Foreigner Taps Local Talent for Performance at CMAC

Mick Jones of Foreigner

The picturesque venue of Canandaigua Music and Arts Center, CMAC, located about 20 minutes outside of Rochester N.Y. was the setting for Don Felder, Styx and headliner Foreigner.

What stole the show was when Foreigner brought the Canandaigua Academy Jazz Choir on stage with them for a song. The Choir had been asked by Lou Gramm to sing with him at the Rochester Jazz Fest and later was asked by a representative from Foreigner to be the choir vocals in the hit 90’s ballad song “I Want to Know What Love Is”, which was gladly accepted by Amy Story, Academy Choral Director.

The stage is set under the shell with seating. Typically, no one is allowed to stand in the aisle that is in front the first row seating; an exception was made for this special occasion. Both supporters of the choir and fans of Foreigner crowded up to the front to get an up close, personal view and experience. The second to last song in Foreigner’s set, the choir came on the stage. The facial expressions and radiant glow from the smile of the choir member faces was contagious. The voices of the inspired younger generations seemed to exude the emotions of appreciation for the opportunity Foreigner had given them.

Sounds of voices quickly filled the air and were received with an energetic welcoming enthusiasm from Foreigner. The audience was feeding off the energy from everyone on the stage. By the looks from one gentleman in the front row, he had enough energy for the entire audience. He was proudly looking with a twinkle in his eyes at the stage as he stretched one arm out in front of him, singing with all his heart. This gentleman could only have been a proud Papa bear by the amount emotion that he was watching someone up on stage. The choir was professional the entire evening and did a tremendous job and were truly wonderful ambassadors for their school.

Kelly Hansen and the Canandaigua Academy Jazz Choir
Kelly Hansen (Foreigner) and the Canandaigua Academy Jazz Choir

Although the choir stole the show, Foreigner was a class act and there is more to be said than just a great performance by these guys. They covered the stage like they were 16 years old still. Running from one side to the next, playing up to the audience. The interacted with the choir and made sure the focus was about them. Foreigner is a group of musicians that are quality people. They gave to a community; to a group of young adults by providing an incredible opportunity to perform with such a large act, instilling a memory that so many more than just the choir will never forget, impacted lives by just being able to experience and see that performance. If only more musicians and people could be like this the world would be a better place. Photo credit: Tony DeLeo