The Olympia Choral Society, which typically tackles such material as Brahms’ Requiem, will sing at a rock concert Saturday.
The choir will share the stage with Foreigner, one of the most popular bands on classic rock radio. The local singers will lend their voices to Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
“It’s a great tune,” said Terry Shaw, the choral’s music director.
This is the choir’s first performance with a famous group. “This is a first for us,” he said. “It will be fun.”
Foreigner wanted only 25 singers, and the group has 85-90.
When Terry brought it up, I told him right away, “I’m doing it.” ... I grew up in the ’80s. That’s my era. That’s what I grew up listening to, and I still listen to it.
Toni Hull of Olympia
“Of course, everybody wanted to do it,” Shaw said. “We narrowed it down to the people who this was their life dream to sing with Foreigner.”
Toni Hull of Olympia, who sings soprano, was one of the most enthusiastic.
“When Terry brought it up, I told him right away, ‘I’m doing it,’ ” she said. “I was super excited.
“I grew up in the ’80s,” she added. “That’s my era. That’s what I grew up listening to, and I still listen to it.”
Foreigner, which Mediabase last year ranked as No. 10 in airplay on classic rock radio, invites a local choir to perform on “I Want to Know What Love Is” wherever it tours.
“We’ve been using choirs to sing with the band for seven years and counting,” said band spokesman John Lappen. “It’s close to 500 choirs at this point.”
Foreigner often sings with high school choirs, he said, but this show is at Little Creek Casino, so the band invited adult choirs.
Lappen said the band contacted several local choirs, and the choral society was the first to respond.
The singers won’t rehearse with Foreigner, Shaw said, breaking into song. “It’s just, ‘I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.’ ”
At each show, members of the guest choir sell CDs before and after the show. Proceeds go to the Grammy Foundation’s Music in the Schools program.
The choir, meanwhile, gets a $500 donation for its services.
“To be a season sponsor for us, you have to donate $500 or above,” Shaw said. “Foreigner is not necessarily applying for that, but we could call them a season sponsor.”
What: The hard-rock band that made a big splash in the late ’70s and early ’80s plays in Shelton. The Olympia Choral Society will sing with the band.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Little Creek Casino, 91 W. state Route 108, Shelton.
Note: The concert is open only to ages 21 and older.