February 12, 2019     Maggie Rodriguez

Singing Valentines: How to Raise Money for Your Music Program

One large heart and one small heart, comprised of black musical notation, superimposed over a red-to-white gradient background

Many of my memories from high school surround choir, band, and musical theatre events. I was the typical arts nerd (in the best way). We were always planning domestic tours and did a lot of car washes, candy bar sales, and other fundraising activities.

One of my favorite fundraisers came right around this time of year. Singing Valentines were a great project for us to take on as young entrepreneurs and were simple to put together!

Students and teachers from school would buy a “Singing Valentine” for $5 to $10, and a trio or quartet would take a carnation (roses were a little too romantic) to the recipient during a certain time of the day and deliver a quick song and flower.

Three red carnations on a white surface

People purchasing Singing Valentines would sign up on the spreadsheet, indicating a time and the corresponding location of where their loved one(s) would be at the aforementioned times. If students were old enough to drive, they also had the option to take Singing Valentines to local businesses and retirement communities. Folks these days have all sorts of online forms for Singing Valentines sign-ups!

As adamant choir geeks, we would take it upon ourselves to meet outside of class and rehearse with our quartet or trio in anticipation of the big day. Many barbershop organizations offer sheet music and easy arrangements with Valentines’-themed songs. Learning songs outside of class also helped with team-building and ear training.

Floral shops often sell carnations in bulk, so it was easy to acquire them at a low cost.

Hands making a heart shape, with a blue sky and blurry horizon in the background

Singing Valentines also helped with performance anxiety, because even though it can be difficult to perform in such an intimate setting, the receiver of the Valentine was often more embarrassed than the singers!

This fundraiser doesn’t only apply to singers. A string quartet, duo, or small brass band could easily put together some musical Valentines. These troubadours are sure to win the hearts of many and serve as a great fundraiser for your music program!

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