On Instagram and Facebook, students ask Lizzo to perform “Better in Color” with them. | Courtesy Chicago Arts and Music Project

Students in an after-school orchestra program are asking their idol, Grammy-winning singer Lizzo to join their upcoming spring concert on Chicago’s West Side. 

“So I hear you have a concert on May 17 in Chicago,” Honesty Nash said at the start of a video shared on the Chicago Arts and Music Project social media pages. 

“Will you come sing with us?” Tylon Cavanero asked the singer of hits like “Truth Hurts” and “About Damn Time.” 

Nash and Cavanero are two of 55 students  — grades 3rd to 9th — who will perform in their May 18 concert, the day after Lizzo performs at United Center as part of her tour “The Special 2our.”  Two of their orchestra groups will perform Lizzo’s “Better in Color,” and they hope the singer will join them. 

Screenshot of Student Honesty Nash greeting Lizzo at the start of the video. | Courtesy Chicago Arts and Music Project

The students are great Lizzo fans, with the song “Better in Color” perfectly representing tolerance, this year’s orchestra theme, executive director Lindsay Fredrickson said. 

“ ‘Better in Color’ is just the message that we want to get out, you know,” she said. “It is very much in support of people of color and it’s by Lizzo, who is just an amazing role model for our students.”

Every spring, students share what they love about their community and what they would like to change to pick a theme that will determine the songs they’ll learn in class. After repeatedly sharing they don’t like how people of color, the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities are treated, the group determined the theme to be tolerance of different types of people. “So all of the songs we’re playing is by or for someone in those communities,” Fredrickson said. 

In the video, several students cheerfully greet Lizzo and share they need a lead singer, followed by clips from their orchestra practice held at the West Side’s Beidler Elementary School.

Every week, the students participate in six hours of rehearsal, in addition to private lessons at the elementary school located in East Garfield Park. All programs are free and The Chicago Arts and Music Project provides students with the instruments, offering access to musical education that is often not available in local schools. 

Fredrickson said the idea to try to reach Lizzo through social media came from the students who received great support from their instructors to start filming. 

“The kids just had a lot of fun,” Fredrickson said. “We made sure they know it’s a very long shot but we have to do a good job if we want it to work at all.”