Twin Ports choruses offer unforgettable Valentine’s experiencesValentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you’re looking to do something unique for the significant other in your life, then a barbershop quartet might just be what you’re looking for.
By: Tom Olsen, Duluth Budgeteer News
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you’re looking to do something unique for the significant other in your life, then a barbershop quartet might just be what you’re looking for.
The Duluth-Superior Harbormasters, a men’s chorus that performs at local events and special occasions, is continuing an annual tradition by offering personal singing
valentines on Wednesday and Thursday, which is Valentine’s Day.
“We’ve already gotten a couple of calls already and we’re just waiting for more calls to come in,” said Jim Barschdorf, a member of the “Pick-up Fore” quartet that will be performing. “There’s usually a rush when we get towards Valentine’s Day.”
While barbershop quartets might seem like a remnant of the past, the singers say their services are in high demand at Valentine’s Day. There will be two quartets circulating the Twin Ports this week, with the
possibility of a third if there is enough demand.
“Most people love the barbershop music,” Barschdorf said. “It’s live music, rather than something recorded. We sing at the nursing homes and senior citizens homes a lot and people love it.”
Residents of the Twin Ports area can have the quartet sing to their sweethearts at an arranged location, such as a workplace, home or restaurant, but the singers say they prefer an area where a crowd can gather.
“We get as much enjoyment out of singing as the people who listen to us sing,” Barschdorf said. “And to sing good you’ve got to practice a lot, and we certainly enjoy practicing a lot as well.”
The singers will perform anywhere in Duluth, Superior and the surrounding communities for a flat fee of $39. They will be available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
The men sing two classic love songs, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and “Heart of my Heart.” Each valentine recipient will also receive a rose and a card with a personal message from the sender. A picture of the recipient with the quartet will also be sent in the mail.
Dennis Velander, a 23-year member of the Harbormasters, said he enjoys seeing the reactions of the valentine recipients. While they mostly sing to women, they get the opportunity to surprise men on
“We’ve had some dirty looks from some of the men,” Velander said with a laugh. “But they’re usually very grateful afterwards.”
The Duluth-Superior Harbormasters dates back to 1952, according to Barschdorf. It currently has 19 members, most of whom are retired residents of the Twin Ports, but the group is looking to increase its membership.
While Valentine’s Day is perhaps the biggest time of the year for the Harbormasters, they’re also available to sing at special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. The group also takes part in regional and national competitions.
“We’re just a group of guys who like to get out,” said Velander, who performs with the “Four to Go” quartet. “Singing love songs is what we love to do.”
It’s not too late to order a singing valentine. Schedule a performance by calling (218)391-8800, (218)340-5472 or (715)392-2147. The singers say they will attempt to accommodate any last-minute requests, even on Valentine’s Day.