Video thrills the radio star

Barrington students' winning video scores visit from Rihanna

The hallways of Barrington High School buzz with the news.   

No, it's not just a rumor. Rihanna's coming. She's actually coming. To perform. At the school.  

"People are soooo excited," gushed Catherine Goetze, a 17-year-old junior and one of about 10 students who forever will be known as the group that scored Rihanna.  

Goetze and her classmates in Jeff Doles' video production class entered and won a video contest judged by the celebrity herself.  

They beat out 52 other submissions from throughout the country for the ultimate prize: a Rihanna visit. 

She's scheduled to appear at the school on March 22, the same day as her Rihanna Diamonds World Tour stop at the United Center in Chicago and the first day of the school's spring break.  

Details of her performance had yet to be confirmed, but the students have requested it serve as a fundraiser for the school's many charity efforts.  

Hosted by Moxie (, the Rihanna Bright Like a Diamond contest challenged students to make a video that includes a "giving back to your community (and world) message." Their video can be seen here:  

Doles' class, members of the school's television station, BHS-TV, spent at least 60 hours creating and editing the video using past videos they'd created to feature the numerous charity work completed by students throughout the community and elsewhere.  

They were optimistic, but knew they'd be going up against schools from throughout the country.  

"We tried to keep it it on the downlow in case we didnt' get it." Goetze said.  

She introduces the video with a voice-over: "While the world can be a rough and insensitive place, with a whole lot of polish and collaboration we can all shine like a diamond."  

The video goes on to depict the volunteer work of students for groups, such as GiGi's Playhouse, the American Cancer society, the United Way and roughly 20 others. It also included anti-bullying, suicide prevention and historic preservation initiatives.  

"I thought it was an incredible opportunity to showcase what we do by highlighting what the school does," Doles said. "It's a pretty amazing school. We're just lucky to be where we are and have what we have."  

Much of the video already had been filmed throughout the school year as members of the class documented the school's volunteer efforts.   

It was just a matter of editing together the clips of various fundraising efforts, adding Goetze's voice-over and filming student Ashika Sachdev singing a portion of Rihanna's "Diamonds" song to accompany some of the charity footage.  

"We weren't starting from scratch," Goetze said.

"Each video had a different feel and mood. I think putting it all together made it such a unique thing," she said. "Even though they're all different, there was a sense of unity. They hit it home, I think."  

The students worked on it for about a month, putting in at least 60 hours of work,  said Doles, who oversaw the project.  

"It's really good quality," said 16-year-old junior Peter Chung, who did much of the editing. "And it really showcases all of our work."  

Along with filming volunteer work, Chung is one of many who volunteer.  

"I like giving back to the community," he said. "It's a really good community around here, and it's fun to do my part."  

Proud of what they've done, the students are just as caught up in the excitement of the pending Rihanna visit.  

And yes, they're all fans of the pop star.   

"Of course, who isn't?" Goetze said.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.