The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert held its annual fundraising dinner and Gala

 Andaya Sweet with Bob and Jennie Inch
Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert held its annual fundraising dinner and Gala on Tuesday Dec. 3rd. There were full Gala Tickets available for a select number that included Dinner at four local restaurants prior to the concert. Restaurants were Cuistot, Jillian’s, La Spiga and Wally’s. Tickets could be purchased for the concert only.

The Gala honored former founder and chairman of the Board of the McCallum Theatre, Wayne Prim. Co-chairs were Helene Galen, Vice-Chair and Harold Matzner, Chairman of the board of Trustees. Over 1.1 Million dollars were raised at this years gala. It was noted that even during the financial crisis of the last few years, the McCallum Theatre has been able to stay in the black for 12 years.

Featured headline performers were Chris Mann from the VOICE tv show and Katherine Jenkins who was recently on Dancing with the Stars. They were accompanied by a 60 piece orchestra led by Richard Kaufman. Surprise guests, The Ten Tenors, appeared during the concert to sing Waltzing Matilda with the other 2 headline performers.

Chris Mann sang some classical songs like Vivala Vida and Falling. His album Roads was #1 on Heatseekers Chart billboard and he appeared on a TV show favorite, GLEE. Katherine Jenkins made a splash as runner-up contestant on Dancing with the Stars season 14. Katherine has released nine albums and performed at the Queens Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace in England. She is a classical cross-over artist and sang Granada, I could have Danced All Night and Gypsy Dance to name a few.

All proceeds fund theatre operations that bring art educational programs to over 40,000 educators and schoolchildren each year. Money raised will also bring world-class entertainers to the stage for the 150,000 visitors that attend these performances each year.