Early-morning patrons of the Sip N’ Bite in Elmira were the first of many to be serenaded by a sampling of the romantic standard “It had to be you” on Valentine’s Day. The Grand Harmony chorus, a quartet division of the Sweet Adelines, spent the morning singing sweetly to recipients of their Valentine’s Day singing telegrams. Each telegram came with a surprise song from the festively dressed ladies and an accompanying chocolate.
Brad Martin was the first to be ambushed at a breakfast with friends just after 8:30 a.m. Morning activity came to a halt in the restaurant as staff and customers gathered around to enjoy the show. Friends of Martin’s teased him good naturedly as the songstresses performed a pitch perfect version of the classic.
As a bonus, onlookers were treated to a chorus of “Happy Birthday” when the foursome learned of another patron’s special day.
Martin was bashful about the message, and although the ladies were sworn to secrecy about its sender, saying only “it’s from a secret admirer,” he was pretty sure he knew who it came from. “And boy is she going to be in trouble when I get home,” he joked, blushing from all the attention.
The group, consisting of Yvonne Gingrich, Elaine Lewis, Pat Martin and Norma Steinman, presented nine singing telegrams on the holiday and was just one of several groups touring the area. The group has been rehearsing together for just a week, but has a combined singing experience of more than 45 years.
Gingrich was filling in for a missing quartet member.
“We love singing. It brings smiles to every one’s faces,” Gingrich said.
The chorus takes requests for other parties or special events. “We’ll sing anywhere,” laughed Lewis as the quartet ran off to brighten someone else’s day and bring a little harmony to an otherwise dreary Monday.