Michael Bolton Commands Desert Symphony's 25th Anniversary Celebration

Grammy award winner makes debut appearance at McCallum Theatre

(From left) Singer Michael Bolton with Nancy Tapick and Harold Matzner next to the cake Bolton commissioned to be made for the event.

Photo by Pat Krause


The 25th anniversary of the Desert Symphony featured a performance by multiple Grammy award winner Michael Bolton, who made his debut at the McCallum Theatre with the Desert Symphony conducted by Gary Berkson, musical director.

The April 12 performance was preceded by dinners attended by major donors. After the performance, the celebration continued in the Green Room where Bolton helped cut a Desert Symphony anniversary cake with Nancy Tapick, Desert Symphony president, Berkson, and Marilyn Benachowski, violinist and chief financial officer, who founded the symphony with her late husband, conductor Ben Benachowski.

Listed as event chairs were Sylvia and Ron Gregoire, Harold Matzner, and Patrick and Edeltraud McCarthy, who each were Silver Symphony donors. Other Bronze and Director’s Symphony Circle donors were Helene Galen, the Donald and Coeta Barker Foundation, Melanie Roe and Russel Hiles, Nancy Tapick and Charles Polatsek, El Paseo Jewelers, and the W.R. “Bill” MacAloneys.

Members of the board of directors who supported the evening included Tapick, Chuck Baum, Rhonda Kauffman, Rod Hendry, Benachowski, Hal Ahser, Russell Cunningham, Patrick Evans, Dan McGrath, and Linda Williamson, who was present with her husband, Fred (“The Hammer”) Williamson.

Tapick said a portion of the evening’s proceeds would go toward providing free concerts to school children in the Coachella Valley. The Desert Symphony has also formed an alliance with the Boys and Girls Club of the Coachella Valley to further educate students on the merits of music education.

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