While many of New Haven’s restaurants found themselves fully booked yesterday, Yale’s a capella groups were fully sold out as well.
On Valentine’s Day, a number of undergraduate a capella groups held special events to celebrate the holiday. The Whiffenpoofs hosted a sold-out concert in Woolsey Hall, while Shades held their annual Valentine’s Day Jam, the group’s biggest show of the year, in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall.
“Since I’m not with anyone at the moment, my plans for Valentine’s Day are actually geared towards prepping for the Shades’ annual Valentine’s Day Jam,” Shades member Kinsley McNulty ’18 said. “It’s been a tradition to hold this concert around Valentine’s Day, filled with some of the best love songs we’ve got in our repertoire for the year, plus some ensembles that are totally new to each iteration of the group. It always ends up being our biggest show of the year and holds a special place in the hearts of our alums.”
Other groups, however, took a more creative direction in the day’s festivities. The New Blue member Anna-Sophia Boguraev ’20 said that her group provided several different types of Valentine’s Day grams to their patrons, including the option of singing in person, over an international call or simply delivering a single rose. In keeping with their tradition, the Duke’s Men held an alumni-only concert, according to Duke’s Men member Jerome Walker ’19.
Still, not all of Yale’s undergraduate a capella organizations held Valentine’s Day events this year, though many of them said that they would like to do something similar next year given this year’s success. Yale Alley Cats member Shaun Radgowski ’20 said that while the group does not do anything for Valentine’s Day, he would like to do something similar to what Something Extra did this year. Similarly, Yale Glee Club members said they too would like to hold special Valentine’s Day events, but it would be difficult given the number of members in the group and their style of music.
The messages of love do not just extend beyond the groups, but within them as well. McNulty said that for him, Shades has always been a place of familial love. He added that while the members encompass a wide range of different thoughts and ideas, their differences are what bring them closer together.
“Shades is a group of totally different people whom I’ve loved for the ways that they aren’t like me and what I can learn from them,” McNulty said. “In a myriad of ways, I look up to each member of the group, and no matter what, I know in my bones that when I need them the most, Shades will be there for me. That’s what a family means to me — a love that goes beyond the differences or the time we spend together.”
One commonality between all the groups’ members is a love of food. Out of the Blue member Minh Vu ’20 said that his ideal Valentine’s Day celebration would be an evening of Netflix and junk food — a sentiment his peers echoed.
“While [Shades] embraces love, a perfect Valentine’s Day would be me at Chick-fil-A with a gift card,” Shades member Xavier Washington ’20 said.
In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 124.6 million Americans who were 16 years or older were single, about 50 percent of the population.