Who doesn’t love the sounds of a beautiful full-bodied orchestra? Oh, the joy of live music! The violins! The trumpets! The flutes!
We are fortunate indeed to have a fabulous 60-piece orchestra right here in our valley.
The Desert Symphony was founded in 1989 in Palm Desert to bring professional orchestral concerts to the desert cities. The nonprofit comprises the best musicians, virtuoso soloists, principal players and recording artists in the area.
The organization offers a series of pops concerts, recitals and special events with programs of musical and artistic excellence that entertain, educate and engage the audience. The symphony musicians are selected for their individual as well as their ensemble skills. The season is composed of five pops concerts, and they complete the season with an incredible fundraising gala that raises necessary funds for the nonprofit to keep the music going.
Recently, The Texas Tenors performed with the orchestra for a sold-out event. Desert Symphony President Nancy Tapick says the group has been very popular here.
“They first performed with us at the McCallum after their big win on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009,” she says. “I saw them and was so impressed. When they won, I called their agent and said: ‘We want them to perform with our symphony in the desert.’ We booked them for the next season. and it’s been a wonderful relationship ever since!”
Many other impressive artists perform during the season and at the annual fundraiser, and Tapick says they all say how much they love it here and how grateful they are to share music that inspires and entertains our community. This year, the gala will be held March 6 at The Show at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa with the show-stopping Daniel Emmet and Pia Toscano.
“Last year we had Jon Secada and he was so happy to help us raise money for music education in the valley because he used to be a teacher himself and knows how important it is to expose young people to the magic of a live orchestra,” Tapick says.
Through the organization’s Children’s Music Discovery Series, performances are presented to the children of the Coachella Valley. The programs range in size, and each are performed under the supervision and presentation of the symphony’s music director.
To reach as many students as possible, they have partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, the Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory, the City of La Quinta, the La Quinta Library, the Palm Desert Library and the McCallum Theatre.
This robust music education program for our students is a crucial component of their mission, and it’s for this wonderful and important outreach that we award the Desert Symphony this week’s Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation Power of Community $1,000 grant so they may continue their inspiring work.
Congratulations — we are so happy to definitely help keep the music going!
Learn more about the Desert Symphony at desertsymphony.org.
Sandie Newton is an award-winning broadcast journalist who began her career in Los Angeles as cohost of the nationally syndicated show “PM Magazine.” She went on to host many local and national shows like “Hollywood Insider” before becoming one of the original anchors for E! and a regular on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” In 2017, she moved to the desert, creating and hosting NBCares for six years. She is currently the host of “Desert Chat,” a half-hour lifestyle show spotlighting all the good people, events and news in the Coachella Valley. Watch it Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on KESQ, at 10:30 p.m. on FOX 11 and noon Mondays on CW5.