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Katy Perry at Lakewood High School: Students, faculty get private concert

Katy Perry at Lakewood High School: Students, faculty get private concert

With cheers and smartphones rising from the audience, pop star Katy Perry took the makeshift stage in the raucous Lakewood High School gym before sunrise Friday morning.

One part pep rally, another part arena pop concert, the show drew howls of excitement from Lakewood High students as the singer ran through a paper banner and onto an enormous stage decked out in tiger stripes in honor of the school mascot.

Lighting rigs and camera crews and a sea of students filled the gym. It could have been the Pepsi Center if not for the Lakewood High School banner hanging from the scaffolding.

“It was so exciting, and to be honest, I cried twice because I was happy that everyone was so happy,” said Lakewood sophomore Jessica Jennett.

Students won the Perry concert by making a lip-dub video of the singer’s hit song “Roar,” which they entered into a national contest on “Good Morning America.” Perry chose Lakewood’s video from more than 1,000 entries from across the country. The video has since had hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

About 2,700 LHS students and faculty in matching black and orange T-shirts shook off the drowsiness from a 4 a.m. wake-up call as Perry kicked off the show with “Roar.” Amid stops and starts for “Good Morning America” interviews with Perry and the students who made the winning video, the singer performed four more songs — “Walking on Air,” “Firework,” “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream.”

“Let me tell you all how much I appreciate your love and support,” Perry told the crowd of students. She wore an LHS cheerleader outfit, her band wore football uniforms.

Like any normal pep rally, Perry took a few moments to urge the school’s football and volleyball teams to win this weekend.

“Don’t let me down,” she said.

The singer scolded the crowd for booing the freshmen when she called out each of the classes.

The concert lasted about an hour.

Gov. John Hickenlooper was on hand for the show, chatting with and congratulating students.

“I couldn’t be more proud. It’s as if they’re my own children,” Hickenlooper said. “I think it’s a jolt of energy for the community. It shows what a great principal they have and what student leadership does.

“It’s a little like when I was a kid and the Beatles first came to the United States.”

The students sang “Happy Birthday” to the pop star in honor of her 29th birthday, and even brought out a cake and a Lakewood High letter jacket.

Wearing her new letter jacket, Perry spent time after the show taking pictures with students, giving autographs and meeting with the producers of the winning video.

Angelo Diaz, a freshman at Lakewood High School, ran through the crowd yelling, “I got her autograph!” and proudly showing off the singer’s looping writing on a crumpled piece of notebook paper.

Courtney Coddington, who directed the winning video, had a whirlwind of a morning, taking live interviews on “Good Morning America,” going onstage in front of the crowd and receiving thanks from her peers for helping make the concert a reality.

“It was so much fun,” Coddington said shortly after meeting Perry. “She’s so pretty, and I was so happy that we finally got to see her.

“In the video there’s so much spirit, and that’s carried through the last month and a half,” Coddington said. “I want to see more of this in the world.”

Crews spent a week prepping the gym and school for Perry’s arrival. Among the cables running in an out of the building, the trucks and production vans, a 40-foot gold tractor-trailer with “Katy Perry” and “Prism” written in bold on the side parked behind the school.

“It is over the top,” LHS principal Ron Castagna said.

He spent the week proving the school’s tax-exemption status for such a sizable gift, taking calls from the governor and getting help from retired assistant principals to take care of logistics.

But, Castagna couldn’t be more proud of his students.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less from our young adults,” Castagna said. “Sometimes the public doesn’t get to know that this is an incredible generation.”

Perry ended the show with “Teenage Dream.” It was a fitting conclusion for a show taking place in a high school gym on a Friday morning before school.

Once it was over, Perry tweeted “Thanks for a GREAT morning LAKEWOOD HIGH! Keep #ROARING!”

Matt Miller

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  1. Good job kids. Good job Perry.

  2. Saw the video of this on Channel 7 , looks like everyone had fun. good for the students and good for Katie Perry to make the effort and do this before school.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of this artist, but I’m happy for the school and its students.

    Applause for the fund-raising efforts, also. That is great!

  4. I thought the whole thing was just wonderful. After hearing about the murder of the teacher by her 14 year old student, the Jon Benet case, the stupid website for ACA (much ado about nothing), the concert came on and how could you not feel the positive energy!

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