Benefit concert raises $2700 for adoptive family

Three choirs and two soloists combined forces to draw families and friends together to help $2,700 for Jessie and Nathan Pugh’s adoption. Jessie writes in the program notes, “Please meet Conlan Xie Micah. He’s two-years-old, lives in China and loves playing with his friends, cuddling and placing stickers everywhere he shouldn’t!”

International adoptions can cost a lot of money, but adopting children with special needs can make costs even higher. Jessie continues, “He also has a few health complications including small, deformed ears (microtia), a missing left ear canal (aural atresia), a left arm and hand deformity and a post-operative rectal complication (anal atresia).”

Jessie and Nathan have already saved and raised all but $4,000 of the costs required, and the benefit concert helped them significantly with this final leg.

Cantus Youth Choirs of Idaho’s Treasure Valley, The Consortium, Utah Valley University’s Women’s Choir, and soloists Melissa Heath and Kacee Cambron Michelsen all took the stage on Friday, March 4, 2016 at the gorgeous and acoustically stunning First Baptist Church in Salt Lake City.

Jessie and Nathan Pugh take the microphone to express gratitude.
Jessie and Nathan Pugh take the microphone to express gratitude.

Guests were treated to inspirational performances from the 8-18 year old youth of Cantus. Cantus Youth Choirs performed Ke Ne La Modisa, a South African setting of The Lord Is My Shepherd. The youngest singers then performed Weepin’ Mary by David Fletcher. The older Cantus singers performed Where Is Love? from the broadway musical Oliver as arranged by Joshua Shank, and then wrapped their portion of the concert with an arrangement of I Will Rise by Craig Courtney.

Following Cantus, the UVU Women’s Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Cherilyn Worthen, performed a number of selections that were technically stunning, magnificently performed, and inspirational in message. Peppered throughout the evening were arias performed by the versatile and virtuosic Melissa Heath and Kacee Cambron Michelsen.

The evening concluded with a set by The Consortium, a 7 person, all male ensemble. They sang a number of classical and contemporary pieces.