Nautical Sounds can help with wooing this holiday
This Valentine’s Day, if bouquets seem clichéd and chocolates just overdone, local residents can turn to an alternative, courtesy of the Nautical Sounds Chorus. And, this year, the 22-member chorus is celebrating a barbershop-quartet singing-Valentine tradition a quarter of a century in the making.
Groups of four singers will be hitting homes, restaurants, banks, schools and other businesses on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 13 and 14, surprising recipients with songs of love sung in four-part harmony, along with a personalized card from the sender and a fresh, long-stemmed rose.
“It truly is, without exception, the most fun we have each year,” said Herman Rotsch, director for the Nautical Sounds Chorus. “It’s just a joyous occasion for everybody. We have wonderful stories, heartwarming and funny, that have come along with the Valentine’s Day barbershop quartets over the years.”
Every year, there are roughly a half-dozen repeat customers, but for the majority, the recipients are completely caught off guard.
“This is as much fun for the quartets as it is for the surprised sweetheart, whether it be a man or a woman.,” said George Macintire, a tenor singer in the “No Chord Left Behind Quartet,” who has been singing with the Nautical Sounds’ Valentine’s Day groups for nine years. “We’ve had people left speechless and overwhelmed and, on several occasions, moved to tears by this thoughtful demonstration of love by a spouse, suitor or just a good friend.”
“We joke that we cause just as much trouble as we bring enjoyment to people,” Rotsch said with a laugh. “There have been times where we go to a bank or a real estate office or a school, and sing to one recipient, and some wives will go home and ask their husbands why they didn’t get one. Sometimes, ladies get choked up. Depending on the year and where we go, we can get up to 40 percent tears with the singing Valentines.”
The Nautical Sounds Barbershop Quartets typically fill up quickly for the Valentine’s Day holiday, so early bookings are highly recommended. A $40 contribution, which includes the personalized card and long-stemmed rose, benefits the work of the Nautical Sounds Chorus. The Singing Valentine’s can be delivered on Sunday, Feb. 13 or Monday, Feb. 14.
“We try to really focus on the southeastern Sussex County region,” said Rotsch. “We do a lot in the Bethany Beach and Ocean View areas, and most of us are locals from this area, but we’ve sang the Valentine’s in Ocean City, [Md.], Seaford and Laurel, too. It’s not a surprise for each of the quartets to do 20 to 25 singing Valentine’s each day.”
For more information or to book a Singing Valentine, call Herman Rotsch at (302) 644-1321.