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Bucks County Women’s Chorus to open for Foreigner at Parx

Twenty members are set to sing before the ‘70s rock band takes the Xcite Center stage on July 22

Exciting opportunity: Foreigner invited the Bucks County Women’s Chorus to open for the band on July 22 at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center. Source: Karsten Staiger

When Pat Guth founded the Bucks County Women’s Chorus a decade ago, she didn’t envision some of the amazing opportunities the group would someday enjoy.

From performing at the White House to spreading their vocal talents across Ireland, Italy and a slew of other countries, these ladies have done it all. On Friday, July 22, 20 of the 84 chorus members will add a fresh line to their resumes — opening for Foreigner, the iconic ‘70s rock band, at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center.

In 2019, 25 of the choir’s charter members appeared on stage with Foreigner to sing the smash hit “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which is typically part of the encore. This time around, those with the next-longest tenure in the chorus will perform four songs, including “The Lonesome Road” by James Taylor, 15 minutes before the main act hits the stage.

“They really appreciated that we were easy to work with and the band enjoyed us, so they thought that they would extend an invitation again,” said Guth. “It’s very much out of our wheelhouse but super exciting for the group. We got to stay last time and listen to the concert afterward. The smiles on everyone’s faces were ear-to-ear. Everybody just had a blast. And because most of us are in our 60s, that was our era. We grew up with Foreigner.”

Rockin’ reunion: The Bucks County Women’s Chorus performed with Foreigner in 2019, when a number of charter members joined the band on stage for “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Source: Bucks County Women’s Chorus

According to the band’s keyboardist Michael Bluestein, the band boasts a longtime tradition of spotlighting a local choir on each stop of a tour, including many middle and high school groups.

“It’s a way to raise awareness of diminishing school music programs. They’re always the first ones to go when a school is making budget cuts,” explained Bluestein. “When you see these kids get up there and sing, when you see them smiling and being psyched to be on stage and singing this classic song, it really makes a lot of light bulbs go off for people when they see how important this is. Music is just such a fundamental thing.”

The Bucks County Women’s Chorus is a prime example of how music is vital at all stages of life. Since its inception, the group has prided itself on maintaining one key mission — to create a safe space for women of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels to share their passion for music. This unity was sorely missed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw practices go virtual and live gigs indefinitely canceled.

Foreigner also deeply missed the energy of an audience, though it’s certainly making up for lost time this year. Bluestein happily shared that the band has approximately 100 shows scheduled throughout 2022. It recently concluded a seven-week run in Europe and is on a much-needed break until the sold-out Parx Casino date, which kicks off the American leg of its “The Greatest Hits” tour.

“It’s great to be back,” he said. “People are just so psyched to get to go out to shows again and feel like we’re almost back to normal in a lot of ways. We’re really psyched to be out there again on tour in full force. We’re back to rocking.”

When asked what attendees can expect setlist-wise at the forthcoming concert, Bluestein promised that Foreigner fans won’t be disappointed.

“We have the luxurious problem of having too many hits to even fit in the whole set. We always feel like we’re cheating because everybody already knows and loves the tunes. It’s not like we’re trying to win anybody over with something they’ve never heard before,” he said. “It’s gonna be a lot of songs that people know.”

Not only is Bluestein excited to perform for his second Bensalem crowd in three years, he’s anticipating a repeat of the warm reception that the chorus received in 2019.

“It’s a nice lift,” he said of having special guests on tour. “It’s just such a great feeling. It’s such a great vibe all around.”

On the heels of the Foreigner concert, the Bucks County Women’s Chorus will continue its milestone anniversary year by performing at a Flyers game (date TBD), applying to sing at the White House once again and taking advantage of any other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come its way. The group is always accepting new members. More information can be found at buckscountywomenschorus.com.

Doors to the show at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center, 2999 Street Road in Bensalem, open at 7 p.m. The show begins at 8 p.m. Visit foreigneronline.com or parxcasino.com/bensalem/xcitecenter for more information.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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