The Victoria Village Squires will send a pair of love songs, a rose and a card to a loved one in a singing Valentine Feb. 14 for $50. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Barbershop singers bring harmony to Valentine’s

Victoria’s Village Squires add song to the day of love

Rich tones of barbershop harmony echo through the halls at Silver Threads centre at Bay Street and Richmond Avenue.

It’s a warm and welcoming sound after the dark and rain of winter outdoors. Then the Victoria Village Squires, burst into a welcome song, one rehearsed in this space routinely. But tonight, they prepare to spread love through Greater Victoria.

“Barbershop songs are all about love. We sing so many love songs it almost gets tiresome, but on the day of love we get to go out to our community and sing to people, give them a rose from someone they love, and a card,” says chorus director Peter McBride, a 25-year veteran of the hobby.

For $50, the Village Squires will serenade your loved one with two songs and present a rose and a card this Valentine’s Day. It’s something they’ve done the entire 50 years of the chorus, and groups in Nanaimo will perform similar services, says McBride.

“Our culture doesn’t sing to each other the way it did 50 or 60 year ago, modern technology has replaced that activity,” he said. “There’s something very primal, very social about being sung to and about singing to someone else. It’s part of the hobby.”

Made up of men from all over the south Island, the Village Squires perform regularly in the community, offer school and public learning programs, and entertain the public with their great mix of old classics and modern arrangements. The a cappella chorus is part of the Barbershop Harmony Society, an international singing movement of about 30,000 men.

McBride came to Victoria a year ago, performing before that on the Lower Mainland and in Washington. He discovered the craft when his wife said he needed a hobby, going so far as to seek out a barbershop quartet meeting to take him to.

“I swallowed the bait on the first night and I don’t think I’ve missed a meeting in 25 years,” McBride said. “It’s a far flung hobby and there are men who do this in every city around.”

Those looking to serenade a love with Let me Call you Sweetheart and Heart of my Heart I Love You can visit villagesquires.com or call 250-590-5997 for booking details.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Mark Harris, chorus manager for the Victoria Village Squires, presents a rose, a final romantic element to the singers’ offering for Valentine’s Day. The Squires will send a pair of love songs, a rose and a card to a loved one in a singing Valentine. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Just Posted

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Heat and smoke raises health risks

Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror Health risks arising from heat and… Continue reading

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Victoria Lavender owner set to retire

Sidney storefront to remain open, future of goat yoga undecided

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read