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Taylor Swift Wows the Students at Bishop Ireton High School, Alexandria

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Taylor Swift discusses her adoring fans and music with The Washington Post following a concert at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Va., in 2009. The Catholic school's 804 students won a nationwide Verizon Wireless contest by sending the company more than 19,000 text messages to earn the concert.

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By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Best. Sixth. Period. EV-errrrrrrrrr.

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"It's so good to be at Ireton today!" Taylor Swift gushed onstage yesterday at Alexandria's Bishop Ireton High School, where the squealing students seemed to concur.

"We love you, Taylor!!!!" somebody screamed.

"I love you, too," the willowy country-pop sensation said before pulling yet another hit about the complicated love lives of teenagers out of her phenomenally successful songbook.

Swift staged a full-blown midafternoon concert inside Ireton's Garwood Whaley Auditorium, where the lesson for the day was this: S/He who texts most, wins. Also: Don't date Taylor Swift, lest she write a song about you.

The Catholic school's 804 students won a nationwide Verizon Wireless contest by sending the company more than 19,000 text messages. (Because, of course, text-messaging aptitude is what high school kids really lack.)

Their prize arrived on campus with a full band, several tour buses and more than a little star power, for Swift, at 19, is the reigning queen of the pop-music prom -- a wholesome, wholly charismatic singer-songwriter, seller of more albums in 2008 than any other recording artist, and filler of amphitheaters across the country.

So, you know: OMG!!!!

"The Best Day," Principal Tim Hamer said, quoting one of Swift's song titles.

Roughly 25 minutes into what's normally sixth period (Ireton had an academic recess known as Field Day scheduled yesterday), Swift came skipping onto the stage and began singing "You Belong With Me," her new single about trying to steal somebody's boyfriend.

Lights flashed. The music swelled. Swift's shimmering visage was beamed over a giant video screen. The students swooned.

The cycle continued for an hour, with Swift singing song ("White Horse," "Hey Stephen") after smartly crafted song ("Our Song," "Teardrops on My Guitar") about high school crushes, teen heartache and bad exes to an audience that knew from all three.


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