OHS Chorale performs with Foreigner

For the second year, some members of the Odessa High School Chorale will sing with the rock group Foreigner as they perform “I Want to Know What Love Is” during a concert at 8 p.m. Monday at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Seth Marsh and Emilie Bell, both 17-year-old seniors, sang with the group last year.

“It’s a good experience to be able to be with a live band because we’re not used to that. We’re used to doing choir music,” Marsh said.

He added that it’s different than singing in a choir concert because there are more people. Marsh said you don’t look at the people.

“You live in the moment,” he said.

On the other hand, Bell said she was nervous.

“It’s scary with all those people,” Bell said.

But the band was cool and the experience was fun, she said.

Marsh said the singer and guitarist focused on the students the most.

“They were so loose with it. They were going with the flow. It was nice they weren’t super serious. Even if somebody messed up, which I think someone did, they didn’t turn around like, ‘What?!’ They went off of it. They knew what they were doing,” Seth said.

Bell plans to attend the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and transfer to Hardin-Simmons University to earn a teaching degree and ultimately a PhD and teach voice.

Marsh plans to attend Texas Tech University and become an engineer.

“But singing is always going to be a part of my life. It’s not like I’m going to stop singing after this. I’m probably not going to sing in choirs. I’ll probably do stuff like family gatherings,” Marsh said.

Head Choir Director Jayson Hart will be leading the group for the first time. He was the assistant director last year.

There are 35 chorale members, but he can only take 25 due to stage restrictions, he said. Last year, the chorale won a concert to sing with the band, but he got an email earlier in the year requesting the chorale sing with Foreigner again.

“They’re very excited about it,” Hart said of his students. “It’s a great way to top off our season of contest, which we finished yesterday (Wednesday) and we did well on stage yesterday with a Division I.”

Being able to take the stage with a classic rock band, he said, is “awesome.”

Asked if he thought the students would be flat after their Division I win, Hart said the feeling is different with the Foreigner performance.

“I think they’re going to do a fantastic job and have fun,” Hart said.

Michael Bluestein, who has been the keyboardist with Foreigner for 10 years, said it’s always entertaining when the students are on stage with the seven-member band.

“It’s always fun when we get those kids up there because they’re so psyched to be getting on a big stage like that (with) their parents out there. I always look forward to their excitement,” Bluestein said in a telephone interview.

The youthful energy is always great and something the band can feed off of, he noted.

“It’s contagious, so I’ve found when they’re bopping around you can see the giggles. You can see them getting captivated and taken in by the moment. That’s infectious and we feel it,” Bluestein said.