After viewing a student-made music video set to one of their songs, British boy band The Wanted agreed Wednesday to visit Barrington High School next week.
"I'm beyond excited," said junior Ariana Baldassano, who serves as vice president of the school's video program, 238 Studios. "I can't even explain how I'm feeling right now. I love their music, and I think it's a great opportunity for Barrington."
Two years ago, the band expressed interest in visiting Barrington High School while a tour, said senior Peter Chung, who is president of BHS-TV, a student-run show produced by 238 Studios.
"They like going to high schools to talk about their music," he said. "They talk about their life, their history with music, how they got together and advice for high school students."
TV teacher Jeff Doles added that the school had been in contact with the band through MOXIE, an organization that provides high school journalists and media programs with materials to cover musical artists.
To prepare for the band's visit, the school's Orchesis dance group worked on a performance to their hit song "Glad You Came." But then the plans fell through.
"We were hoping, initially, that the band would sing along with the Orchesis students," Dole said, noting that instead, the TV production students spent hours filming and editing a video of the Orchesis performance, which was then sent to the band.
Nothing came of the video until this week, when the band announced they would stop at the school on Wednesday, Oct. 23, to play a short acoustic set and take part in a question-and-answer session that will be led by Baldassano.
Doles said he believes the band is visiting a few other high schools nationwide in the coming weeks to promote their new album, Word of Mouth.
They are also scheduled to perform Wednesday night at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago.
The announcement of the band's visit came at a perfect time, Doles said, as the TV production students recently found out they were not named finalists in a music video contest for the song "Roar" by pop star Katy Perry.
"This is another unique opportunity for students to showcase what they do in the video program and Orchesis," Doles said.
Earlier this year, the TV production students won the school a visit from pop star Rihanna after submitting a video to the "Shine Bright Like A Diamond" student video contest.
Her visit did not go smoothly though, as the pop star was delayed by traffic and kept hundreds of students waiting more than four hours on their first day of spring break to see her briefly appear onstage.
Doles said he is not sure how many students will be able to meet The Wanted, but the band's visit will be run differently from the Rihanna event.
"It's definitely not going to be an all-school event, at this point," he said.