BY DeANN LUBELL

It is said that music heals the soul.

It seems that 10-year-old Jeannette Boulay, when she picked up her father’s trumpet and felt the stirrings of a pretty sound, recognized the powers of beautiful sound. In the 1980s, Jeannette, whose last name had changed to Banoczi through marriage, moved to the Coachella Valley to discover an impressive local symphony of mostly professional musicians serving on a voluntary basis trying to stay afloat.

On the Fourth of July 1993, under the heartfelt guidance of Jeannette, The Coachella Valley Symphony (CVS) held a concert with talented musicians comprised of fulltime doctors, lawyers, teachers, receptionists, dentists, taxi drivers, authors, yoga instructors, chiropractors, accountants, contractors, and students – all with one thing in common – the love of music.

Now celebrating two decades of bringing classical and popular music concerts featuring guest artists to the Coachella Valley, this non-profit organization continues to perpetuate its mission of providing excellent performances and educational outreach programs, as well as to provide public performance venues for both accomplished and young emerging musicians.

The Coachella Valley Symphony Educational Outreach Program began in 1995, when Jeannette Banoczi founded the Buddy Rogers Youth Symphony (BRYS) as a full orchestra experience for the young musicians of our valley.  Members have been studying their instruments for at least two years before joining BRYS and are eligible to receive scholarships for private instruction.

In 1997, with the reduction of string instrumental programs in our public schools, the Beginning Strings Conservatory was created to offer elementary school students the opportunity to explore the violin in weekly group lessons.  This educational outreach program provides string teachers to schools covering all three districts across the Coachella Valley.  Scholarships are awarded each season to assist these young musicians with private study.

Wayne Abravanel is the current music director and maestro of the CVS.  He was educated at the Manhattan School of Music and Hofstra University where he studied composition with Elie Siegmeister.  He spent the next 25 years in New York conducting or playing in Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals alongside many famous entertainers.  Wayne moved to the desert four years ago, and has been active in the local desert music and entertainment industry.

The Coachella Valley Symphony strives to make the public aware of the healthy importance of being engaged in music whether as listeners or as active performers. “Our programs involve people in activities that promote well-being and contribute to the development of our youth,” says Dr. Wolfe, President of the Board of Directors.  “Research in psychology of music, education, medicine, and neuroscience demonstrates that music is beneficial for us, physically and mentally, from birth throughout our senior years.”

A special CVS performance called “The B’s Knees” celebrates the music of Bach, Beethoven, Berlin, Brahms at the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum on Sunday, January 20.  The fabulous Beethoven Piano Concerto #4 will be performed by world renowned pianist, Kane Matumoto.  For more information about this concert call 760-325-4490 or go towww.annenbergtheater.org.

Regular concert series performances will take place at Sun City Palm Desert in the Sierra Ballroom January 15, February 11 and April 16.  Also, at this same venue, a 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Concert is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 featuring singing sensation Dr. Lisa Lindley, The Coachella Valley Symphony, the Buddy Rogers Youth Symphony and principal dancers from the Desert Youth Ballet.

For more information about the CVS and upcoming performances, please call760-360-2222 or go to the CVS website at www.cvsymphony.com.