Palm Spring Friends of Philharmonic returns, new season opens on January 12th


Since 1974 the Palm Springs Friends of the Philharmonic brought world-class symphony orchestras to the desert. Originally performed in the auditorium of Palm Springs High School, the Philharmonic now call the McCallum Theater home.

While the Philharmonie had to pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is excited to welcome the community back. The Philharmonie is just ending its subscription campaign for this season and has sold out 90 percent of its season tickets. This includes another 80 new households that have joined.

Many people moved to the desert during the pandemic, making the Coachella Valley their permanent home Marnie Mitze, the executive director of the organization. Traffic to the organization’s website has increased and word of mouth has fueled the rise in subscriptions, she said.

“Attending a symphony orchestra concert is an extraordinary experience that cannot be reproduced in any other way,” said Mitze. “Being with other people gives us something alive.”

The Philharmonic season opens on Wednesday, January 12th, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Other concerts include the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman and the San Diego Symphony. There is still room for more subscribers, and anyone interested in the full calendar can visit it Philharmonic website.

The Philharmonic brings together touring orchestras from across the United States and often from abroad each year. Getting the season off to a quick start this year with COVID restrictions has been challenging. Orchestras were forced to stop practicing and performing. Despite the challenge, the Philharmonie is encouraged by the support of the community, even when it had to get dark.

In addition to bringing performances to the local stage, the Philharmonic has a solid youth education program that supports the McCallum Theater’s artistic education program. During the pandemic, the Philharmonic was able to support local public schools with $ 60,000 to purchase instruments.

In addition, the organization offers 15-20 local youth scholarships for summer music camps. The majority of these students attend the renowned Idyllwild Summer Music program. However, other camps across the country are eligible. There is also support for local youth pursuing college music degrees. Free student tickets for concerts and master classes by guest artists are also made available to local youth.

Recently, the Palm Springs Friends of Philharmonic received a grant from Hepner Fund by the Inland Empire Community Foundation. About half of the organization’s budget is funded by ticket sales and the other half of the budget depends on donations.

Each orchestra has an average of 110 musicians. The travel and accommodation costs for so many people plus production and crew are an expensive model along with the compensation for the artists. On average, the organization spends between $ 100,000 and $ 200,000 to bring these world-class orchestras to the desert.

Community members who want to support the Philharmonie can consider becoming a concert sponsor. Many of the concerts can be sponsored for $ 15,000, and these sponsorships support the organization’s concerts as well as its youth education programs. Donors can collaborate and share the cost of sponsorship if they wish. Sponsors will receive program, website and media recognition, as well as backstage access and photos, subject to artist approval. The sponsorships also include four seats at the sponsored concert and at the annual donation dinner.

People who have never attended a symphony concert are asked to call the Philharmonie and put themselves on the waiting list for single tickets. Available single tickets will be released about two weeks before the concert.

“We bring the joy of classical music not only through concerts in the Coachella Valley, but also by supporting young people studying music,” said Mitze.

For more information, visit or call (760) 773-8730.

The Inland Empire Community Foundation works to empower Inland Southern California through philanthropy. Learn more at

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