In the Coachella Valley, March 2020 came in like the proverbial lion. Unseasonal stormy weather brought cloudy skies, wind, rain, mountain snow, and much cooler than average temperatures. That all changed in a moment when LA Philharmonic Maestro Gustavo Dudamel raised his baton, and the roof, in the McCallum Theater on Sunday afternoon, March 1. The sold-out crowd of LA Phil patrons and fans were thrilled by a program of two symphonies.
The first was Symphony No. 2 by popular American composer Charles Ives, which he composed in New York beginning in 1898. After intermission, the Americana theme continued in the “New World” Symphony No. 9 composed by Antonin Dvorak in 1892-93. Thunderous applause filled the concert hall for several minutes after the final notes of the inspiring, energetic program, creating yet another lion’s roar of approval and appreciation.
On the following day, our newly formed Affiliates in the Desert was launched under cloudy and rainy skies with a bright and sunny luncheon salon in the South Palm Springs home of Board Member David Freedman. Some 50 guests mingled while sweet and savory hors d’oeuvres were passed.
Affiliates in the Desert Founding President Michael Napoli welcomed the gathering and took a few minutes to explain the theme and mission of Affiliates in the Desert to promote youth music education in the Coachella Valley and neighboring areas. He also extended thanks to his fellow board members and to the supportive staff at LA Phil who provided guidance and help during the many months of organization prior to the March 2 launch.
The highlight of the inaugural event was a special recital by Marion Arthur Kuszyk, LA Phil Associate Principal Oboe. She played several selections and took questions from the group about her instrument and her career in music. Most everyone who has attended a LA Phil concert has heard Marion at the beginning of each program when she plays the musical note “A” which instruments in the orchestra tune to before the conductor begins.
Before the guests left, President Napoli distributed Affiliates in the Desert Membership Applications along with a list of Benefits & Opportunities membership affords. Napoli explained that all new members who join in 2020 will have their annual membership extended automatically through all of 2021. The regular annual membership fee is $100 for individuals; $150 for married or partnered couples at the same address. Affiliates in the Desert is a non-profit charitable 501(c)(3) organization under the umbrella of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.
For information or questions about membership and its benefits, send an email to Membership Chair Greg Casserly at firstname.lastname@example.org