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Desert Community Orchestra passes the baton to Clint Freeman

Desert Community Orchestra–   Clint Freeman has taken on yet another task, this time as the Desert Community Orchestra (DCO) president. Clint relieves Lisa Austin, president of the past ten years.

Clint Freeman

Clint has a vision to expand the interest of classical music in the community and offer family-oriented entertainment whereby music can be locally experienced. He is also passionate about providing opportunities for young budding musicians to expand their musical talent and experience.

This role is not foreign to Clint. In the 80s and ’90s, Clint resided in Tokyo, Japan, where he assisted in stage, television, video, and radio production with the leading players in contemporary jazz and popular music.

“You name them. I’ll probably have a story about them. Seeing how Herbie Hancock, or for instance, Pat Metheny, ran their productions and business,” notes Clint, “was incredibly eye-opening. Being able to interview and interact with so many high caliber talented musicians behind a camera and mic, and working in the background behind the scenes with them, gave me experiences I can pass on to our community.

“Now, a local non-profit musical organization needs someone to pass the baton to. I am very thankful for what Lisa Austin and the board of directors have done since I have been a member for the past seven years.  Robby also does a great job with music conducting and getting us all prepped to perform. There is a lot of preparation that goes into one performance. Great music takes a great team to make it happen.

“We have a lot of talent with this year’s orchestra members. I’m looking forward to seeing us evolve, as our rehearsals started last week. We’re also looking to expand our pool of volunteers. Want to assist in the production side? Let me know.

“We are also seeking community business sponsors at this time. It’s a great opportunity to get your business further known in the community. We’re a 501C non-profit, and all our funds strictly go toward our music scholarships or performances.”

Clint is a percussionist with the DCO. He is also the broker/owner of RidgecrestCaHomes and contributes to the Daily Independent and News Review with local real estate updates.

The Desert Community Orchestra was formed in 1960 and has been an iconic part of the community of Ridgecrest for 43 years. Its mission is to provide live performances of orchestral music to the local region, provide local musicians an opportunity to perform and participate as soloists and encourage young, talented musicians to further their musical education with financial support through music scholarships.

Young musicians are invited to audition for the Peter Pinto Music Scholarship Award every spring. Last year, DCO awarded  $2500 to three aspiring musicians to further their musical education.

The DCO also annually sponsors The Young Artist Competition. Student musicians audition for the privilege of being accompanied in performance with the full orchestra. The orchestra has featured musicians as young as 12 in their “Touch Of Class” concert.

DCO has hosted international guest soloists over the years. The list of celebrities includes Alan Paul of Manhattan Transfer, Camilla Arnold, Terry Glenny, Diva Jones, Gerardo Tamez, Sherri Stark, Lawrence Spector, Bethany       Grace Folsom, and The Neave Trio.

Robert Martinez has conducted the orchestra since 1995. He has enjoyed musical success as a teacher, conductor, composer, and performer.

DCO will hold its first season performance with him conducting the “Flower Power” Pops Concert featuring the music of the ‘60s on Saturday, September 23, at 7:00 p.m. at the Desert Valleys Hall/Desert Empire Fairgrounds. Three other concert dates are to be announced.