Chevaliers Perform At Sold Out Foreigner Rock Concert

Ali Caudle, Reporter

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Hellgate High School’s advanced extracurricular choir, the Chevaliers, performed at the Foreigner concert at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater on Sept. 9, 2019. The Chevaliers, affectionately called “the Chevvies” by the talented singers who make up the group, received the opportunity of a lifetime when they were chosen by world famous rock group Foreigner to join them onstage.

Photo Courtesy of Haiden Munden
Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen sings the chorus of “I Wanna Know What Love Is” onstage with the Chevvies.

Foreigner is arguably one of the most popular American rock bands in the world. They were huge in the ’70s and ’80s, and have ten multi-platinum albums, 16 Top 30 hit songs, and throughout their career they have sold more than 80 million albums.

Some of Foreigner’s more well-known songs include “Juke Box Hero”, “Cold As Ice”, “Hot Blooded”, “Waiting For A Girl Like You”, “Feels Like The First Time”, “Urgent”, “Head Games”, “Say You Will”, and “Dirty White Boy”.

To perform their most popular song, a worldwide #1 hit, “I Wanna Know What Love Is”, the band always recruits a local youth choir to come on stage and perform it with them. For their sold out stop in Missoula, they contacted John Combs, who is the Fine Arts Supervisor for Missoula County Public Schools. Combs recommended the Chevaliers.

Photo Courtesy of the Hellgate Choir Facebook Page
The Chevaliers prepare before the show.

Ellen McKenzie, who has been the choir director at Hellgate High School since 2014, was very excited to hear that Foreigner wanted to choose Hellgate’s choir program to represent youth choirs in Missoula.

McKenzie said, “Foreigner always recruits a local youth choir to perform at their concerts – it’s their way of bringing attention to the importance of music in our schools.”

At the concert, after the Chevaliers performed, Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen asked the audience to cheer for them, and he explained why they were there.

He said, “One of the reasons that we have these youth choirs come onstage with us is to remind everybody of the lack of funding for school music programs. So we need your help to keep these young dreams alive.”

The audience seemed receptive to his comment. After the show, attendee Dani Stewart said, “I did love how he put a little plug in for school music programs… I think that’s great.”

As for the performance, the Chevaliers had the time of their lives performing for the audience of more than 4,000 people.

Photo Courtesy of the Hellgate Choir Facebook Page
Say cheese! The Chevvies pose with the Foreigner sign before the concert starts.

Haiden Munden, a Junior on the Chevvies, said, “It was a feeling I don’t even know how to describe. My favorite part was just walking on the stage and the build up of it, because as soon as you turn that corner and you see the audience, and you see the lights and stuff, it just seemed so surreal at that moment.”

The Chevvies danced and sang, and got really into the moment. It was clear that they could really feel what they were singing.

Stewart said, “They were very enthusiastic which was nice. They livened up the stage a bit.”

McKenzie was proud of them. She said, “This was such a unique opportunity for them. They had such great stage presence – they were totally into it – and got to sing for this audience that maybe hadn’t ever heard Hellgate choirs before. The crowd was packed and loved seeing local kids up there. I just thought the whole thing was beautiful.”

Photo Courtesy of Haiden Munden
For a complete video of the performance, visit “Hellgate Choir” on Facebook.

It was a magical night, a packed concert and a lively performance. Before sending the Chevaliers off the stage, Hansen thanked them for being there.

He said, “You look great, you sound great, thank you so much for your beautiful energy!”