CHS Daires Get a Shot at the Big Leagues Singing with Foreigner


The Daires before the performance. Photo provided by Jo Prevatte.

By Lainie Pennington, Copy Editor


On Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, the Cleveland Daires had the opportunity to sing with the legendary rock group Foreigner on their 40th anniversary tour in Ridgefield, Washington.

“It was an exhilarating experience,” said sophomore Ryan Stephens. The Daires backed up the band during their hit song, “I Want to Know What Love Is” during the encore of the show.  

“We got to the amphitheater at 7:30 and found out we didn’t go on stage until 10:45,” said junior Zoe Kass. “We ended up having a great time dancing and singing until then. It was pretty amazing to look out and see a sea of lighters floating in the crowd.”

The choir performed to an enormous crowd at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, which seats 18,000 people. “I don’t think it was completely full but there was a lot of people there. I don’t know exactly how many but there could have been 13,000 people,” said choir director and teacher Diana Rowey. “So it was kind of intense but really fun.”

“The lights were blinding and you get up there and you can’t see the audience and it feels like for a second you’re performing to a crowd full of nobody and then at one point the lights changed and you saw people everywhere,” said Stephens. While the choir did not get to meet Foreigner face to face, they did share the stage with them and Stephens was chosen to play the bass with the band.

“Every single time we sang I felt a level of camaraderie with my choir and we all were feeling so good doing it and afterward the bassist calls me down to play the bass and that was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Stephens.

The Daires were chosen to perform last spring after Rowey entered them in a sweepstakes competition hosted by the band, which is considered one of the most popular rock bands with album sales exceeding 75 million. “[The stage manager] said we were his 500th choir that he’s done this with,” said Rowey.

The majority of their preparation didn’t begin until school started. “Over the summer time

I let them know that they needed to practice and I posted a Youtube video to follow along with. They don’t provide any sheet music because it’s so simple— singing in the chorus,” said Rowey. “The rehearsal process was basically looking up karaoke and singing along and practicing moving in time together.”

With a unique and exciting show under their belt, the Daires are looking forward to their upcoming festivals and concerts including the the Harvest Festival in October.