AP NEWS

Singers set to serenade on Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2019

Ah, Valentine’s Day: You and your sweetheart at a quiet, intimate locale, with maybe a house-provided violinist to serenade you.

And then, the flash mob shows up.

Or, rather, a mob of four – lead singer, tenor, baritone and a bass. Sound suspiciously like a barbershop quartet?

The Santa Fe Harmonizers, who bill themselves as a “barbershop harmony chorus,” are treating Feb. 14 like an aural Super Bowl Sunday. They have put together two or three quartets that are available on demand from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.

Quartets named “Vocal Gold” and “Flabbergast” are in the lineup. If more gigs are booked, “Three Friends” is on standby.

As of late Wednesday morning, the group already had 20 bookings with hopes to line up 30 gigs for Valentine’s Day.

“We’ll take orders all day [Thursday],” said Bob Courtney, a quartet lead singer and the group’s vice president of marketing and public relations.

Courtney, who said the Harmonizers haven’t crooned on Valentine’s Day in a few years, added that their arrival is usually a surprise. The Harmonizers arrive with a single rose in a vase, plus four golden voices. The cost: $29 to $49, depending on how far the quartet needs to travel.

Looking for something really fancy? For $89, you can send a dozen roses.

“We’re going to show up at a bank to sing to a teller,” Courtney said. “We’re going to the hospital to sing to a lady in the ER. We have an exercise class somewhere that wants us to show up.”

Usually on the schedule are schools, senior centers, private homes and restaurants where couples think they’re on a date for two.

“They don’t know it’s coming,” Courtney said of most of the clientele. “That’s the fun part of it.”

The Harmonizers — each dressed in a white shirt, red tie and black pants — will sing two songs: “Let Me Call You, Sweetheart” and “Heart of my Heart.” A third tune is not out of the question.

As of Jan. 1, the traditionally all-male Santa Fe Harmonizers welcomed women to the quartet. The group, with about 25 to 30 members, now has five women who typically sing the lead or tenor roles, Courtney said.

A little harmony

The Santa Fe Harmonizers say they still have openings for Thursday. For information, call 505-596-0350.