Wyoming County Chorale performs with Foreigner at F.M. Kirby Center Oct. 21
WILKES-BARRE — A local choir has been selected, for a second time, to perform live with ’70s and ’80s hit machine Foreigner.
The Wyoming County Chorale, of Tunkhannock, will join Foreigner on stage, near the end of the band’s Oct. 21 show at the F.M. Kirby Center, to accompany the arena rockers for a rendition of its ballad “I Want To Know What Love Is.” The choir will also sell Foreigner CDs in the theater lobby to benefit The Grammy Foundation, an organization intent on keeping music education alive in public schools.
Since 2011, Foreigner has partnered with The Grammy Foundation to support youth music programs by bringing a high school choir on stage with them during their performance and donating $500 to the choir. In turn the choir volunteers to sell CDs to aid other music education programs.
Customarily, a high school choir is selected through a contest run by local radio stations, but in the case of the Wyoming County Chorale, an adult volunteer choir, an exception was made.
“We did something similar with Foreigner two years ago at the (Pavilion at Montage Mountain),” Wyoming County Chorale music director Carl Shinko said. “(Foreigner publicist) John Lappen reached out directly to me and asked if we were available.”
Lappen said although WEZX held a choir contest throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, no entries were received close to the entry cut-off deadline.
“WEZX did a great job promoting the contest and we appreciate the strong effort they made to help us find a choir, but no area choirs chose to enter … so I called Carl Shinko’s choir to sing with us as they had performed with the band a few years ago,” Lappen said.
Shinko said compared to the 2014 performance, which included a large portion of the choir, the upcoming acoustic show at the Kirby Center calls for only a few.
“I wanted to make sure our choir was represented well with strong voices and people who smile big,” Shinko said. “I also wanted to offer this opportunity to people who haden’t done it before and wanted to. I gave attention to people who could represent us this time around for the first time.”
Shinko said the stipend the choir will receive from Foreigner will be put to good use by the volunteer group.
“Every little bit helps as we’re preparing for our fall concert on Nov. 5 and our spring season,” Shinko said.
Shinko said being asked to perform with the arena rock legends was a great honor the first time around.
“To be asked a second time gives some confirmation that maybe we did something right,” he said.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
Who: Foreigner, featuring the Wyoming County Chorale of Tunkhannock
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
When: 8 p.m., Oct. 21. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: Prices start at $49.50 plus fees. Available at the Kirby Center box office or through ticketmaster.com.