From left to right: Dean Kauffman, PSFP Board of Directors and Chair of Youth Scholarships, Maestro Carl St. Clair, Music Director Pacific Symphony, Cathedral City High School music students Diego Becerra and Joshua Martinez. Photo by Marc Glassman

By DeAnn Lubell

Palm Springs Friends of Philharmonic, a nonprofit organization serving the Coachella Valley for more than 45 years, has postponed its 2020-21 season due to Covid-19.  Typically, PSFP presents six to seven live performances each season featuring international world-class orchestras at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.

The objective of the nonprofit Palm Springs Friends of Philharmonic (PSFP) has been to offer residents and visitors of the Coachella Valley an annual series of world-class symphonic concert appearances and to promote educational interest in classical music.  In addition to this goal, the organization strives to provide scholarships, equipment, and assistance to promising local young musicians, as well as to offer financial grants to other nonprofit organizations with similar aspirations.

The PSFP Board of Directors decided that in lieu of their typical season of world-class concerts, they would instead create a one-time Emergency Music Grant Program.  The purpose of the grant program is to help alleviate some of the financial burden that music-oriented nonprofits and local school music curriculums are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Eligible schools in the Coachella Valley can be either public or private and must provide music education.  Non-profit music art organizations that support these schools or have their own music programs must reside in the Coachella Valley, as well.  The review committee is made up of PSFP Scholarship Chair Dean Kauffman and Board Members Ken Turner, Dr. David Ko, John Fox and Carol Lewis.  A list of the winning grant applicants will be announced in December.


“We would like to thank our many donors and subscribers who have made this special onetime grant program possible,” said Executive Director Marnie Duke Mitze.  “Since we have postponed our 2020-21 season, some of the resources typically used to sponsor symphony orchestra concerts will be redirected to young musicians throughout the Coachella Valley as they pursue their musical studies.   Long term we believe this program, as well as our other arts education programs, will help ensure the next generation of classical music lovers.”