Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cupid Shuffle

A (Valentine's) Day In the Life a Siren

Not many people think of 5 PM on Valentine's day as the end of their celebration.  Even fewer know it is the one day of the semester when they arise an hour before the sun. And how many people get to wake up a friend with a rousing rendition of Hall and Oates, backed by 14 other singers clad in red lipstick and pink sweaters? My name is Andrea, and I am in an all-female cappella group.


Macalester's Sirens are not the only acappella group to deliver singing valentines on their campus. But Mac gave us a pretty unique experience as we did the Cupid Shuffle from classroom to classroom. For instance:

We were surprised to find the pupils of "Community Theater" sitting in a circle on the classroom floor, desks pushed to the corners and abandoned.. We started in on Whitney Houston's "Dance With Somebody" and by the end all the students--not just the valentine's recipient--were on their feet, dancing along. Three cheers for theater kids!

Later in the day, we burst into the choir director's office with that same song. He couldn't stop laughing and said we'd made his day.

We negotiated to exchange a serenade for access to the Political Science department's Valentine treats. One round of Dean Martin's "Sway" later, we had completely interrupted a class discussion of Russian revolutionaries and the chocolate fountain was flowing.

We brought an unnecessary amount of English into two Spanish labs (both taught by Sirens who studied abroad in Latin America!)

If a friend of a Siren happened to wander by (which is pretty likely on a campus this size), we sang to them impromptu.

After a quick detour to dance in Mac's Harlem Shake video, we dialed our parents, grandparents, relatives, and friends.  Switching our gadgets to speakerphone and piling them on the table, we delivered a batch of musical greetings. "Ya's don't need to practice till 11:00 at night," my aunt declared through my Android. (She moved to Denver years ago, but never lost her Pittsburgh accent.) "You sing good." As much as we'd like to believe her, we'll keep putting in our 3 and a half hours of rehearsal time each week.

Right now, I'm drinking tea to help my vocal cords recover from an entire day of beat-boxing. The money we raised selling valentines is on its way to aid a charitable cause. I'm still impressed that students, professors, and staff were so welcoming to a group of women, singing loud and dressed even louder, coming to interrupt their day with music. That doesn't happen just anywhere.