Valentine’s gifts of song from Hampton U. Choir

By Domanique Jordan

Forget the chocolates, the jewelry, the teddy bears and even those cheesy cards on Valentine’s Day and get your sweetheart a Sing-A-Gram.

The Gospel and University Choir will belt out your favorite love songs in efforts to spread Valentine’s Day cheer on the campus of Hampton University through Feb. 13 and 14.

The idea to take the non-traditional route for a Valentine’s Day gift started three years ago and has been successful each and every year.

According to one of the choir members, Benjamin Truman, a sophomore criminal justice major from Detroit, the idea was not always to have a personal song delivered to your doorstep.

 “Someone just came up with the idea to do it,” said Truman. “However, the original idea was not to have a group of choir members go around campus singing songs. It was originally going to be a concert, but then someone developed the idea of a gram. It is more personal. Of course, we had to go through administration to get it approved first. Once it got approved, it took off from there.”

Eden Cunningham, a sophomore biology major from Waldorf, Md., had a first-hand experience last year when it came to witnessing a sing-a-gram. She said that they are really heartwarming, but before you buy one make sure the person receiving it is comfortable being sung to.

Last year, the Sing-A-Grams invoked positive reactions among the students. “They are a good way to enjoy the holiday,” said Cunningham. “The people receiving a Sing-A-Gram can either enjoy it or feel really uncomfortable — it depends on the person. But overall it is a really sweet idea.”

You may ask yourself, well if I want to send a Sing-A-Gram, do I get to choose the song? When you sign up to get a Sing-A-Gram, you will have a list of songs to choose from.

“We look for older songs because they tend to be classier. The Supremes, Whitney Houston, Temptations, The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder are at the top of our lists,” said Truman. “However, if they do have a special request, they can give it to us. If it is simple enough then we will sing it.”

By performing their annual Sing-A-Grams, the group of young men and women have raised money for both choirs in efforts to get new equipment. The singers charge $5 if you want one person to sing to your sweetheart.

However, if you have $20 to $30 to spare, you can send a group of 10 to sing your favorite song.

If your sweetheart is more on the shy side, you can have a phone call sent for $2.

“The price may be cheap, but the quality is not,” said Truman. “We do not want to break the bank, rather add a nice touch on a special day.”

If you are interested in sending you valentine a Sing-A-Gram, there will be a sign-up sheet in Clarke Hall and maybe a booth in the Student Center if administration permits it a week before the big day. Upon registration, you will need to supply your phone number and email address.

The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications