GREENWOOD, Ind.-- Members of the Greenwood High School choir will get the chance to be “Juke Box Heroes” this weekend when they walk on stage at Klipsch Music Center to perform with the classic rock band Foreigner.
Twenty-five members of the choir will serve as backup singers when Foreigner plays their monster ballad hit from the 80s, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
“The kids are now starting to get more excited,” said Choir Director, Dan Borns. “I think more of the adults are excited about it for them, their parents are more excited than they were initially.”
The GHS Choir earned the opportunity to perform with Foreigner in May, when choir member Megan McElya heard mention of a radio contest on 104.5 WJJK Classic Hits. The contest called for local choirs to submit recordings of them performing. Megan says she sent the radio station a recording of the choir, then received a call from the station a few days later, telling her the Greenwood High School choir had been chosen.
“I screamed,” McElya said. “I feel like half of the choir doesn’t even know who they (Foreigner) are, but I grew up with the music. I listened to that genre of music.”
The choir has spent the first week of the school year performing their vocal parts for the chorus of the song. They feel like they have it down pretty well, and are ready for the big show Sunday night.
Borns says it’s exciting to part of a unique opportunity for teens to be directly involved with a band that their parents listened to when they were the same age.
“It was a big song for them in their life growing up, it was probably at every prom and dance in the 80s,” said Borns.
McElya says her parents are thrilled to see her getting the chance to work with Foreigner, who they enjoyed as teenagers.
“It was my dad’s first rock concert, and it’ll be my first rock concert,” she said. “So we think it’s kind of cool.”
These last few days of practice are especially important since Borns says there will be no on-stage rehearsal with the band before the live show.
“The band manager told me on the phone when ‘Juke Box Hero’ starts playing, that’s our cue to be ready to be backstage and there will be one more song,” Borns said. “They’ll bring us out there and we’ll just go for it. I think they’re kind of trusting that we know what we’re doing after the audition recording.”
The choir members seem to be taking the whole experience in stride right now. A Wednesday morning rehearsal at the high school seemed relaxed and light-spirited. In a few days, they’ll be performing live for thousands of fans at Klipsch Music Center.
“I’ve tried to envision in my head, but I’m sure it’s going to be better than I ever imagined,” McElya said.
Foreigner guitarist and founding member Mick Jones says he’s excited to perform with the group on Sunday.
"As far as I'm concerned, music is not only the most powerful form of communication between the peoples of the world, it provides a gateway that opens up a fantastic new dimension of feeling and creativity,” Jones said. “Anything we can do to provide our young ones with the tools to express themselves through music, is our goal in this partnership. We’re thrilled the Greenwood High School Choir will be joining us in Noblesville on ‘I Want to Know What Love Is.’”
Foreigner’s current tour is featuring local choirs and singing groups in each city they visit. The band will also donate $500 to the Greenwood High School Choir program on behalf of the Grammy Foundation.
Sunday night’s concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Klipsch Music Center. Opening bands will include Cheap Trick, and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.