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ICYMI: GCVI choir to perform with bands Wilco and Foreigner

The choir will perform with Foreigner on June 14 at Budweiser Stage and July 2 and 3 with Wilco at Massey Hall

This story was previously published on GuelphToday.

Guelph CVI is at it again and this summer the chamber choir will be performing with Foreigner and Wilco.

This will be the choir’s third time performing with Foreigner and its first with Wilco.

While some students may not know the bands their parents sure do. One student’s parents who are big music fans have their office covered in Wilco posters. Her mom said to her “I don't know if you've noticed this, but this has been around for like 10 years. They're your dad's favourite band.”

The choir will perform with Foreigner June 14 at Budweiser Stage and July 2 and 3 with Wilco at Massey Hall. There will be a total of 50 students from the choir, 25 students to perform with each band.

The choir continues to get unique music opportunities and Lane Osborne, choir director, credits it to a mix of networking and having a good track record.

Students get to do a lot of cool things because they are so committed to rehearing. Osborne thinks this is an incredible opportunity for her students to perform with musicians who have many accolades to their names and are talented in playing their respective musical instruments. It’s a “gift in itself" and they’ll be appreciative of the experience in the long run.

“To be able to perform with a Grammy Award winning band (Wilco) is actually one of the coolest things I have been fortunate enough to do. When I was little I never would have guessed that I would have this incredible opportunity to sing with such a fantastic band. I am grateful that I get to create these amazing memories with the choir,” said Tuuli Quilley, Grade 9 student, shared by Osborne in a text message.

In March the choir sang with Classic Albums Live and performed AC/DC’S Highway to Hell at Massey Hall. 

“The kids when they go there, and they realize, you know, just how many artists have performed there and the history behind it, it really thrills them to be able to be on that stage,” said Osborne.

The students will be singing Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love Is and Wilco’s California Stars and Cruel Country.

One of Osborne’s colleague told her I Want to Know What Love Is, was he and his wife’s first dance song at their wedding. Now their daughter will be on stage with Foreigner singing their song.

Local composer Silas Chinsen is arranging the songs the students will sing with Wilco. Students will give feedback to Chinsen based on what the band is looking for and continue to practice during the coming weeks.

The choir is thrilled to get to go to Toronto for the shows. There will be a series of sound checks they will have to go through with the bands which is still exciting for them since “they’re nerds when it comes to music,” said Osborne.

Singing with a band is a bit different than what the choir is used to. They are trained to perform for traditional choral festivals whereas with popular music singers have to be trained to sing in the background.

It will be a different experience for them as musicians since they will sing “oohs” and “ahhs” in strategic places and compliment the overall sound of the songs.

The GCVI chamber choir hasn’t performed with Foreigner since 2019 so this cohort of students are entirely new to playing with the band.

Friends and family have already bought tickets to the shows for this summer.


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Santana Bellantoni

About the Author: Santana Bellantoni

Santana Bellantoni was born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. As a general assignment reporter for Guelph Today she is looking to discover the communities, citizens and quirks that make Guelph a vibrant city.
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