If the usual flowers and chocolates feel a bit trite this year, the young songstresses of the Buckhead Girls Choir are offering something different you can give to your valentine.
In what they call a “Valentine Gram,” a group of singers from the choir will serenade your sweetie with a medley of three love songs, then present him or her with a rose and a personal note.
Megan Hodge, the founder and conductor of the Buckhead Girls Choir, said this is the third year they have offered the Valentine Grams, which raise money for the nonprofit organization.
Hodge said between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., parent volunteers drive the girls to homes, offices, and other locations to deliver their Valentine Grams.
“Last year a lot of people got them for their grandmas or for their teachers. We went to a lot of schools and retirement homes. It was fun,” Hodge said.
She said the girls, who are between the ages of 5 and 17, enjoy it and dress for the holiday with plenty of hearts and glitter.
“They had a blast last year. They’ve been bugging me to do other holidays,” Hodge said. “We may add a Mother’s Day version because they love it.”
Each Valentine Gram costs $60. The money will go toward a scholarship fund, which helps pay the cost of tuition for girls with financial difficulties. The funds will also cover the cost of uniforms and choir trips, Hodge said.
Last year, the Buckhead Girls Choir sang at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., and this year, they are scheduled to perform at Disney World in Orlando in April.
Hodge said she started the choir four years ago as a way to provide more options for girls who are interested in singing. Girls audition for the choir, which is divided into several groups based on age and skill level.
Most choirs are associated with churches, Hodge said. But the Buckhead Girls Choir offers a non-religious choir experience for girls in the area. Hodge said the approximately 50 girls in the choir represent 19 schools, mostly from the private and public schools in Buckhead.
“They didn’t really like the church music all the time. It gave them an option to sing something different,” Hodge said.
The choir has a focus on international music. This year, the choir is singing in 21 different languages, Hodge said.
“We just choose a variety of music. We’re very eclectic with our taste,” Hodge said. “There’s an emphasis on learning pronunciation in different languages and the different styles that go along with each culture.”
Hodge said she is hoping for another successful year of Valentine Grams – but she’s also expecting plenty of procrastinators will wait until just before Feb. 14.
“The week before Valentine’s Day last year, we only had 19 scheduled. We ended up with 71. It was a little bit crazy, but it was a good fundraiser,” Hodge said. “I’m hoping people will be more on top of it this year.”
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