Local High Schools to Sing For Survival Together At A Capella Benefit Concert


This Friday, all local athletic rivalries will be forgotten.

The a capella groups at Montclair Kimberly Academy and Montclair High School have joined together and teamed up with groups at Columbia High School and Millburn High School to come together as one voice in the fight against rare cancers.

Kiki Porter and Casey Borella. (Photo: Derek Morf)

MKA’s Remix, MHS’s Passing Notes, Columbia’s Unaccompanied Minors and Millburn’s Soulfege will host a non-competitive performance as part of the inaugural Cycle For Survival A Capella Benefit Concert in effort to raise money for rare cancer research, at MKA’s Weiss Auditorium this Friday, May 18.

“I feel this event is so important because it comes from our high school students having a desire to perform music with other talented students,” MKA choral director Maria Gilmartin said. “At the same time, music, which is such an important part of their lives, matches the importance of the care and passion they have for the cause and attention to fighting cancer and finding cures.”

The concert is a direct result of the highly successful collaboration between MKA’s Remix and MHS’s Passing Notes that took place this past October at Java Love, in which the schools raised $1,000.

Gilmartin, who happens to also be the club adviser for MKA’s “Cycle for Survival” club then suggested hosting a benefit concert on a much-larger scale.

With the plans in motion, the concert developed an even greater meaning during a tragic week when two singers from Remix, Casey Borella and Kiki Porter, both lost their fathers to cancerous brain tumors just a week apart.

“The benefit concert is a way for me to use my musical talent to benefit a cause that is focused on eliminating rare cancers,” Porter said. “My dad loved music and people. Bringing music and people together in a community I’ve spent my whole life in is also a big bonus. I hope our collaborations can continue to benefit our community.”

The concert will be dedicated to JP Borella and Peter Porter and will highlight a speech from Sandy Goodman, the mother of Cycle for Survival founder Jennifer Goodman Lin.

Remix. (Photo: Maria Gilmartin)

Remix is a brand new a capella group made up of 16 singers and a vocal percussionist at MKA. Despite being in existence for less than a year, the group has already made its mark with a second place performance at the Mid-Atlantic Quarter Final for the International Competition of High School A Capella.

“They are bringing a lot of what they care about most into one place and one night to make many impressions on their audience,” Gilmartin said. “It demonstrates who they are – strong, passionate, talented and proactive young people.”

Tickets are $20 for general admission and can be purchased here.

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