The tune started quietly, but when the Arlington Heights High School Choir walked out on stage and burst into song, the crowd followed their lead and sang in unison to the song “I Wanna Know What Love Is.”
The choir clapped, danced and sang with the 80’s rock band Foreigner for an audience of thousands.
The choir took the stage last Friday at Verizon Theatre after winning a contest hosted by the 98.7 KLUV radio station. The contest awarded the choir $500 for their program and the opportunity to sing back up for Foreigner.
Below is a video the Arlington Heights High School Choirs posted of their performance.
We met with the choir earlier to talk about how they made this happen.
The choir director, Hans Grim, heard about the contest on the radio and he knew they had to apply.
To enter the contest, the choir had to make a music video singing the song “I Wanna Know What Love Is.”
Grim posted their submission video on YouTube.
“We didn’t have a lot of time,” Grim said. “When I heard about the contest at nine o’clock I very quickly wrote out those parts for them and rehearsed them in class and I said OK well tomorrow we’re going to film it.”
The lead singer, senior Carlos Portales, had a little over an hour to learn the song.
“The funny story is we didn’t prepare at all,” Portales said. “We rehearsed it like three times, and then OK that was it.”
The music video went viral around the school, and last week the choir was announced as the winner of the Foreigner High School Choir Contest.
Congratulations to our winning choir Arlington Heights High School in the Foreigner High School Choir Contest https://t.co/BUi4ZYZ8cY
— 98.7 KLUV (@KLUV987) January 30, 2017
“We won!” Sophomore Faith Fishburn said. “I started screaming and I hit pitches that I don’t think I’ve ever hit before. I don’t think anything went through my brain except I’m so proud of my choir.”
The choir hopes this experience will bring more recognition to their program.
“Obviously it’d be really cool to sing with them and $500 would be really great for our choir,” senior Natalie Owen said. “But it was also just to try to bring more light to the fact that Arlington Heights has a good choir and were really working hard.”
Grim said the choral program has several other events planned for the rest of this semester.
“We’ve got the solo and ensemble contest coming up, several concerts, were going to be a part of the Renaissance festival,” Grim said. “There’s lots of trips and things that we’ll be doing throughout the year, so we keep pretty busy.”