Harmony Concert, part of In Harmony, led by Montclair High School sophomore Maggie Borgen, took place at Central Presbyterian Church on Thursday, Aug. 23.
The Harmony Concert, a talent show with more than two dozen performers, raised money for the COPE Center (Counseling, Outreach, Prevention, Education), a Montclair-based organization that helps people overcome different challenges, including drugs and alcohol.
Students from Montclair and other towns sang, danced, played instruments, told jokes, and worked stalls, selling bracelets and baked goods for the fundraiser. In Harmony’s goal was to raised $1,000. All Harmony Concerts partner with a nonprofit organization to raise money.
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Harmony Concerts began as the Imagine Concerts in 2015, founded by Borgen and Lucy Solomon, who is no longer active with the group. The summer of 2017 was the first time the concert was called the Harmony Concert.
When we spoke to Borgen and some of the performers on Friday, Aug. 10, Borgen told us, “One thing that’s really great is how much leadership everyone is taking.” While Adults often tell her “this world is so messed up” she said, “When you look around this table, I think we’re doing pretty well.”
Sue Seidenfeld, executive director of COPE, said that people may need help not only when mentally ill, but also when dealing with any stressor, including grief, anger management, coming out as transgender or gay, anxiety, or being a victim of bullying. And teens have a feeling of omnipotence, that “I don’t have to worry, that’s for old people,” feeling, while at the same time their brains are still developing.
Seidenfeld donated tickets to some of the young people Cope works with. She told us that the project offered young people a way to get involved and have fun, without getting high. She pointed out that young people can drift, and becoming involved with something positive is important.