PORTLAND — When the Deering High School chorus was asked to sing with classic rock band Foreigner, the youngsters were excited.

“But I think the parents were even more excited,” said Gilbert Peltola, music teacher and chorus director at Deering. “Some of the kids know the songs from the radio, but not like the parents do.”

About 26 members of the Deering High School Chorus will be joining Foreigner on stage Feb. 18 at Portland’s State Theatre, for a sold-out show. The chorus will be singing backup on one song, the 1984 ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

Foreigner has been picking a high school group to sing with it for most of its shows for the past six or seven years, as a way to promote and raise money for music education, according to the band’s management. A $500 donation will be made from Foreigner to the chorus. Additionally, chorus members will sell Foreigner CDs, with money raised from sales going to the Grammy Foundation, which helps promote music education in schools.

Foreigner’s management said Deering was picked basically at random. After getting a few recommendations of local high school choirs, Deering was the first school management called. Peltola said the chorus has been rehearsing by singing along with a video of another chorus that sang with Foreigner. The chorus will not get a chance to rehearse with the band, they will just step on stage and sing.

Foreigner had a slew of rock hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including “Feels Like the  First Time,” “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “I Want To Know What Love Is.”