Goodhue Choir with Foreigner.jpg

The Goodhue High School choir backs up Foreigner on their hit song "I Want to Know What Love Is" at Treasure Island Resort and Casino last week. Photo courtesy of Treasure Island Resort and Casino

The vintage rock band Foreigner performed with the Goodhue High School choir on May 12 at Treasure Island, singing their hit song “I Want to Know What Love Is.” 

The opportunity to sing with Foreigner started with  a 2018 contest. The choir sent in an audition tape, and people online had to vote for a choir to sing with the band. People in the community and at the school shut down the website multiple times because of high voting volume. 

The Goodhue choir won.

Choir teacher Emily Shores was so excited for her students to have this opportunity when it first arrived. 

She felt shocked and uplifted by the support from the community. The only stressor of the event was a TV interview with Fox 9, which was outside of normal high school choir activities.

The students in Shores’ choir class seemed excited by the opportunity, with senior Madisyn Nurnberg saying “It was a rush.”

Shores said that every year since the initial concert “... they've called every time they've come back in town … to say, ‘Hey, you got a crew you want to bring in that can come?’”

Shores felt that this concert provided an amazing opportunity for the kids as it allowed them to get more of the commercialized music experience in contrast to ordinary choir.

“It was nice to be with a band that I grew up listening to,” student Lillian Luhman said.

Throughout the decades, Foreigner has remained a force with nine top-10 hits, platinum certification, tying with Fleetwood Mac and exceeding a weekly audience of 20 million listeners.

Shores added that Foreigner was touring with not just this choir but others as well to maintain school music program budgets and support local programs.

Shores’ students sing the praises of their choir teacher. Her enthusiasm and care is reflected in the choir’s performance and evidence of why Goodhue has repeatedly performed with the nationally known band. 

In an interview, several of Shores' students including seniors Madisyn Nurnberg, Brianna Fitzgerald, Jeffrey Simonson as well as junior Tanner Smith and sophomore Lillian Luhman got to share the impact of their experiences with choir and the band.

“It helps build us as a person and get us more out there,” said Luhman about her experience in choir.

It seems that it is not just music that is uplifting these students, but specifically their choral director Shores. Several feelings came up for the students when discussing their teacher, with Luhman describing how supportive Shores has been of the choir's efforts and her infectious excitement.

“I love Mrs. Shore, she’s one of my favorite teachers, you can just connect with her,” Nurnberg said.

Senior Simonson brought up the difficult feelings that come with graduation, saying “it almost gets really emotional…because you’re not going to see that teacher that you spent your whole high school career, eight years in choir with.”

Shores is deeply involved in the Goodhue school’s music program teaching grades five-12 and has completed a doctorate herself.

Shores has been involved with music education since childhood. Her mom was a theater director, and she began taking piano lessons in kindergarten.

By middle school, Shores was teaching her siblings and peers piano, and by high school she was teaching vocals for theater. It was because of this experience that she felt that teaching music “just made sense,” for her. 

In Shores’ work, she tries to show her students the importance of music. She said that music can help with stress relief and memory attachment. 

When talking about the impact of music, Shores said: “The emotional and physical connections can help us learn to regulate our emotions as humans.”

“We need to really look at the hard evidence that's available to us now and see that this is brain development, that music lights up the brain, like nothing else that they have found yet,” she said. “And because it uses so many areas of the brain, then we are creating cross connections from one side of the brain to the other, which increases executive function.”


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