It's a miracle. The Palmer High School Chamber Singers will back up legendary singer Barry Manilow, when he performs at The Broadmoor World Arena on May 4.
The three songs the 24 students will accompany Manilow on: "I Write the Songs," "Copacabana" and "It's a Miracle."
"It's one of those opportunities that comes along once in a lifetime," choir director Jeff Peckham said Thursday. "It's something that I'm sure these kids will remember forever."
When he received an email a few days ago, saying that Barry Manilow wanted Palmer's premier audition group to perform with him, Peckham figured it was a joke.
"I thought it was a scam," he said.
He did some research and found out the request was legit.
Manilow is stopping in Colorado Springs as part of his "One Last Time" tour. Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time. He's had more than 50 Top 40 hits and worldwide record sales of more than $80 million.
"I said we're certainly interested, and we committed to doing it," Peckham said.
Students have been taking standardized state tests this week and will get their first chance to rehearse on Friday.
The funny thing is, Peckham said, the students' parents are more familiar with the 72-year-old singer-songwriter's music than the younger generation.
"A couple of kids have said I have to ask my parents and make sure that night is OK," Peckham said, "and I'm getting emails from parents saying of course they're going to do it."
May 4 is a school night, after all.
To prepare, students are listening to the original recordings of the songs online that the Manilow tour people sent. They'll have just a few short weeks to practice, but Peckham promises they'll be ready.
The group has performed at many community events, including singing the national anthem at a Colorado Rockies' game in Denver, and doing shows at senior centers, nursing homes, military installations and other locations.
"They'll get to see what a tour is all about, and being in that environment will be awesome for them," Peckham said.
Manilow is known for his support of school music programs. In response to some schools cutting electives such as music, Manilow founded The Manilow Music Project, as part of his nonprofit Manilow Health and Hope Fund.
The organization donates musical instruments and materials to music programs in high schools and middle schools, and funds music scholarships at universities.
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