DICKSON—Adorned in white dresses and sharp suits, the four singers hit the first note of Jason Mraz’s hit song “Lucky.”
Singing from a selection of songs, students in the Dickson Vocal music program traveled around southern Oklahoma on Tuesday, serenading crowds and singing songs of love on Valentine’s Day. Even with a grey, rainy day clouding the day of love the singers still traveled to destinations and provided a musical treat for individuals on the holiday.
The songs, or Valentine telegrams, were part of a fundraising effort by the group in order to pay for transportation costs for an April trip to Universal Studios. The students will be performing at Universal Studios after auditioning for the honor earlier this year. Lisa Riggle, Dickson Vocal director, said the vocal group has performed across the country in years past.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” she said of the April trip. “It’s something we’ve done for years.”
The students began their Valentine’s tour early Tuesday morning, traveling to individuals, groups and businesses that paid $25 to have the students perform a song for them. A $40 option was also available that included chocolate covered strawberries with the vocal presentation. Singing everywhere from an office space to the Marshall County Courthouse, the students performed a selection of modern popular love hits, though “Better Place” and “Lucky” rang in the most requests.
The students spent the day in their show choir attire and, at times, were rushing from site to site because of the demand for their vocal performances.
“There’s definitely stress that goes with it,” Jenna Elmer, Dickson Vocal senior, said. “With so many teenagers going in different directions there’s bound to be some stress.”
The students, performing either as a large group or in groups of four, adjusted their performances depending on their locale, with some areas allowing for movements and routines while other tight areas only allowed for posed singing.
Riggle said the Valentine telegrams have become a fundraising tradition and individuals requesting their services have used the telegrams in interesting ways in the past. With everything from proposals during the songs to elaborate romantic gestures accompanying the serenade, the telegrams have become a Valentine staple and a must have for southern Oklahomans looking to spice up their holiday.
“Some people just eat it up,” Riggle said. “It’s great to have them out in the community and people seeing them serving the community in a unique way.”
Riggle said in addition to the Valentine’s songs, the vocal students will present Comet Capers, a fundraising event featuring multiple performances, on March 7 as a final push toward fundraising for the Orlando trip. The students will also travel to district competition this weekend, as the show choir and vocal season hits its crescendo. Comet Capers will have three different performances throughout the day, starting with a 9:30 a.m. performance, a 12:30 p.m. performance and ending with a 7 p.m. evening performance.