Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Desert Symphony notes 35th season with gala, 5-shows, Sinatra singer

Palm Desert is a haven for sun seekers, hikers, bikers, lovers of the desert
and its beauty.  Since 1989, tourists and locals alike have something else
to attract them to this unique part of the country: the Desert Symphony.
The Desert Symphony
has a full orchestra of
60 gifted players, from
all walks of life. 




and courtesy Desert Symphony

Headlining the March 6 gala to celebrate Desert
Symphony's 35th anniversary are Daniel Emmet
and Pia Toscano, at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage.
The Desert Symphony will accompany the duo.
THIRTY-FIVE years ago, an ambitious group of Palm Springs residents decided to organize a symphony, to bring orchestra music and musical events to the area normally associated with golfing get-aways, movie stars and admirers of the desert, its relaxed lifestyle and scenery.

The Indian Wells Symphony was born in 1989 and soon adopted its present moniker, the Desert Symphony. With the energy of volunteers and support of local businesses and its enthusiastic long-time president Nancy Tapick, a driving force in the region was born.

The Symphony's annual gala takes place in
the showroom of Agua Caliente Casino Resort
and Spa in Rancho Mirage, on March 6. 
The reach of the symphony extends to future musicians in Coachella Valley, through programs for school children. "Our goal is to inspire them to become musicians and music appreciators," says Tapick.
The Children’s Music Discovery Series offers programs ranging from a string quartet to a wind octet, supervised by the symphony's music director and drawing from the talents of the orchestra, whose musicians have played with major symphonies in the country. The organization proudly encourages young musicians through scholarships.  Several have gone on to professional music careers. 


The Desert Symphony of Palm Springs presents five concerts
yearly, including popular entertainers, singers, musicians
and acrobats -- plus a major gala  fundraiser.  Performances
are enjoyed by both locals and tourists 
at McCallum Theatre. 

THROUGH THE years, the symphony has hosted -- and accompanied -- a "who's who" of popular performers, including its first big name, singer Glen Campbell.  A roster of other famed artists followed including Andy Williams, Jose Feliciano, Peter Nero, the Gatlin Brothers, Tommy Tune, Art Garfunkel, Roger Williams, Jack Jones, Kaye Ballard, Michael Bolton, Jason Alexander, The Texas Tenors, Neil Sedaka, Crystal Gayle, Melissa Manchester, Peter Frampton and recently, Mary Osmond.

Next up this season is noted singer Tony DeSare. He promises an evening of treats, celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra, who lived in Palm Springs for many years while touring the world and making films. The Feb. 29 concert is DeSare's second performance with the Symphony.  The first was so well received he was invited to return.

Singer songwriter Tony DeSare will headline
a concert accompanied by Desert Symphony. 
New York born DeSare promises to "do my best to conjure the magic of the music from the Great American songbook with a few surprises sprinkled in."  The jazz and soul singer is also a songwriter and musician and may take a turn at the piano in George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."  "I’m excited to be working with the wonderful Desert Symphony again," says DeSare, about his return.

Then just a few days later, this year's gala features pop duo Daniel Emmet and Pia Toscano performing at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage, Wednesday, March 6 . Cocktails are at 5 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m., and the concert at 8 p.m. The duo, discovered by Marie Osmond, presents a show, "Simply the Best." 

Through years of an impressive five-part season, the Symphony has earned a reputation as one of the finest orchestras of popular music in the southwest United States.

Glen Campbell was the first
big name to play with
 the Desert Symphony.
Many other stars followed. 

Singer Tommy Tune is one of many luminaries to
perform with Desert Symphony, now 35 years old.
In its early days, the season  featured great works from the world of classical music, including Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms. "The orchestra began a slow transition toward  “pops,” says Tapick, when residents and visitors expressed interest in lighter fare.  The board listened, introducing the present format which includes popular entertainers accompanied by the 60-piece orchestra.
The Desert Symphony has performed and partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, the Rancho Mirage Public Library, the City of La Quinta, La Quinta Public Library, the Palm Desert Public Library, and McCallum Theatre, where it presents its docket of five annual "star" concerts.
Two final concerts round out the season, a John Denver tribute concert March 27, and "Let's Hang On" April 11, a quartet featuring the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.   

For more on the Feb. 29 concert, March 6 gala or the symphony season, call 760 773-5988.  
More is more at Oscar's with dancers, acrobats,
big wigs and lots of bosoms, eye lashes and make-up
Here's Diamond Evvon, with her chest armor
Oscar's owner and producer
Dan Gore as Cheyenne Demuir
will zip line from Oscar's 
balcony in drag March 10. 
UP NEXT: Drag is time honored, and the drag show at Oscar's in Palm Springs is celebrating its sixth anniversary the weekend of March 9-10. Owner Dan Gore plans a special appearance during two performances of Sunday's "Bitchiest Brunch." He will zip line into the house in full drag -- from the balcony to the stage area below. Risque fun is all part of Oscar's brunch birthday party.  Two Sunday shows will feature Gore, dressed as his alter ego Cheyenne Demuir, with Oscar's gang of beauties performing, too. Emcee Anita Rose as the wisecracking spirit of Oscar's keeps the fun and jokes rolling.  She has headlined the brunch show all six years of its run and is a favorite with the packed houses. Book a seat for  laughs, bottomless mimosas, endless irreverence and more. Oscar's also has a great restaurant and many other shows to consider. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on the arts, travel, nature and family. Check out
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  1. San Diego Music BuffsFebruary 29, 2024 at 1:20 PM

    This orchestra is terrific. We have been patrons for 20 years many great shows! Appreciate your spreading the word.

  2. Palm Springs PlayersFebruary 29, 2024 at 1:22 PM

    We are both in the orchestra and truly appreciate this great p.r. for our efforts. Glad you will be there tonight.

  3. We love Vegas but like the change of pace here in Palm Springs. Perfect time of year. Concert last night was super --- we bought gala tickets.

  4. Pennsylvania DancersMarch 4, 2024 at 9:49 PM

    We appreciate the energy at Oscar's where we always have fun. Third visit next month!

  5. We enjoy Oscar's and the Symphony as well as the desert wildlife park. Lots to see and so, a favorite get-away.

  6. Sorry to miss the Symphony but we're actually flying to Palm Springs to see the show you featured for "Next" sounds like a blast. Thank you.