The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 9, 2013

Singers bring Valentine’s cheer


DANVILLE — What’s more romantic than being serenaded on Valentine’s Day?

The Danville Show Chorus of Sweet Adelines hopes to bring that touch of romance to people through its Singing Valentines. Two groups of women will go to different places during the day on Feb. 14 and share their music.

“This is the most rewarding of all of our performances throughout the year, bringing hugs and tears, fun and embarrassment,” said Ruth Pancoast, publicity chairman for the chorus.

If you want to honor someone that day, call Maureen Hinkle, Sweet Adelines’ general manager, to reserve a spot. In the past, the singers have started as early as 7 a.m., and have performed all day.

For $25, a person can choose one of three songs: “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” (a favorite for a loved one), “Ain’t She (He) Sweet,” and “What Would I Do Without You” (usually requested for a close friend or family member).

The recipient also will receive a rose, donated by Berry’s Garden Center. A card is included with the name and wishes from the giver.

Pancoast, a member of Sweet Adelines for 40 years, has always been part of the Singing Valentines. There’s always an emotional reaction from the recipient, she said.

Hinkle, who has been in Singing Valentines for more than 30 years, agreed that it’s an emotional time — for both the recipient and the singers.

“It’s one of the most fun things we do,” she said. “It’s such a satisfying day.”

The singers even take off work so they can be free to participate. The encounters are never the same, she said.

Sometimes, the singers witness proposals of marriage. They’ve gone to schools, nursing homes, businesses and factories — where they’ve had to wear hard hats and safety goggles. One time, they even went to a “tough man” contest at the David S. Palmer Arena, and had to crawl into the wrestling ring.

“That was interesting,” Hinkle said.

The Singing Valentines are made up of two groups of women, usually with six to eight in a group.

The Danville Show Chorus is one of the hundreds of Sweet Adelines International choruses that make up this worldwide organization of women who sing four-part barbershop harmony. The club covers east central Illinois and west central Indiana, and is open to women of all ages.

The chorus performs regularly throughout the community, offering its talent for entertainment at civic events and charitable functions, in addition to promoting harmony and friendship among women.

Other member benefits include friendships, increased self-confidence, renewed vitality, and the unwavering motivation and inspiration of others.