Foreigner is coming to Legends Casino. These Tri-Cities singers will perform with the band

The artisitic director of Mid-Columbia Mastersingers suspected he was being spammed a few months ago when he received an email asking if the group would like to perform with the rock band Foreigner.

But Justin Raffa responded anyway, and after a phone call with a marketing manager at the band’s tour headquarters in Las Vegas, he was convinced it was real.

On Sunday evening the Tri-Cities choral music group will sing backup at Legends Casino in Toppenish on the band’s best known hit, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

They’ll be rocking the chorus.

Only 25 Mastersingers will fit on the stage, but the organization has 150 singers. It was a popular gig.

Mid-Columbia Mastersingers is invited to perform with Foreigner Sunday at Legends Casino in Toppenish. Courtesy Legends Casino

Raffa decided who got to perform based on who he thought would do well within a pop style and then asked them to rate their level of fandom.

Everyone he picked already knew the song that Foreigner released in 1984, and the music is not difficult.

Foreigner concert close to sold out

So their first rehearsal was set for three nights before the performance, primarily to learn a choreographed routine.

Foreigner often arranges to bring a local group on stage when it performs, and Raffa had been checking out videos.

Some of the choirs looked a little awkward at a rock concert, prompting the choreography, he said.

“We’re not going to be that guy,” he decided. “We’re going to be polished — look good.”

The group has agreed with Foreigner to wear all black — no choir robes allowed.

A sound check is planned early Sunday. But then it is a “plug and play” performance. The choir will just walk on stage and perform with Foreigner.

The Foreigner performance has proved popular, with Ticketmaster only having a few single-seat tickets left for sale. A sold-out concert is projected.