A group of 25 Starr’s Mill Chorus Students will have a once in a lifetime opportunity this weekend as they perform the song I Want To Know What Love Is with the rock group Foreigner. Foreigner, one of the most popular rock groups in the world, has sold over 70 million albums since the band’s formation in 1976. They will perform to a sold out audience at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater Saturday night.
The joint performance with Starr’s Mill High School Chorus is part of a new program between Foreigner and the GRAMMY Foundation. The recently announced program will help provide funds for high school music programs across the country. Proceeds from CD’s sold during concerts this summer will fund $1,000 grants, which will be given to high school music programs. The GRAMMY Foundation is a non-profit organization established by The Recording Academy in 1989.
“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 and anything we can do to provide our young ones with the tools to express themselves through music is our goal in this partnership,” said Foreigner’s Mick Jones.
Creativity through music is second nature to the staff and students of Starr’s Mill High School. The school’s Fine Arts Department recently dominated the 2012 Shuler Hensley Awards, winning four awards—more than any other school in Georgia. Singing with Foreigner is “A lot of fun and a chance to change things up!” said Dr. John Odom, Starr’s Mill High School’s Director of Choral Activities. Dr. Odom won the 2012 Shuler Hensley Orchestra Award for his orchestra direction of the school’s spring musical, Zombie Prom.
Appearing at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater is an honor for the SMHS choral students, but it is no way the most prestigious stage they will perform on. Next April the Chanticleer chorus will participate in the American Music Performance Nationals for Mixed Choirs in New York City. The event will culminate with Chanticleer performing alone, with Dr. Odom conducting, on the historical stage at Carnegie Hall. After the individual performance by Chanticleer they will be joined by other choirs to present a program of choral music under the direction of world-renowned choral conductor Dr. Anton Armstrong. Prior to this concert, the SMHS singers will spend a day in master classes and clinics with other renowned conductors such as Dr. Andre Thomas, choral conductor at Florida State University, Dr. Jerry Blackstone, Grammy Award winning choral conductor and choral conductor and choral director at the University of Michigan, Dr. Jeffrey Douma, a choral conductor at Yale University and Matthew Ottman, musical director for the world famous men’s a cappella group “Chanticleer”.
Whether they are preparing for rock music with Foreigner or classical music for the stage at Carnegie Hall, Starr’s Mill Chorus students take their music very seriously. According to SMHS junior Micole Mayfield, “We are grateful for this weekend’s opportunity to show how much we love to sing. We hope to relax and enjoy the moment.”
The Starr’s Mill Choral program will present their spring concert on Tuesday, May 8th at 7:00 p.m. at Starr’s Mill High School. There is no admission fee and the public is welcome. Fundraising for the trip to Carnegie Hall will begin this summer. If you would like to support the chorus by making a donation or by becoming a corporate sponsor of the trip, please contact Dr. Odom at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the chorus website at www.starrsmillchorus.org.