From affection to appreciation: Singing valentines see it all

By in News

Every year, around Valentine’s Day, students organize a performance service to deliver songs of love and appreciation on behalf of others, while bringing cheer to the campus community. This singing valentines team, known as the Love Notes, has now ratified as an official student group.

Those who order valentines can decorate them to accompany the delivery.

The Sheaf sits down with Daisy Ko, a fourth-year anatomy and cell biology student and the president of Love Notes, Matthew Praksas, a fourth-year music education student and the vice-president of Love Notes, and Cora Lamers, a fourth-year linguistics student and the publicist of Love Notes, for a question-and-answer session about the group.

Can you tell me what the Love Notes group does and how it functions?

Daisy Ko: The group is called the Love Notes, and we’re a group of singers, both in the music department and not, [but] that’s kind of where we had our roots… [A] singing valentine is a song delivered, usually in class, to somebody [along with] a chocolate rose and a personalized valentine that people get to decorate.

The funds that we raise go to a charity we choose every year, and this year, we are giving to Saskatoon Sexual Health. We thought it was a good idea, because healthy relationships [are important] around Valentine’s Day and [so is] supporting that kind of thing. And then, also, this year, we lost a choir member to mental-health issues, and so, we thought it would be nice to donate to the Dubé Centre in her memory.

Matthew Praksas: Increasingly, we’ve seen more staff and faculty members getting involved, too. So, it’s funny to look through the list and see more [deliveries to] libraries’ commons [or] that are going to this faculty room. It’s really, really exciting to see the progression of how embedded it is in the traditions [on campus] now.

What is it like to deliver valentines? How do people react when they receive the deliveries?

Cora Lamers: I remember, my first year doing this, I was very, very nervous. But, it’s kind of funny, because the room of people that is listening to you isn’t super critical of you. They’re just delighted that you’re interrupting their class and you’re singing this song about love.

What ratio of requests do you receive for platonic versus romantic relationships?

DK: I think a very small portion of it is actually romantic. I think, for the most part, [that is] because, [when] people walk by and they say they don’t have anyone to send it to, we say, “No — you send it to your professor, you send it to your friends [or] you stir up some gossip by sending it to someone from someone else.” There’s so much potential.

CL: You could send it to yourself from yourself and make it anonymous. Everyone will see that public display of love from a mystery person.

Have you ever received requests from multiple people to the same person?

MP: There [are] significant people in the university, like presidents of student groups, that will get five in one day. I don’t want to say it is a popularity thing, but sometimes, if you have a higher presence in your department, for example, people are inclined to send you a fun one. That’s the beauty of it being completely anonymous — it could be a crush, but they’ll never know who it was.

What is the gushiest valentine you have ever delivered?

DK: One of my favourite ones, in terms of sentiment — it came off as really romantic — it was “I love you very much. I’m really glad you’re in my life.” It was really sweet and romantic, something like that. And then, we found out that it was from someone’s mom to their kid. It was so precious.

CL: I just had someone come up to the table and say that they were going to send one to their partner, who is a faculty member, and also to their kids, who are students. I was like, “Whoa, that is a family of love.”

MP: There [have been] a couple times, even, where people off campus do buy them for people on campus, so they will contact us and say, “So, I am living in this country, but can you still send this to this person?” It’s so nice to be able to deliver it to someone who had no idea they were going to get something in person.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Nykole King / News Editor

Photos: Heywood Yu