Belton High School choir to open for Foreigner

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 11:38 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - Belton High School’s choir was busy Wednesday preparing for their first rock concert; the group was invited by Foreigner to open their long anticipated show at the Bell County Expo Center, Friday.

Foreigner was set to perform at the Expo on two different occasions in 2020, both eventually cancelled because of the pandemic.

“We didn’t give up on them and they didn’t give up on coming to Central Texas and we got it rebooked and its turned out to be a really big show for us,” Tim Stephens, Executive Director of the Bell County Expo Center said Wednesday.

Foreigner invites school choirs to open their shows at most of their tour stops across the country, Belton High School was selected for Central Texas.

“I got a call a week ago and they said ‘we need a group and it needs to be 20 people singing a cappella for 10 minutes’ and we were like ok, we got this,” Choir Director, Tonya Lovorn explained.

Her students had just performed a cappella in their fall concert, so they had the perfect set to pull from for the show.

“This group works really hard and they are so talented and I’m just really excited that everyone gets to see what we can do,” Lovorn said.

Out of the group of 20 students, all but three say they knew who Foreigner was before they were invited perform at their concert.

“Growing up my parents always played 80s music and all that so I grew up listening to Foreigner,” senior, Corban Hannonds said.

“[Foreigner is] stuff from my parents generation so I didn’t think that I’d ever even have the opportunity to see them in concert let alone be able to perform for them on stage. Just being able to do it feels kind of surreal,” Hannonds added.

Many students say their connection to the band came from their parents, like Megan Sloane.

“I think of my Dad driving around in his mini van, thats the only way that we bond is just listening to some old rock tunes,” Sloane said.

Others, like senior Jordan Pilgrim were already planning to go to the concert before the invitation to perform came in.

“I told my parents we were invited to open for the concert and they kind of didn’t believe me and they just kept asking, ‘is this for real?’ and I told them ‘shockingly, yes it is’” Pilgrim explained.

Hers and many of the other students have tickets for Friday night’s show. According to Expo Center officials, more than 5,000 tickets have been sold.

Unlike the lyrics to Juke Box Hero, “Couldn’t get a ticket, it was a sold out show” seats are still available by visiting the Bell County Expo ticket office or website.

Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 8, when the Belton Choir will kick things off.

“They have been great to work with, they told us they want us to be rock stars for that night, so we’re really excited to get to see the students do that,” Lovorn said.

Before the pandemic, Foreigner let the choirs sing backup during their performance of “I Want To Know What Love Is” but due to COVID protocols, the Belton students will not perform with the band, or go backstage.

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