Local barbershop singers offer singing Valentines

February 7, 2013 by  

As Valentine’s Day swiftly approaches, Spring and the other communities of north Houston have an additional weapon in the amorous arsenal this year – singing Valentines delivered by local barbershop singers.

Mark Smith, Brent Hairston, Greg Holt, and Rick Yarto make up Ringside – a comedic quartet whose first album, ‘Hilarity Ensues’, consists of a mix of traditional and comedic tracks, in keeping with Ringside’s trademark blend of musicianship and irreverent parody. Yarto explains:

“We developed a comedy thing about three years ago that really works for us. We come out there and we just do nutty stuff, and it’s like wow, change of pace.”

With flowers being arranged, balloons selected, competing card messages agonized over, thoughtful banner printing underway, and chocolate selections carefully considered (according to the demands of passion or the proddings of guilt), this is likely to give a different dimension and an imaginative idea for this Valentine’s Day.

Potential customers need not worry about any untoward or unromantic hijinks ruining their beloved’s humor, however, because Ringside does not deviate from the romantic mood on Valentine’s Day. Like the postal service delivering printed Valentines, Ringside will make its delivery anywhere, and past singing Valentines have been performed in classrooms, dentist’s examination rooms, and even, once, in a courtroom during deliberations.

Ringside’s members first met through their membership in the Houston Tidelanders Chorus, a chapter of the national Barbershop Harmony Society. The four men, a teacher (Yarto), a businessman (Hairston), and two NASA flight controllers (Holt and Smith), have performed throughout Texas at various venues, including a live transmission to the International Space Station.