Abbey Shilling – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Lakewood Ranch’s elite Acapella group traveled to Tampa on Sunday, March 18 for the performance of a lifetime. MustAng Capella was set to perform onstage at Ruth Eckerd Hall with the iconic 80’s rock band Foreigner.

mustang capella waits backstage for foreigner
Member of MustAng Capella wait backstage for their big moment

LRHS chorus teacher Giselle Panagiotakis entered a talent competition at the suggestion of bass member and longtime Foreigner fan Michael McKeithen. As the winning group, MustAng Capella automatically received a performance spot at a sold-out show and $500 was donated to the chorus fund.

The bus departed LRHS at 4:15 p.m. and arrived at Ruth Eckerd Hall at 5:25 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show. During the two-hour wait, the group entertained themselves by warming up, singing their set pieces, and interacting with audience members while anxiously awaiting their time in the spotlight.

“The two hours just seemed to drag by,” said LRHS senior and founding MustAng Capella member Alexis Carroll. “We were so excited for the opportunity. We just couldn’t wait to get out there.”

At the previously set call time, the 22 singers gathered in the back stairwell, battling nerves and excitement while waiting to be called onstage. The cue was finally given and all members marched forward in front of the orchestra and into the main spotlight to sing the final chorus of “I Wanna Know What Love Is.”

The song lasted a total of nine minutes and at the close of the show, Panagiotakis was invited downstage to play the bass guitar.

MustAng Capella plans to do their own arrangement of “I Wanna Know What Love Is” and send it to the band thanking them for the experience and possibly performing with Foreigner again during the summer of 2018 in California.

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