S.A. chorus says 'I love you' with a song

S.A. chorus says 'I love you' with a song

Credit: Jeff Anastasio / KENS 5

Ladies of San Antonio Metro Chorus rehearse - Thursday, February 11, 2010.


by Jeff Anastasio / KENS 5


Posted on February 12, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 20 at 12:10 PM

They arrive in trademark Valentine's Day red and armed with a smile and a pitch pipe, ready to ambush their next unsuspecting victims.

Friday morning's target?  Employees at Discovery School on the city's northwest side.

It's a scene that'll play out all over San Antonio this weekend as the ladies of Alamo Metro Chorus gather in groups of four and serenade lucky locals with a rendition of "I've Got a Crush on You," "Always" or "True Love."

"People call and they get a song and a cookie"  says Jane Schlinke, longtime member of Alamo Metro Chorus and the smaller barbershop style quartet, called the Prelude Quartet.

But the ladies of Prelude deliver much more than a singing telegram: It's a personal message of warmth straight to the hearts of local love birds.

Women on a Mission

"We're here to sing a valentine for you," Schlinke says. "This is your loved one sending this to you, because they care and they want to send something that you can't describe any other way than by song."

And you'll find their rich voices echoing in the most heartwarming places and lifting spirits in even the most heartbreaking situations.

"I sang down in Corpus Christi to a cancer paient.  He was just 30 years old and they didn't expect him to live 30 more days.  He was with his wife who was pregnant and she had sent this valentine to him.  It just touches your heart." Schlinke says.
This day's mission may be delivering a harmonius gift in the form of one singing valentine after another, but it's the ladies themselves who may be getting the biggest present of all, said June Deiser,  a 50-year veteran in the organization.

"I was single when I started," she said. "I met my husband through barbershopping.  We had five children and we all grew up with it." 

A Band of Singing Sisters

They come from as many different walks of life as you can imagine.

By day they teach, heal the sick and lead businesses.  But after the work day is over and most head home, they drive from Floresville, Selma and all over south Texas to gather for what they're most passionate about:  Music and their sisters in the San Antonio Metro Chorus.

"It's a wonderful thing to do, a great stress-reliever and good support system." Deisner says.

A group of about 70 very distinct and individual personalties, the chorus of ladies span many generations and talents.

"Really, our only requirement is that you be able to sing in tune,"  Deisner laughs.  And that's the key to this chorus, especially attracting folks who may have lost their outlet to sing.

"Once you get out of school and unless you sing in church, there's no place for you to sing. You come here, you get to put on costumes, makeup and perform!" Deisner says.

Besides singing valentines, you'll find members of the chorus performing in churches, malls, various shows around town and even competing and winning awards nationally in the larger organization, the Sweet Adelines.

"Adelines is really based on education in the musical craft, this craft we're continuing." Schlinke says.

But beyond the recognition, accolades and advancing the art form of barbershop harmony, membership in The San Antonio Metro Chorus is about sisterhood and sharing a common bond of music.

"You build lifelong friendships here. The comraderie is just amazing." Schlinke says.

About Alamo Metro Chorus

The chorus is a membership organization of female singers who meet regularly to practice, perform, socialize and have fun.  Currently they have more than 70 singers of all ages. Membership is open to the public. Learn more at the group's website: http://www.alamometrochorus.org


Alamo Metro Chorus is a chapter of Sweet Adelines, International, a non-profit organization of approximately 30,000 members in choruses and quartets worldwide.