Singing for your sweetheart

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Not everyone can serenade their sweetheart, so you can always get someone else to do it for you! The Vocal Chords are back for another year of singing to their heart’s content to anyone and everyone who gives their valentine hotline a ring.

The former barbershop singers and longtime vocalists will be singing to others’ sweethearts for a good cause again this year, with all money raised from the $25 singing telegrams going toward a charity of each man’s choice. The singing telegram comes complete with a rose and some chocolates.

For the past number of years Pete Townsend, tenor, gives his share of the funds raised to the Transition House in Truro where he is from. Bob Morse, baritone, chooses different recipients each year, although last year he gave his money to a needy family in Pictou. Art Bingham, bass, has donated for the past two years to Viola’s Place Society and he is still thinking about what to do with this year’s profits. Brian Bowden, lead, shared that last year he donated to Viola’s Place as well, where he is a board member.

For those hoping their sweetheart is to be one of the 30 valentines who receive a sweet serenade this year, just call the valentine hotline at 902-921-3386 to book. Payment for the telegrams can be dropped off to Speedy Autoglass or Pridham’s Studio as the quartet would prefer not to take payment on site so it doesn’t ruin the mood.

As per last year, the quartet will also be putting on a show at the Northumberland Veterans Unit in Pictou, just a couple of days early this year to avoid too much of a rush on Valentine’s Day.

“I set for 25, by the time the day is done we probably do 30,” said Bingham about the availability. The slots fill up fast as well, he added, noting that there are many repeat customers each year. Although they may not get to spend their Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts, the four love doing the telegrams for the causes, the fun of it and the joy it brings them and others.

“The surprise and the expressions on their face,” said Bowden about his favourite part of the day.

“Last year we were thrilled to help someone do their bucket list,” said Townsend recalling a woman who had always wanted to have a barbershop quartet sing to her. The experience was something all of the men enjoyed being a part of.


From the left: Peter Townsend, Brian Bowden, Art Bingham and Bob Morse are ready to serenade the whole county’s valentines this year during their annual singing telegram fundraiser.  (Brimicombe photo)