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Corona del Mar Today: Singers to join Foreigner at Taste of Newport

Children of the 1980s will get to hear children of the 2010s perform “I Want to Know What Love Is” along with Foreigner when they take the stage at this year’s Taste of Newport on Sept. 18, Corona del Mar High School officials announced.

“It’s funny,” said Val Jamora, the school’s music director. “I was talking with the publicity manger, and they asked if I knew the song and I said ‘Are you kidding me? I had my heart broken to that song at my junior high dance.’”


Foreigner will perform at 9 p.m., with 25 members of the Corona del Mar High School Madrigal Singers joining in “I Want To Know What Love Is,” the band’s No. 1 hit from 1985.

Foreigner also will make an unspecified donation to the CdM High School music program as part of an ongoing fundraiser that benefits the VH1 “Save The Music” Foundation.


In Foreigner’s original video to the power-ballad song, several random, downtrodden working-class people answer an ad to sing in a background choir with the band, with everyone happy in the end. Foreigner always picks a local choir to perform this song with them. Jamora had to pick 25 singers, leaving a dozen behind.

“So much of what school programs do is our own scholastic concerts,” he said. “But it’s a totally different thing when they get to meet stage managers and sound engineers and see what happens behind the scenes and how a professional music show is put together. I love these things because they’re really big eye-openers for the kids.”

This year’s Taste of Newport also will include performances by the Gin Blossoms and Pat Benatar; read our earlier story here, or click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Staff Writer Joanna Clay contributed to this report.



Harbor View, CdM High buck district enrollment trend

Student enrollment is down this school year throughout most of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District — but not at Corona del Mar High School or at Harbor View Elementary School, according to district and school officials.

Harbor View had about 30 or 40 more kindergartners enter the school last week, with a total student body of 460 students, up about 30 from last year.


And at Corona del Mar Middle and High schools, there are more than 400 students in five of the six classes, said Karen Yelsey, president of the board of education.

Yelsey attended the CdM High’s first PTA meeting of the year, which drew more than 100 parents to the school’s small gym on Wednesday morning.

About 100 new students entered the high school this year, she said, with about 30 to 50 entering the middle school, above last year’s enrollment.

All student enrollment figures need to be verified before district officials can provide accurate student body counts, and that process takes about a week, she said.

One parent asked if enrollment rose throughout the district, and Yelsey said it was not a districtwide trend.

“Did everyone move down to Corona del Mar? I don’t know,” she said.

District spokeswoman Laura Boss this afternoon said that Harbor View was one of four elementary schools that have more students this year, and Newport Harbor High School also has a larger student population, along with CdM High School.

As far as final numbers?

“We continue to wait and see,” she said.

The number of students enrolling in the CdM middle and high schools this year contributed to the long lines at registration in late August, said Middle School Principal Guy Olguin.

“Certainly we had some long registration lines,” he said. “We had more kids than we had before.”

Gary Almquist, the high school’s ASB director, promised that “registration will go 1,000 times smoother next year.”

“We’ve already discussed 25 different ways to make it happen,” he said. “That’s my guarantee.”

The schools have launched an online ASB shop that would let students or their parents buy items like locks and P.E. clothes online and pick them up at school, and there will be more cashiers at registration in the future, they said.

“Parents hopefully won’t have to wait in line at all,” Olguin said.

Some parents asked about the shortage of desks and lockers, all of which school officials are trying to resolve, Olguin said.

The two-hour meeting included chances for volunteer sign-ups as well as information about the Oct. 26 Corona del Mar Home Tour.

Select staff members also were introduced, including Athletic Director Don Grable, who said the school has a new surf team this year. He also said that last year, all 22 of the school’s sports teams had an average, unweighted grade point average of 3.0 or higher, an accomplishment recognized by the CIF, or California Interscholastic Federation.

“We were the only school which had every team recognized,” he said.

There will be a middle school PTA meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 406.

New bridal shop opens in Corona del Mar

Corona del Mar has a new bridal store. Bella Bridesmaid has a sign in the window at 2620 E. Coast Hwy., announcing that is open for business.

In other business news, Renaissance Rug Gallery did close at 2831 E. Coast Hwy., but a new rug store called Rug Resources has been granted a Newport Beach business license and replaced the awning with the new name.