The company move their feet at a dance rehearsal for the Harmony concert. Director Maggie Borgen, center; designer Maria Linietsky, front left; Olivia North-Crotty, back left; Saroyah Price, front right; and Janae Walker-Rabb, back right. COURTESY MAGGIE BORGEN.

The Harmony Concert, produced and performed by Montclair youth, benefitting
Interfaith Hospitality Network, is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m., at Central Presbyterian Church, 46 Park St. For tickets: eventbrite.com/e/harmony-concert-2017-tickets- 36199741401

By GWEN OREL
orel@montclairlocal.news

Maggie Borgen is an old hand at producing benefit concerts.

That’s the only way she could be called old. She’s 14.

The Harmony Concert on Friday, which will benefit the Interfaith Hospitality Network, is the third annual event Borgen has produced.
“In the summer sometimes I’m wondering what should I do, Borgen said. “OK, I will put together a benefit concert, and do something fun with my time.

“I was talking about having a dance showcase for friends, then I decided it might as well be for something that could make a difference and change in our community.”

That first production benefited Toni’s Kitchen. The 2016 concert benefited PAWS.

Borgen and the company of about 15 teens and tweens from Montclair and the area have been rehearsing over the summer.

Organization begins in late spring, when most the school year is largely over. While pulling people together in the summer can be hard work, “Once you just push through that preliminary, it’s such a great experience,” Borgen said.

MAGGIE BORGEN

“Montclair has such a strong sense of community. Each year I want to do it again for a new charity, to make a difference not just in one area but for all sort of organizations.”

Borgen directs, sequences the acts, and oversees the production. And she’s also in it, singing a parody of a song from “La La Land” that she composed.

Central Presbyterian Church, which seats 500, donated the space for rehearsals and the event itself.

While The Harmony Concert leans heavily on music, it also includes a mini fashion show designed by rising freshman Maria Linietsky, a silent auction, and a calligraphy station.

All proceeds will go to IHN. A bake sale will support In Harmony Montclair, a new organization Borgen has begun to keep the Harmony Concert spirit going throughout the year.

“Maybe we’ll have an art showcase,” Borgen said. “There are so many talented artists and painters. I would like to showcase that, as well as performing arts.”

Previous concerts, which could also be called variety shows, have included someone solving a complicated math problem onstage, and someone on a pogo stick.

In Harmony Montclair and the Harmony Concert reflect Borgen’s goals to see the community “come together in harmony.”

Borgen will probably continue with music in Montclair High’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, she said.

But for PAWS, IHN and others, it’s not just her voice that makes this MHS student a star.