It was all nerves and excitement, for the H.J. Cody Choir as they took to the stage to perform with the classic rock group Foreigner.
The choir was one of three schools who took part in the Rock with Foreigner contest with Zed 98.9. Each choir taking part in the contest were recorded singing “I Want to Feel What Love is” and the communities voted.
The H.J. Cody choir received somewhere around 4,000 more votes than the other participating schools. It is estimated the choir received around 10,000 votes in their favour.
“We had tremendous support, from students and families and friends and even teachers at other schools from around Central Alberta,” said Choir Director Kerry Heisler.
The day it was announced who won the contest was a cooperative day for teachers so the students were not at school. Heiress said she wasn’t even listening to the radio at the time it was announced.
She said the first person to give her the news was fellow teacher at H.J. Cody, Jeremy Braitenback.
“I got texts and emails and calls all day after they made the announcement,” Heisler said.
With the Thanksgiving holiday, Heisler said she didn’t get the chance to see the students in class until the Wednesday before the concert.
She said everyone was excited and nervous for the concert, but it didn’t feel real until the night of the concert.
There was no rehearsal with the band before the concert, the choir had to be prepared to come in and sing when called upon.
They were able to practise how to come onto the stage.
“The backstage crew [at the concert] were just great. They showed us where to go and how to get on in the time allotted. They also put us in the lineup so we would be in the right position when we got on stage,” Heisler explained.
The group was placed between the guitar and keyboard player on stage.
Unfortunately, only 25 of the 58 students were able to perform on stage, as the band could only have that many on stage.
That meant a large number of students missed out on the experience.
Heisler said she made the decision based on commitment, ability and grades. This meant most Grade 9 and 10 students were not a part of the group.
“Before we even began, I had a talk with our students about how it was going to be. If they didn’t agree with they way I was making the choice we would think about whether this was the right opportunity for us,” Heisler explained, adding all her students agreed with her choice.
It wasn’t just the students who were excited, many family, friends and coworkers came out to the concert Friday night. Even some representatives from Chinook’s Edge came to cheer on the choir.
On top of the chance to sing with the band, on stage in front of many, many people, Foreigner also made a donation to the choir.
Heisler wanted to thank everyone who voted and came to support the choir, as well as Zed98.9, for the contest and working with the choir throughout the process.
“I want to thank them for letting us be a part of it. We are close to Red Deer, but not one of their schools, so it is just great that we could participate,” said Heisler.
The H.J. Cody choir sang “I Want to Feel What Love is” with Foreigner on Oct. 13 at the Centrium.