By: Casper Hoffmann ’21
Every Valentine’s Day at FCS, classes are interrupted by the Foxtones and Gracenotes singing short renditions of love songs, with the proceeds going to an FCS scholarship fund called the Laurie Fox Foundation.
Participating in Singing Valentines is one of my favorite parts of being in the Foxtones. Practices usually start right after the winter concert. We always sing Stand By Me as a Foxtones tradition, which leaves 5 other songs for us to choose every year. When making this decision, we need to choose songs about love (not necessarily romantic), but we also have to consider a lot of other factors. For example, the songs can’t just be ones we like as a group. We need to know that they will sell well, can be cut down to a 1-minute arrangement, and that will fit all of our (low) vocal ranges.
The vocal groups have to put in a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make sure that the love songs are ready for Valentine’s Day. Singing Valentines are entirely student run, so we often have to find our own time to rehearse. This includes lunches and community blocks, as well as a weekend rehearsal or two as the big day approaches. What’s great about Foxtones is the way we are able to learn all of our songs in a short time period while still always having a fun time. “It’s an incredible opportunity to get closer with my fellow Foxtones while accomplishing a common goal,” echoes Ben Miller, one of the Foxtones’ leaders.
My favorite part of Singing Valentines is actually performing the songs for people on Valentine’s Day. We get to miss a full day of class, and instead get to run around the whole school interrupting classes and embarrassing people. It’s especially fun singing in classes with your friends in them, and getting to see their reactions. Last year, I did the solo for “Call Me Maybe,” and I had to sing to Mr. Darling every block that he taught, which was really funny. Another highlight was us all surrounding an unexpecting recipient, while singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” in 9th grade. Singing Valentines can be hilarious, awkward, or cute, and often all three at once.
We usually end up doing around 125 songs over the course of the day. While you probably wouldn’t consider singing to be athletic, on Valentines Day, it’s definitely a sport. My health app in past years has said that during that time, we walked 15,000 steps and up 40 flights of stairs! While Singing Valentines only happen once a year, it’s something that Foxtones look forward to yearlong. Ben Miller encourages us to try to bring that happiness to our day-to-day lives: “Singing Valentines is an example of the love we need to share with each other, not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day.”