California Desert Chorale Performs Virtually and Wins CDAC Grant to ‘Keep Art Alive’

Forced for the first time in its 27-year history to cancel its spring concert, the California Desert Chorale gave a virtual performance of “Anthem,” from Chess, by Benny Anderson, Tim Rice, and Bjorn Ulvaeus and arranged by John Purifoy.

“The technical aspects of putting this together were challenging for many in the chorale, as we had never done anything like this before,” says chorale president Sheila Raczynski. “However, it gave us a chance to do something together as a group. We are like a family and still want to be involved in singing together and bringing joy to the public. This is one way that we can continue to do that.”

The performance earned the chorale $1,500 grant to “Keep Art Alive” from the California Desert Arts Council (CDAC), which is partnering with La Quinta Arts Foundation to award grants to Coachella Valley artists and arts organizations who create thoughtful, inspiring, and relevant works responding to the crisis.

The California Desert Chorale consists of more than 60 singers ranging in age from the teens to the 80s — several of whom have been with the chorale since its inception. “Not only do we provide excellent musical productions several times each season,” Raczynski says, “we also give scholarships to high school voice students and provide internships to College of the Desert music students to help with their continuing education.”

Led by artistic director Tim Bruneau, the chorale presents a variety of vocal musical performances designed to entertain, educate, and enrich the diverse audiences of Southern California’s desert communities. 

Visit the California Desert Chorale at