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Foreigner's Saving The Music With Local Choir

of the Oakland Press

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There will be a lot of money for Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest High School’s music program when its chamber choir performs with Foreigner on Sunday night, June 27, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre. But school principal Paul Looker says that’s not the primary motivation.

“For us it’s, ‘Wouldn’t this be a cool thing to do,’ ” Looker explains. “It’s a great opportunity for our kids to sing at a place like that. The kids we have in choir love being in choir. They love singing. If I can tell them there’s a concert going on anywhere, they’d go and sing.”

An expected 24 of the school’s more than 70 choir members will join Foreigner for the choruses of its chart-topping 1984 hit “I Want to Know What Love Is.” The band is using a school choir in each city it plays as part of a partnership with VH1’s Save the Music and OurStage campaign to promote continuing scholastic music education. In most cities, the group is holding a contest, with interested choirs submitting videos to be judged, but Looker says Northwest was hired after he made a phone call to the band’s management earlier this month.

The school will receive $1,000 for its music program.

Looker says the students are “very excited” about the performance, although he acknowledges that they have “mixed” knowledge of who Foreigner is — especially since the band’s heyday and “I Want To Know What Love” is came well before they were born.

“I think I had more parents that were excited about it than kids,” Looker noted.

Foreigner founder and guitarist Mick Jones says that he’s been “very impressed” by the choirs that have joined the band so far on the tour and reports that “everybody’s happy and thrilled to be on stage with us.”

“I think they genuinely get into it; I don’t think they look upon it as just singing an oldie,” Jones explains. “Obviously, the thrill for them is just the experience of being up there in front of several thousand people, and the song is a vehicle for them to experience that. And for us, it’s nice to give something back.”

The United We Rock Tour featuring Foreigner, Styx and Kansas plays at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $55 and $25 pavilion, $15 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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