With the Longfellows and Miscellania performing the "Val Jam" tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel, the obvious question arises?why celebrate Valentine's Day after the fact?

Rumor has it that member Dennis Burke '09 was unable to find a date for Tuesday night's festivities, so the rest of the group decided to help a fellow out and move the concert to Friday. The group hopes that this move will increase Burke's chances, thanks to the concert falling on a weekend and relieving the inevitable pressure and possible letdown that comes with a Valentine's Day dinner. Burke also wants to alert the singles on campus that he enjoys long walks on the beach, good conversation, and cheesy bread from Domino's.

Other Longfellow members called to mind additional benefits that come with holding the concert after the traditional February 14 date with a significant other or a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Sam Chapple-Sokol '07 said, "Just think of it as being 361 days early."

Or, maybe there are other people who are like Willi Yusah '08 and ignored the Tuesday holiday altogether:

"I thought Valentine's Day was on Saturday," he said.

Keirnan Willett '07 had a more musical theory.

"Singing is a powerful aphrodisiac," he said. "We didn't want to sexile everyone on a Tuesday."

What matters is not that this concert comes after Valentine's Day; what matters is the quality of a cappella music that the Longfellows and Miscellania will bring to the Chapel tonight, aphrodisiac or no. Also, it marks the start of a brand-new Valentine's Day concert tradition at Bowdoin.

Ellie Benard '06 of Miscellania said, "Musically, we have a 'love' theme to our songs, but we tried to stay away from really cheesy stuff and showcase different voices and music across genres and from different eras."

As always, musicality is most important at the Val Jam, something that the Longfellows and Miscellania both bring to every concert. While Burke may complain about the lack of cheese, both groups maintain a high level of performance.

Benard continued, "We really try to demonstrate our musicality in all of our concerts, as do the Longfellows. Mostly, though, I think we just want people to come, see their friends perform, and really enjoy themselves."

Both groups are excited to start the new Valentine's tradition with, in the words of Tommy Long '06, "true love and pyrotechnics."

Miscellania and the Longfellows also boast a crop of talented first-years that includes Caroline Bader, Lynzie McGregor, Arden Klemmer, Tommy Wilcox, Burke, and Chase Cicchetti. Benard said that Miscellania plans on debuting two songs, which feature all three of Miscellania's first years in the group.

When asked what changes had occurred in the Longfellows group now that these first-years have joined, Wilcox responded in true musical fashion. He immediately jumped to the piano and began playing "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby & the Range (for readers not familiar with the underrated '80s and '90s pianist, this song is the song sampled in Tupac's "Changes").

Wilcox's reaction underlines the main theme of this concert: when it comes down to it, this performance is about beginning a great a cappella tradition performed by some of Bowdoin's best, and having fun while doing it. And, of course, finding Burke a date 361 days early.