City Choir’s Jeff Jenkins Delivers Donations to Paradise High School

After hearing of the plight of Paradise High School in California, which was ravaged by the terrible Camp Fire of November 2018, over 40 City Choir members and patrons contributed to a Paradise High School choir relief effort, raising $2,995.

Jeff Jenkins (right) with former Paradise High School chorus director Sam Gronseth (left). Photo by Allen Petrinka

Jeff Jenkins (right) with former Paradise High School chorus director Sam Gronseth (left). Photo by Allen Petrinka

Shawn Howell, director of the Paradise High School Chorus, writes that “The City Choir of Washington has the distinction of having made the largest contribution from the farthest away! The funds raised by you and others will go a long way in restoring our music library, replacing destroyed and damaged keyboards and risers, cleaning our performance attire, and used to meet many other needs…It is music that unites our country’s great and vibrant choral family which we are both part of…Because of organizations like TCCW we were able to find and have hope during a very difficult time. We consider ourselves blessed.”

Recently, City Choir Bass II and Board Member Jeff Jenkins traveled to California and delivered City Choir’s donation in person. In Jeff’s own words, “When I was teaching music in Southern California, I served on the California Music Educators Board and attended many state conferences. It had been seven years since I had returned to California to experience the state conference and enjoy the company of my musical friends from throughout the state.

“About the same time when I decided to go to the California conference, I learned about the City Choir's plans to raise money for Paradise High School. A quick Facebook search revealed that the former director was an old friend of mine. Sam Gronseth had recently retired, but upon calling him, I learned that he was also going to attend the conference.

“The City Choir Board of Directors authorized me to hand deliver the donation check to Sam (the present director was unable to attend). The California Music Educators president allowed me to make our presentation of $2,995 to Paradise High Choir, through Sam, at the Friday evening awards banquet.

“The first line of [Duruflé’s] ‘Ubi Caritas’ that we sang [at the Glory of France concert on March 10] translates into English as ‘Where charity and love are, there is God.’ Our act of generosity toward Paradise High is truly in the spirit of that song. It was my honor to represent you.”