Biloxi, Miss. – It takes some talented musicians to impress the world-famous Beach Boys.
But band member Bruce Johnston said he was just as excited to perform with the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra last Friday night as the students were to hop on stage with the iconic surfer band.
“It means more to me than you think, to play with these young, great ears for music players,” Johnston told Fox News.
The Beach Boys coached the orchestra ahead of the big performance, praising them for their hard work. Johnston said the band had been planning the show with the orchestra for a long time and Mike Love added that the performance was well worth the trip to Mississippi.
“We've worked on this for a year to have you here,” Johnston told the musicians. “You may think we're the stars, forget it, you guys are! Have a great time tonight, we love it."
And the Beach Boys’ enthusiasm is justified. This is not your average symphony.
"We have students at any given time representing 15 to 20 different countries,” explained Dr. Jay Dean, director of orchestral activities for the USM orchestra.
Many of these students are recruited from all around the world, including some from Taiwan, Cuba, Peru and Uruguay. They said it is an opportunity of a lifetime to play with the Beach Boys.
“It means a lot to me because I see my dreams coming true,” said student and violinist Ludwing Gonzales. “I love music, I love God, and I love this country.”
Cellist student Laura Raymond added, "This is absolutely incredible. I feel extremely honored to be playing here with the Beach Boys."
Kyle Rothenberg is a graduate of the Junior Reporter program at Fox News. Follow him on Twitter: @kylerothenberg