Celebrating Valentine’s Day through music and joy at Mission Viejo High School.
Valentine’s day, the time of year when flower prices go up and people spend a little bit extra on the people they love. While there are many ways people have celebrated Valentine’s Day, whether it be showering someone with chocolates and jewelry, Mission hosts their own event that is much cheaper, but, of course, more special.
Mission’s way of celebrating Valentine’s day is their annual Valentine Grams, hosted by the school’s choir program. This year, it takes place from February 2nd to the 9th with delivery beginning on the 7th and ending around the 14th.
The way it works is that a student can purchase a gram for $5 and fill out a form listing the name of the person they want to send it to, the recipient’s 2nd period teacher, and the teacher’s room number. Then, on one of the days of delivery, choir, specifically, chamber, will go into their 2nd period class and sing a small part of a song to them in front of the class.
The songs that were chosen this year were “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars and “Electric Love” by Børns. Usually, the choir class performs more songs but because of time constraints this year, they were only able to do those two songs with other potential songs being “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift and “Adore You” by Harry Styles.
The limited number of songs this year isn’t the only difference from past years of Valentine Grams. There is a significant drop of students in the class meaning that the balance within the chamber choir is odd because there are not enough people with low voices to sing the low parts in songs.
Despite this, Shelby Mills, the events coordinator, excitedly shares that while most people sign up for Valentine Grams to embarrass their friends, it is a nice way to “spread love and positivity around Valentine’s Day.”
Even if you don’t have someone you can celebrate it with, “Valentine Grams is really just a fun event to bring some spirit into the classrooms through music. It’s a fun way to show love to your friends, teachers…and for all of us choir kids too. Plus, it’s good for promoting the program, especially after COVID,” explains Chan Trinh.
As vice president of the choir class, Trinh and choir council president, Caleb Smith, make a spreadsheet with all of the orders and organize them by room numbers. Then, they split the choir into two groups: upperclassmen and lowerclassmen (with a few exceptions) and split the orders by the buildings (200s, 300s, etc).
Additionally, Trinh spends most of her time prepping with her choir group by helping them learn the music and teaching it to the class. Being a senior, it was really cool and exciting to “see one of the pieces I’ve arranged being put together. Usually, Mrs. Norris (the choir teacher) does all of this, but the valentines are strictly student run, so to be in that position is really cool,” she adds.
While this is the only year Trinh has actually done the grams (because of COVID last year), she recalls her favorite and most memorable part of doing the grams is singing in front of her friends. “Many of them I don’t have classes with, and being able to just sing for me, even for only 30 seconds, means a lot since we’ll be far apart after this year.”
Even though students mainly buy the grams as a joke to their friends, it is another way for choir students to do what they love and spread happiness and fun in the middle of the school year.