Borrego Sun - Since 1949

LCDZ Donates $500 To Local Student


Last updated 3/20/2018 at 9:23am

With an angelic, yet powerful voice, Dennise Cecena draws the attention of the crowd.

All eyes are focused on what she is about to do next – a belting voice bringing a sense of peace and a few tears. That's what 16-year-old Dennise Cecena does. Just a junior at Borrego Springs Middle/High School, can sing in different keys and notes, with a passion.

Cecena has been singing since she was young, and now has a huge opportunity to bring those talents across the globe to Iceland with Chamber Bravura.

However, the biggest challenge is raising enough money to get there, only raising a little over $300 of her $4,000 goal, La Casa Del Zorro general manager Patrick Sampson was attracted by her wish to travel with Chamber Bravura. "I want her to go and represent Borrego Springs and La Casa on that trip," Sampson said.

A portion of the sales and proceeds of the fluffy foxes that are located in the guest rooms went into her fund. Guests are able to purchase these foxes and the tag located on it describes the charitable contributions LCDZ makes.

Sampson reached out to principal Katherine Girvin after learning that Cecena was raising money for this trip and donated $500.

"He wanted to support Dennise in her dream to sing abroad and have an amazing musical and cultural experience," Girvin said. She added that he has been supportive of the BSHS students and has often rewarded them for their hard work and dedication to their studies and talents.

"Going to Iceland means Dennise will participate in a "concert tour" of Iceland. This can include up to three to four concerts a day," said Girvin, who has been the director of the Chamber since 2009.

The students also receive high school arts credit for the trip.

Chamber Bravura, a 501(c)(3), is an extracurricular vocal performance organization composed of vocalists from various middle and high schools in the San Diego County. They sing solely a Capella music, which can be rigorous and challenging, and have been invited all over the world to perform in many highly regarded venues.

This year, they will travel to New York City and Iceland, performing mass in Cathedrals, as well as state of the art performance facilities.

Cecena has never traveled outside of the United States, so this experience would help her musically, and culturally.

Cecena performed the national anthem at the 2017 Borrego Days festival, was a part of a music video with the Chamber Bravura at Clark Dry Lake, also singing in a few concerts.

Cecena said she has learned many things from her new choir family. On her gofundme page, Cecena states, "I have learned how to work as part of a team, how to fuel my passion with the help of others, how to support those around me instead of solely taking self interest, and how to spread love and joy to others in the community through (singing). I have acquired a tremendous work ethic from it that has made a huge positive impact on my academics."

Her family has been selling delicious tamales to help raise funds. She has now raised a little over $800, but the support of the Borrego community is needed.

If you would like to donate, go to or email Katherine Girvin at

You might be interested in: