The Belton Journal

Some high school music students dream taking the stage in front of tens of thosunads of fans along with a legendary rock band, but for most it is just a dream.
For a choir at Belton High School, that dream becomes a reality on Friday evening when they will take to the stage of the Bell County Expo Center to sing open for the band Foreigner..
Head Choir Director Tonya Lovorn said her 18 show choir students at first didn’t believe they would have the chance to perform at such a large venue in front of a legendary rock band.
“We were the first people to call back saying hey, we can do this and so we’re really excited to get to do it. The students were like, ‘That’s not real. N’ And I told them, ‘Yes, for real. We are doing this.’”
The choir is performing part of their competition set from the international competition of high school acapella that they did in January time. One is “Red Desert”, originally by Five Seconds of Summer; “If You Feel The Way I Do”, by Reliably Bad; and “Love Shack”, by the B-52’s.
Lovorn said that initially she was really surprised her students were familiar with Foreigner.
“When I told them we’d been invited to perform, they were like, ‘Oh, my God, ’Jukebox Hero!’ and they started singing all the songs.”
Ashland Reyes is a senior and sings alto. She said the fact they were given the opportunity was “absolutely amazing.”
“You don’t see a lot of high school choirs being able to open up for a big band like Foreigner,” she said.
Annalise Miller shared her classmate’s excitement.
“I think that this is a really, really cool opportunity, especially for a show choir. I feel like high school show clients don’t really get this opportunity often and the fact that it’s a good crowd is really cool, and will just help us prepare for college, a lot of us that are going into music.,” said Miller. “Being in front of a crowd that big is not an opportunity you get every day, so I’m very excited about that.”
Nicholas Wagner said he’s most excited about performing the song “Love Shack.”
“I am really excited because I have a solo in it. I really feel like getting to sing in front of such a huge audience, especially in front of a band that I’ve listened to since I was a kid, is just really awesome. I don’t think I ever would have dreamed of having an opportunity like this. And the fact that it just kind of fell into our laps. It’s just awesome,” Wagner said.
Jeff Pilson has played bass for Foreigner since 2004 and he is looking forward to visiting Belton as part of the band’s tour, and hearing the students open for the band.

“We’re really wanting to help local school music education. And we know that in budgeting times, which of course, these are difficult budgeting times, the school music program is generally the first thing to go,” said PIlson. “I myself am a product of public school music education. I think it’s really important and we want to do all we can to help fund it and then to help increase awareness.”
Pilson said the band has been inviting local school choris to open for them at concerts for at least a decade.
As for their tour which includes Friday night’s stop in Belton, Pilson said it’s going to be a solid year.
“It’s great to be back. I think people are dying for live music again. And we’re happy to go out there and do it. We’re ready to rock.”
Foreigner takes the stage at 8 p.m. Friday night at the Bell County Expo Center as part of their Greatest Hits Tour.