The Grand Cities Children’s Choir will donate the proceeds from its Saturday, Feb. 1, fundraising event to help the family of Jonah Borth with funeral expenses.
A Red River High School student, Jonah, 15, was fatally shot Sunday, Jan. 26, in a home in Northwood, N.D. He was a member of the GCCC Primo Voce choir.
Proceeds from Saturday's event, Dessert Cabaret, were to go to help cover the cost of the Primo Voce choir’s trip to New York City, which is set for Feb. 27-March 2.
The Dessert Cabaret will begin at 7 p.m. at Hope Church in the Grand Cities Mall. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Jonah Borth, a member of the Grand Cities Children's Choir for more than six years, had auditioned for and had been chosen to sing a solo at the Dessert Cabaret. He had chosen the song, "Sante Fe," from the Broadway musical, "Newsies, The Musical," said Melanie Popejoy, GCCC founder and director.
At the event, a videotape of Jonah practicing the solo -- with his grandmother, Judy LeClerc, of Grand Forks, at the piano -- will be shown, Popejoy said. His voice teacher, Michael Thompson, will then perform the song. Thompson, a recent graduate of the UND music department, has been working with Jonah, as a GCCC member, for the past two years, she said.
"That was the first time Jonah had auditioned to perform a solo in the Dessert Cabaret," Popejoy said.
In a recent Facebook post, Popejoy said: “Our hearts are heavy because we have lost a voice in our community way too soon. (Jonah) was a bright light, a gentle soul and a compassionate young man."
Jonah was a GCCC member for more than six years and, in recent years, the GCCC Primo Voce choir, which is going to New York City. While there, the group of about 95 singers, who are in seventh through ninth grade, are planning to perform at Carnegie Hall.
He and his older siblings have been members of the GCCC for nearly 15 years, said Popejoy, who is also associate director of choral activities at UND. “A younger sibling of his is currently a member of our Accordo Voce choir.”
“Jonah was present at every rehearsal and gave his best effort each week. When asked for thoughts or ideas in rehearsal, he was always ready to share. We will miss him very much," she said.
Students in grades three through nine are eligible to participate in the four choirs that make up the Grand Cities Children's Choir.
For more information regarding the concert, go online to the Grand Cities Children’s Choir website, www.grandcitiescc.org or call Popejoy at (701) 777-2818.