Erik Ramstad Middle School choir students and their music teacher will get a taste of what it feels like to be a rock star tonight.
The students were invited to sing part of the chorus of "I Want to Know What Love Is," with band Foreigner, which is performing tonight at the North Dakota State Fair. The middle school students will also be selling raffle tickets and Foreigner CDs for $20 apiece before and during the concert and proceeds from the sales will be donated to the flooded middle school's music program, said teacher Beth Rasch.
"This is so exciting," said Rasch. "I can't even express how exciting this is. This is going to be an experience that they are never going to forget."
Erik Ramstad Middle School music teacher Beth Rasch talks with students about what will happen when they sing with the band Foreigner tonight at the North Dakota State Fair.
The veteran rock band will perform at 8 p.m. at the grandstand. The grandstand concourse opens at 6 p.m. and doors to the grandstand will open at 7 p.m. Rasch said the students will be seated somewhere near the stage and she believes they will be escorted onstage to sing the chorus of "I Want to Know What Love Is," which is the last song in the band's set prior to the encores.
Rasch said the band sometimes will invite a local high school chorus to sing along with them during a performance and decided to allow the middle school chorus to perform with them after hearing about last summer's flood.
Rasch first learned about the opportunity this spring and asked students and their parents to sign a contract agreeing to perform during the State Fair concert. The kids have held two rehearsals.
Rasch said most of the young teens were not familiar with Foreigner as a group when she first told them about the opportunity, but their eyes lit up with recognition when she started naming some of the group's past hit songs. Most of the kids have heard songs like "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "Feels Like the First Time" and "Cold as Ice" on the radio.
"They're already jamming to it, moving with it," said Rasch, who said it might be sinking in with the kids just how big a deal this is. A few of the kids said they're starting to feel a bit nervous about singing in front of thousands of people.
Rasch instructed the kids that they must stay with their parents or with a group of other students while they are in the grandstand because there will be so many people there.
Rasch said she is just as excited as the kids since Foreigner was first popular when she was in college. This is a chance she knows will never come around again.
"It's wonderful that the group is willing to give the kids the opportunity and to donate to the music program," she said, but Rasch said they would have loved to perform with the band even without the donation.