Taylor Swift‘s current tour finds her headlining concerts at some of the biggest arenas in the U.S., but she scaled things back Tuesday afternoon (April 28) when she performed for several hundred students at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Va.
Approximately 800 students attend the school, but they sent in more than 19,000 text messages — the most of any school in the nation — to win a Verizon Wireless contest that resulted in Swift’s special concert.
The following is a transcript of a CMT Insider News Now report from the event.
Taylor Swift: Today, we’re at Bishop Ireton High School in Virginia, and this is the high school that won the Txt2Win competition. It was a national competition that Verizon put on and, basically, all these high schools across America got to enter this contest, and whoever texted the most times got a concert from me. It was really cool because you could tell in the crowd that they had really earned it, and the crowd was just incredible. The school [and] all those kids were so great, so it was an honor and a pleasure to play here.
School Principal Tim Hammer: For us, the best case scenario has already happened. The fact that our kids were persevered in this … it’s kind of a David and Goliath thing for us. We’re a small school — 800 kids — a Catholic school. Obviously, the contest was open to the whole nation with many bigger schools than us, so the best case scenario is that she’s here today and that Verizon Wireless has sponsored this wonderful event for our kids, and it’ll be something that they remember for the rest of their lives as just a very special day for all of them.
Swift: Performing at a high school is really crazy because last year was my graduation year. It wasn’t a long time ago that I was in high school. … I feel two different ways about it. Some part of me feels like walking back into high school is just a natural progression because it was what I was doing a few years ago. But, then, part of me feels more comfortable being on the road and performing on stage, and I feel so much more confident on stage that I ever did in the halls at high school. It’s so crazy, and it’s just really cool to go back to high school and have it be such a warm reception.