PSST - August 2008

Traveling in Concert

They instantly hit it off, Deanna Rallo says. “We met for dinner, said hello …. I was drawn to our mutual interests in Italy and music. “We had a great time — just the 10 of us.”

Founded last year by Phillip Hubler, the Music Explorers Society meets monthly, attending musical shows and festivals.

“As I was coming back on a flight from Europe, I got to thinking, ‘If I like [music], there must be other people out there who are interested in this,” Hubler says. “I started telling friends and family what I was doing; it was just word of mouth. I set up the Web site and people started contacting me. We would communicate either over the phone or through e-mail, and I would tell them where we were going, what time, and how much [it cost].”

Rallo first attended a Music Explorers Society outing in January to see Upright Cabaret in Palm Springs. “It was a great experience to get together, not knowing a single person there,” she says. “I met some new friends.”

Andy and Anita Harmon also attended the Upright Cabaret event. “We know Phillip, so it was interesting when he asked us to come. I think I just enjoyed people’s company and having the chance to chat,” Andy Harmon says. “Phillip is a genuine guy and creates a great atmosphere.”

The society also attended Opera in the Park in Palm Springs and will attend Danish Days in Solvang this September. They will venture to Austria for New Year’s and to Italy next summer.

Hubler’s plan for an opera-oriented trip to Italy includes an itinerary of cities and visits to birthplaces of classical composers. A highlight will be the annual Puccini Opera Festival in Lucca. “I [created the itinerary] based on my knowledge of music history and places I had been to,” he says.

“If [the trip abroad] goes into my schedule, I will definitely go. I would love experiencing various places with Phillip and having him know all about them,” says Anita Harmon. “The thing about Phillip is it would be an intimate experience. You wouldn’t just feel like a sausage in a factory being turned out.”

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