The Singing Valentines of Augusta's Garden City Chorus have been serenading sweethearts on Valentine's Day for 16 years, and will continue the tradition Thursday.
"We go out of our way as chorus members to try and keep men out of the dog house," said John Phillips, the director of the chorus.
At least six barbershop quartets will be singing traditional love songs throughout the area Thursday.
Phillips, who belongs to the Singing Valentines, said he hopes to have seven quartets to cover as many areas as possible.
The Singing Valentines will greet their guests at home, school, work or at a local restaurant dressed in tuxedos to set the mood. They sing two love songs and deliver a long-stemmed rose and a card with the sender's own personal message.
"Nine out of 10 of the recipients actually burst into tears," said Ed Joy, an Evans resident who has been singing in the Garden City Chorus for 11 years.
Hospitals and schools seem to be popular spots for the barbershop singers. Phillips said they once sang to a woman as she was undergoing a root canal.
"We sing to grammar-school teachers in their classrooms and frequently the person we're singing to will start to cry and, of course, the kids just love that," Joy said. "When we actually sing to the recipient, they have quite an audience."
Phillips said the quartets begin crooning as early as 7 a.m. and sing until 9 p.m.
"We haven't had a dissatisfied customer yet, and we've done over 2,000 of these," Phillips said.
The cost for a singing valentine is $65 and can be purchased online at www.gardencitychorus.org, or by calling (803) 279-4198.
The quartet members would prefer to know their Valentine's Day destinations by this evening.
"We're not delivering songs," Phillips said. "We're delivering love from one person to another, and it comes through us to that person.
"It means more to the quartet when they think of it that way. It just means more to everybody."
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