By Polly Keary, Editor
If you have a partner who loves good causes as much as you love him or her, a truly unusual Valentine’s Day gift available in Monroe is bound to impress.
For $50, you can get a four-person a cappella quartet to surprise your sweetheart at home or on the town with a singing telegram, the funds going to Harmony Explosion, a singing camp for young people.
Under the Rader is a quartet that has been together since 2006, starting out as a family quartet that included husband and wife Jan and Jim Simpson, son Chuck Simpson and family friend Chuck Strub. Chuck Simpson’s spot is now occupied by Harmony Explosion director Del Masson.
The quartet sings for the sheer fun of it, doing doo-wop from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, as well as American standards.
The quartet has been a popular entertainment at the East County Senior Center, Merrill Gardens and private parties, and carols around town in the holiday season.
But at Valentine’s Day, they sing for charity.
Harmony Explosion is a three-day summer singing camp for people ages12-21, with students coming from several states. No one is turned away for lack of ability to pay.
In order to raise money for young people who need scholarships, Under the Rader will drive to surprise your sweetheart wherever he or she may be, and will sing two love songs and present the recipient with a rose and a little card inscribed with a message, all for $50.
“We can sing real oldies, like ”Let me Call You Sweetheart,” or more modern songs like “Just in Time,” or a song like ”My Girl,” said Chuck Strub, a doctor in Monroe. “We can tailor it for whoever it’s for, like a young person or a married couple.”
The quartet has in the past sung at tables in restaurants, at people’s jobs, and once, memorably, at an adult store.
A woman meant to surprise her husband at the doctor’s office where he was in the waiting room. But when the quartet arrived, he’d stepped out for a minute, and the receptionist said it looked like he’d stepped into Lover’s Boutique next door.
They found him in the novelty and lingerie shop, where they proceeded to serenade him.
The quartet will spend the day singing to people on Whidbey Island, where several of the members live, and in Monroe.
Most people call well ahead, but every Valentine’s Day, they get last minute calls, said Strub.
“Even while we are out singing, we get calls from people,” he said.
To arrange for a singing telegram, call Under the Rader at (425) 238-5317. Call before Feb. 7 to make special orders or to get a specific time.