Pop star Rihanna will make her long-awaited visit to Barrington High School from 1-2 p.m. Friday, though the event sparked by the school's winning of a student video contest will be closed to the media.
Nevertheless, the very TV production class that won Rihanna's nationwide "Shine Bright Like A Diamond" contest will cover the appearance and stream it, powered by High School Cube, at dailyherald.com.
Rihanna's visit actually comes on the first day of spring break in Barrington Unit District 220, but 2,500 students from the district's middle schools and high school are expected to attend. The tickets were given away free via an e-mailed invitation to the district's own students as well as to St. Anne Catholic School students in grades 6 to 8. By Thursday evening's deadline, there were only a handful of tickets left.
District spokesman Jeff Arnett said the barring of outside media was at the specific request of Rihanna's management, which said the singer wants the focus of the event to be on the students rather than herself.
The Barrington High School students' "Shine Bright Like A Diamond" video was selected as the contest winner by Rihanna over 52 other submissions from throughout the country.
From early November on, 10 students spent around 50 hours recording and editing footage from various fundraisers and service work students and staff at Barrington High School had participated in throughout the year.
Another result of the video was the Cook County Board's passage of a resolution Wednesday honoring Barrington High School students for their volunteerism.
Among the school's recent achievements have been the raising of $700,000 for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, development of a cheerleading program for children with Down syndrome, collection of $12,000 for a therapy center that provides horseback riding for people with disabilities and two visits to Joplin, Mo. to help in tornado relief efforts there.
Though the students learned around the holidays that they had won the top prize of a personal visit from Rihanna, the date of her appearance was not confirmed until mid-February.
Rihanna's visit with students takes place only hours before her evening concert at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.