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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

If you are confused about what to get for your special someone this Valentine’s Day, the answer may be as close as your telephone. Brevard County is home to two talented Barbershop groups who will deliver singing Valentines to the ones you love anywhere in the county. Barbershop quartets all over the world have performed this service for many years, and it continues to be a favorite gift, locally.

Arlan Ropp of the Space Coast Chorus, a member of the Greater Canaveral Chapter of Barbershoppers said that his group has been delivering singing Valentine’s since before he joined, fourteen years ago. Al Drepperd, of the Barbershop Harmony Societys Harbor City Harmonizers said that his group has presented over 800 song packages in the ten years since they joined the tradition.

Barbershop singers love to sing in four part harmony, and they don’t really mind who they sing to. Both groups have sent uniformed quartets to construction sites, supermarkets, professional offices, bowling alleys, garages, and baseball games. They have presented their gift of song, conveying the admiration and love of the giver to children, seniors in hospitals and nursing homes, business men and women, and even judges in chambers.

Men are a little embarrassed to receive the gift of song from four other men in tuxedos, but when they realize how much the gesture meant to their wives or girlfriends, and they see the looks of envy on the faces of their co-workers, some of the burliest guys have broken down in tears of joy after receiving a singing Valentine. Sometimes, the quartets have been known to chase their runaway Valentine “victims”, but in the end, the men are delighted with the gift.

One of the most bizarre tales told by a Valentine quartet was about a young woman who refused to accept the gift, because of the sender. In the end, she endured the two love songs, kept the candy and the rose, but told the singers, “You can keep him, as I am divorcing him.”

Another member of a quartet delivered an entire song while holding only a rose stem, because he did not realize that the young flower had fallen off behind his back. He was as surprised as the lady receiving the stem, but was comically redeemed by another in the ensemble who quickly picked up the rose bud. With a flourish, he presented it to the young woman, saying, “This bud’s for you!”

These two musical groups compete for titles and trophies on the district and international levels; but they work together on Valentine’s Day and the days preceding, to be certain that those who want to share a unique and memorable gift with someone special get their message of love across.

Barbershop quartets all around the world will be dressing in tuxedos and meeting couples in their homes before breakfast, surprising secretaries at the copiers, startling mechanics in garages and singing into the night at bars, restaurants, and wherever else loved ones may be. The person receiving the gift will get a single rose, a personalized card, a box of fine chocolates, and two of the most recognized love songs in the world, including “Let me call you Sweetheart”.

These singing Valentines will be delivered by the group contacted, on February 12th, 13th, and 14th at a cost of $40.00 per package.

If you just can’t wait until Valentine’s Day to hear the amazing harmony of Barbershop singing, check out the Space Coast Chorus on stage at the Brevard Community College Cocoa Campus on February 4th. During their 2pm and 7:30pm shows at the B.W. Simpkins Fine Art Theatre, the Greater Canaveral Chapter of Barbershoppers will host three of their own quartets as well as the Sunshine District Champions from Tampa who are known as Last Call. The featured quartet will be the 1986 International Quartet Champions, Rural Route 4, from Kansas.

To reserve a quartet and arrange for your Singing Valentine, call the Greater Canaveral Chapter of Barbershoppers at (321) 254-9223 or (321) 636-0900.

Call the Harbor City Harmonizers at (321) 727-3338 or (321) 636-0090.

For general information about the Space Coast Chorus, or to reserve tickets for the Remember When show on February 4th, call (321)639-4317 or (321)639-9699.

For general information about the Harbor City Harmonizers, call