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Sunday, Dec 21, 2014
Brandon News

Barbershop quartets deliver singing valentines

By LAURA CONE
The Brandon News

Published:

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Members of the Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony expect to deliver more than 200 singing valentines on Valentine’s Day, as well as the day prior and day after for those who procrastinate in demonstrating their affection to loved ones.

Steve Matheson of Carrollwood, the marketing director for the not-for-profit singing group, said the event is a fundraiser for the barbershop quartet.

“Feb. 14 is a huge day,” said Matheson, adding Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year. “We will have barbershop quartets all over Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.”

He said the men show up at an agreed upon location singing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Heart of My Heart.”

“They are great little love songs,” Matheson said. “We sing in the barbershop music style in four-part harmony a cappella.”

Matheson, who has been married to his wife, Sheri, for 46 years, said it’s always inspirational to see couples in love.

“It’s so much fun to bring this type of thing to people,” he said. “It’s very surprising when you deliver one. People may expect flowers or candy for Valentine’s Day, but here are four guys singing two love songs. People never forget.”

He said some people order the singing valentines every year for their sweethearts.

They deliver everywhere from offices to hospitals, restaurants, churches and homes.

“We’ve greeted people in the luggage area of the airport,” he said.

Bryan Hevel of St. Petersburg, a member of the group, said he always looks forward to dressing up and participating in the singing valentines .

“We have done it for years,” Hevel said. “Usually we sing two songs. This year we are giving ceramic mugs with candy.”

He said people also receive a custom card with a message from the person who sent the gift.

Hevel said he has never known anyone who didn’t love receiving the singing Valentine’s Day gift, although more than a few faces turned shades of red from the attention.

“It’s four guys dressed in tuxedos,” he said. “We like to go to people’s place of work. We make a short presentation and sing a song and then we make another short presentation and sing a song. The first song is somewhat embarrassing because all the co-workers gather around. By the second song, they are usually crying because we are focused right on them. It’s very touching.”

Rates are different depending on the window of time desired. People may purchase a one-hour window in which the singing valentines will be delivered for $90. A four-hour window costs $75 and an eight-hour window costs $60.

Four-hour time windows include 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 1 to 5 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Eight-hour time windows are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Matheson encourages people to sign up for the singing valentines as early as possible since they have to coordinate the routes for the 20 singers. The singing valentines are available Feb. 13, 14 and 15.

For information about ordering, call (813) 228-7730 or visit the group’s website.

Lcone@tampatrib.com

(813) 731-2008

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