
"We not only delighted his wife," says John, "but most of the Elmhurst police force as well. Turns out they knew her husband, and also where he was probably hanging out that day!"
To get prime times, early registration is recommended.
Performances start at $50 and increase to $75 or $100 for a time-specific delivery or one outside the area. Reservations are taken up to and including Valentine's Day -- for those last-minute buyers.
To reserve a quartet, visit the Chorus of DuPage website: www.ChorusofDuPage.com/valentines or call (331) 444-2740.
The Chorus of DuPage is one of approximately 700 Barbershop Harmony chapters across North America. Founded over five decades ago, the 50-person chorus meets Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington in Naperville. Visitors are always welcome. Visit www.facebook.com/ChorusOfDupage/.