Valentine’s Day is fast approaching Gannon University’s mixed chorus, Alpha Psi Omega (APO), and various students and faculty of the theater department are holding a fundraiser to benefit future theater endeavors.

More specifically, the proceeds will help fund the 2014 International Collegiate Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Singing Valentines are becoming a Gannon tradition. The recipients of a Singing Valentine receive a bag of candy, a note from the sender and one of 10 songs sung by a quartet of Gannon mixed chorus students.

Songs from “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John to songs by One Direction and the Beatles can be chosen for your special someone. Valentines can be sung in person, over the phone or even through Skype.

Matt Kridel, a senior psychology major and member of APO, heads the fundraiser.

“The fundraiser has been going on for about eight years in Erie, with four of them at Gannon,” he said.

Roberta Stoughton, director of Gannon’s mixed chorus, took various workshops in Illinois during her time as an educator.

The idea of this type of fundraiser stemmed from one of the workshops she attended.

Stoughton said she found that people were apprehensive at first. Within two hours of introducing the idea she received phone calls telling her of how much fun the singing was.

The fundraiser helps build a sense of strength within the chorus.

“I think it’s the comradery that we create together,” Stoughon said. “I think it’s the fact that groups of four go out together and they’re on their own, they travel on their own, they have a specified route – but they know that they have to hold their own weight.

“I think that makes us stronger as a group and makes them stronger as human beings,” she said.

There have been many interesting experiences with the Singing Valentines from the usual laughter and tears, to some embarrassment, to even delivering a Valentine to someone in a bath towel.

“We always do our best to deliver a Valentine,” Kridel said.

This article by Sammie Janik was originally published in The Gannon Knight on Feb. 13, 2014.