Arts & Entertainment

Chatham High Select Choir Rocks Carnegie Hall in Foreigner Band Contest – and WINS!

Chatham High Select Choir performs at Carnegie Hall and wins $5,000 grant in contest sponsored by rock bank Foreigner Credits: CHS

CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham High School Select Choir was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Grammy Foundation in competition against three tri-state area choirs at Carnegie Hall Tuesday night as part of the rock band Foreigner's 40th anniversary tour.

In conjunction with iheart Radio Q104FM, Foreigner invited local school choirs to compete for a $5,000 grant from the Grammy Foundation - and a chance to be part of the opening act for the show- by submitting an a cappella arrangement of any classic rock song. After preliminary judging, the CHS Select Choir earned a spot in the competition alongside West Milford High School, Ramsey High School, and Holy Trinity High School as the opening act for the iconic 70s rock band in Tuesday's competition.

The winning choir was determined by a panel of judges, after which they took center stage to lead the sold-out venue singing the rock anthem I Want to Know What Love Is with Foreigner at the end of the concert.

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The CHS Select Choir brought down the house with its exciting a cappella performance of Queen’s Somebody to Love, conducted by CHS Choral Director Ken Bryson. Soloists Jacob FeeneyElizabeth Stuart, Charlie Thomson, and Mary Kate Willmot each gave dynamic performances that electrified the crowd, matched by the energy of the supporting voices in the choir.

The audience erupted in applause several times throughout the CHS performance. The winner was announced as the four choirs waited together in the ‘green room’ and anxiously watched the video screens for the announcement made from the stage.

The band performed their hits “unplugged” on the famed New York stage, a career milestone that also served as the opening date of Foreigner's 40th anniversary tour, including some of their classic hits such as “Cold as Ice,” “Double Vision,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Hot Blooded,” and “Jukebox Hero.”

Foreigner has enjoyed a long partnership with the Grammy Foundation in their philanthropic efforts to enhance funding for school music programs, and used their Carnegie Hall debut to collaborate with the Grammy Foundation to support local music education. On this tour, the band will duplicate the experience for school choral programs in venues across the country.

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