AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Highland Park High School got the chance of a lifetime, singing with Foreigner at their Amarillo concert. As part of Foreigner's 40th Anniversary Tour, they have chosen to give $500 and the opportunity to sing with the band to choir programs, like Highland Park, all over the country.
The band genuinely believes public school choir is incredibly important and knows how much it benefits the students education. So they decided they wanted to give some money to a choir program at each stop on their tour.
NewsChannel10 sat down and talked about the importance of giving with bassist Jeff Pilson. He says if it was not for his high school choir teacher he would not be the musician he is today. Pilson says it may be personal to him, but giving is the hearts of the rest of his band mates as well.
Because the band wanted to give back, the manager came up with the idea for the contest for local choirs to sing on stage with the band and winning $500 for their program.
"How he came up with it is because he is a wacky guy who comes up with a lot of wacky ideas," says Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson, "Many of which are really great. This has been one of his better ever. Because, you've got excited kids who come and sing their hearts out and watching them is so inspiring."
The contest hit 100.9 The Eagle around Christmas time. The choirs who entered were asked to send in an audition tape between 30 to 60 seconds in length singing any Foreigner song they would like.
The Eagle received around 10 entries from choirs like Highland Park and as far away as Childress. The listeners were then asked to vote online for their favorite video and Highland Parks special rendition of "I Want To Know What Love Is" called "I Want To Sing with Foreigner," won the competition.
NewsChannel10 asked Jeff Pilson about why giving the money is important to the band.
"We all genuinely believe public school music education is critically important," says Pilson, "It's been shown time and time again how productive that is for a student education. I myself am a product of public school music education. I don't think I would be a professional musician today if it was not for my high school music teacher. So for us, it's very important."
Highland Park High School Choir is using the $500 to jump start their program. They are in the infant stages and there isn't any money in the schools budget for the choir. The money will help the director buy music and shirts and continue the program in years to come.