Shakespeare Club and Swing Choir help share the love

Spirited Valentine’s Day performances lit up adviseries this week, delivering messages to surprised recipients.

Some students received sonnets, courtesy of Shakespeare Club. Co-headed by seniors Chris Perrin, Susannah Davis, Forrest Jove, and Ilona Horvath, the club offered students the opportunity to purchase a personally delivered Shakespeare sonnet for a friend for $2.00.

The club, which is also currently planning trips to see the Improvised Shakespeare Company and Henry the V later this year, counts the sonnet sale as one of its most successful events.

“Students like them a lot, and send them to fellow students a lot,” said Perrin. “I once performed seven sonnets in the course of week to a single student.”

In fact, according to club sponsor Wendy Parks, the sale raises around a couple hundred dollars each year. Parks attributed the success in large part to the commitment of club members.

“They do a nice job practicing in club,” said Parks. “Susannah and Chris have modeled it for some of the younger kids and had them give it a go, and they don’t force anyone to do it. It’s completely optional, but they also limit the sonnets to the ones that people are confident doing and have memorized well, so that the performance will be smooth.”

Sonnet deliveries weren’t the only performances in adviseries this week, however. Swing Choir provided another source of Valentine’s Day entertainment.

Whereas the vocal jazz ensemble typically sings at school concerts and in the community, its tradition of singing valentines was continued this year. The musical telegrams are delivered by a quartet composed of either four boys or four girls, all preforming different voice parts.

According to Swing Choir Director Nathan Landes, once students are broken into quartets, they basically come up with their own arrangements of suitable Valentine’s Day songs.

“Sometimes it’s pop songs, sometimes it’s more like a jazz song, but they come up with what vocals they’re going to use because they have to do it a cappella. There is no accompaniment,” said Landes.

He added that due to the number of people actually delivering the telegrams, the number of possible performances is limited.

“We can only do so many because we only have four quartets, and there’s only so much time during advisery to get them done,” said Landes. “We usually ‘sell out’ because we can only perform so many.”

Despite these limitations, junior Rebecca Schriesheim detailed exciting potential song choices for this year: “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada, “Love on Top” by Beyonce, “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry, and a mash up of “Just the Way You Are/ Only Just a Dream” from the movie Pitch Perfect.

“What I love about the fundraiser is that it lets us [control] what we want to sing,” said Schriesheim. “There are so many great love songs so the song, options are limitless. It allows us to be creative with our music and make up our own arrangements, is a really unique and fun opportunity.”