WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It's not unusual for a country music artist to perform in Palm Beach County. But this weekend, it's a show unlike any other.
"Country Girl" crooner Luke Bryan will be in Jupiter for a concert to benefit the arts in our community. And some local students are gearing up to perform for a global superstar for the second time.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Education
They call it the "Dreyfoos Magic," and it was on full display Tuesday as a group of Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts vocal students practiced for their opening act performance for country star Luke Bryan.
"We were guessing who could it be, and we ruled out Luke Bryan. He’s too big. So when we found out, we were shocked," student Brianna Tejada said.
This is the second time these students will serve as the opening act for a mega superstar. They also performed ahead of Gwen Stefani in April, raising more than $300,000 for their audition-only public arts school.
"People think, 'Oh, well, it's Dreyfoos. Students don't need items.' Yes, they do," Principal Blake Bennett said. "People would be quite surprised to know how often that occurs. So we are always looking for grants, fundraising opportunities, to make sure our students have everything they need and they receive that world-class art and academic education."
"Watching the kids benefit and have even more opportunities and resources to help them, we’re hoping to ignite a fire that really goes nationwide," said Dennis Cunningham, the CEO of the Save Our Musicians Foundation, which hosts the concert events.
Cunningham said the "Country Girl" singer, student performers and the Jupiter waterfront make for a winning combination.
"Performing on the same stage physically, it feels so surreal," student London O'Brien said.
Supporting public arts education and encouraging young performers to follow their dreams are the goals of concert events like this.
"Music is just a language you can use when words can't fill in the place, and it's a universal language," student Aileen Pereda said.
"What do you want his reaction to be when you guys finish your set?" WPTV education reporter Stephanie Susskind asked the Dreyfoos vocal students on Tuesday.
"Just, like, the talent that we see and the talent running through the younger generation, that we can keep it going," Tejada answered.
"And the impact we can make on other people," Pereda added. "It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s all just about having fun and connecting with the audience. So hopefully he gets to see that and everyone else in the audience."
Students from Dreyfoos School of the Arts will perform a total of eight songs, while Bach Middle School students will perform two to three songs. Other Dreyfoos students will be involved as ushers at the concert and fill other roles.
"For them to experience working with Grammy Award-winning artists and their technicians and learning about how everything works backstage, it was such an eye-opening experience," Bennett said.
The proud principal added that the money raised will help improve and add resources at Dreyfoos.
"Everything we do in the arts is very expensive. And we use it to replenish things, add things, do new programs," Bennett said. "So we've been able to do a lot of additional things we haven't been able to do in the past, as well as replace some of our aging equipment and instruments. And students and teachers have been able to participate in more events."
For tickets to Saturday's Save Our Musicians Foundation concert, click here.