Cinnaminson-based chorus will deliver “singing valentines” next week

The Valentine’s Day package includes two songs, a card and a choice of a rose, a teddy bear or chocolate.

The Cinnaminson-based Jersey Sound Chorus will spread love this Valentine’s Day by delivering live “singing valentines” on Feb. 12, 13 and 14. Each $50 Valentine’s Day package includes two love songs performed in barbershop harmony, a personalized card and choice of a teddy bear, a box of chocolates or a rose.

“We send quartets out to your school, to your place of work or to your home to sing a couple of Valentine’s songs to your loved one,” event coordinator Amelia Vittese said. “It’s a wonderful experience.”

Vittese added she sends a singing Valentine to her 103-year-old neighbor every year, and she loves it. Vittese has been a member of the Jersey Sound Chorus for five years and has been organizing the singing Valentine’s since she joined. Last year, the chorus delivered 20 singing Valentine’s. They’re looking to increase that number this year.

“Our members enjoy it. They take off from work to do this and volunteer their time,” Vittese said. “We love to sing.”

The chorus is made up entirely of women and is part of Sweet Adelines International, a “highly respected worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education, competition and performance,” according to Sweet Adelines.

Barbershop harmony is a quartet of a cappella singers, meaning the chorus performs without instruments.

Previously, the Medford Lakes Chorus, the Jersey Sound Chorus was founded in 1962. In 1986, the chorus changed its name to represent members from all around New Jersey as well as Eastern Pennsylvania.

The 62-member chorus practices every Wednesday from 7 to 10 p.m. at Temple Sinai in Cinnaminson. Despite practicing in a synagogue, the chorus is not exclusive to Jewish women.

“We welcome everyone,” Vittese said. “Women that love to sing are invited.”

The chorus has performed at Longwood Gardens, Philadelphia Phillies games, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Assisi Performing Arts Festival in Assisi, Italy.

“[Chorus] members sat in large windows and sang to people in the street,” chorus member Julie Sinkoff said on the chorus traveling to Italy. “By the concert’s end, there wasn’t an empty seat left.”

The group also had the opportunity to sing at an Italian mass service at the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.

“It was a reverent experience to hear our voices in this sacred space,” Sinkoff said.

The Jersey Sound Chorus is a nonprofit organization. All money collected from the singing Valentine’s will go toward paying the director, hiring voice coaches and purchasing copyrighted songs.

To order a singing valentine, contact the chorus at (856) 371–0011. For long distance lovers, the chorus also offers singing Valentine’s via phone for $25. They also accept requests.

Vittese says the chorus is always looking for new members, though the audition process can be lengthy — Vittese says it takes about eight weeks. Anyone interested in joining or just wishing to hear the chorus sing can attend the Wednesday night rehearsals.

“They can come for a couple weeks as a guest. It doesn’t just happen overnight,” Vittese said. “We don’t force anyone to just get up and sing.”

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