Love is in the air as barbershop chorus offers singing valentines
by Matt Shinall
Feb 08, 2013 | 1524 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of the Big Chicken Chorus Dave Elvers, from left, Don Jackson, Mac McKenzie, Bill Devine and Frank Biscardi. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
Members of the Big Chicken Chorus Dave Elvers, from left, Don Jackson, Mac McKenzie, Bill Devine and Frank Biscardi. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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The Big Chicken Chorus is looking to increase its exposure in Bartow County this Valentine’s Day as the group takes reservations for its annual singing valentines fundraiser.

Although the Marietta-based barbershop harmony group has offered singing valentines for many years, a growing number of Bartow County members are making an impact in their own community. Seven Big Chicken Chorus members calling Cartersville and Bartow County home were hoping to grow the group’s local efforts when they began making the rounds in Cartersville last Valentine’s Day.

Now delivering singing valentines in Bartow for the second year in row, the Big Chicken Chorus will dispatch quartets to homes, offices and schools across the county next Thursday.

“For a cost of $50, we provide a valentine card, a rose and we sing two love songs,” said chorus member Bill Devine. “We sing ‘Heart of My Hearts’ and ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart.’ We deliver valentines, probably to more workplaces than anywhere else. It’s normally husbands buying for his wife or significant other, and we go to her work location and deliver the valentine. We do schools, we can do restaurants, bars.”

The result is what chorus member and Cartersville resident Don Jackson calls unforgettable.

“It is an unforgettable experience,” Jackson said. “Guys get a lot of mileage out of it, but of course, they may create some enemies. One of the guys at church got a singing valentine for his wife and the other guys got on his case for setting the bar too high.”

Jackson, owner of Jax Supply in Cartersville, has been a member of the Big Chicken Chorus for 17 years and looks forward to growing the annual singing valentines program in Bartow. Last year, the group delivered about a dozen valentines in Cartersville. He explained that working in Cartersville, the group is given more freedom in their delivery and will be performing this year in quartets and sextets throughout the day.

Devine described a singing valentine as the perfect gift, one that impresses the recipient — and all those nearby — while being relatively simple to give.

“Women absolutely love it. They’re slightly embarrassed, but they love it. What normally happens is anyone in the immediate work area tries to gather around and watch us deliver the valentine to the recipient,” Devine said. “In addition to being a very nice gesture, it makes it very easy for the person who is sending the valentine. They don’t have to buy a card, they don’t have to buy flowers, they don’t have to do anything — they just buy the singing valentine and we do all the work for them.”

The Big Chicken Chorus has in the past sponsored concerts to benefit Cartersville’s Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, but the annual singing valentine raises funds for the group’s primary interests. The organization’s focus is in the development of vocal performance, specifically barbershop harmony, in youth.

Singing valentines are $50 for two songs, a card and a rose or for $25 customers can have a singing valentine delivered by phone. Valentines will be delivered Thursday, Feb. 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with reservations taken for a four-hour window. Reservations will be accepted through Tuesday, Feb. 12, but organizers warn that morning reservations are filling up fast.

To reserve a time for a singing valentine from members of the Big Chicken Chorus, visit www.bigchickenchorus.org, or contact Jax Supply at 770-606-1996 or by email at dan@jaxsupply.com.