The magnificence of the incredibly beautiful Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Crest Park cannot be put into words. The soaring cathedral-like windows give ?????? to those who are fortunate, each year, to attend the Arrowhead Arts Association’s “always thrilling” fall concert. Last Sunday’s “Fall concert” was certainly no exception.
Dressed in black and white the symphony musicians filled the rather-small area that encircles the area where the altar is and somehow they always manage to squeeze into the area. With probably 30 or 40 musicians and their instruments, chairs and other paraphernalia needed for a symphony orchestra, it’s a tight (but wonderful) squeeze.
This event has been held for years at this magnificent cathedral and it is always thrilling to listen and admire the skills of these musicians as well as the beauty of the church. In many ways this concert, sponsored by the Arrowhead Arts and the priest and parishoners of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church which so graciously hosts this annual event, truly is a match made in heaven.
Each year the orchestra’s well-known and respected music director and conductor Frank Fetta, conducts this orchestra with gusto and passion and it is easy to see that he loves what he does and probably always has loved what he does. With his long white ponytail and his beautiful white hair it is fascinating to watch him conduct the symphony with long fingers on each hand. Every year I am mesmerized in watching his long hands as they truly are beautiful and helpful to a conductor all at the same time!
“Home Base” for the symphony is the charming, historic California Theater of the Performing Arts in San Bernardino. The symphony, that was founded in 1929, is quite extraordinary and each year when they bring truck loads of instruments and themselves up to perform in the mountains it is always something that local music lovers enjoy each and every year. It truly is spectacular.
This year’s concert featured classical tenor Gustavo Hernandez Garcia who absolutely had the audience spellbound with his strong voice. He sang “Granada” and I know every single person sitting in the audience was spellbound. He received a strong, long-standing enthusiastic standing ovation.
Not to be overlooked, talented violinist Gustavo Oliva played Mosaico Suite which was extraordinary as his fingers literally flew over the strings of his violin. Between the two musicians the audience was completely enthralled and the pews in this beautiful church were filled with happy and thrilled audience members . . It is always fascinating to realize how many different things compose this symphony orchestra. They load a large truck filled with instruments and anything else they need for their performance and they “head up the mountain.” It is quite exciting to watch them load and unload everything when they arrive and then depart and it makes me realize how involved “coming to the mountain” can be so that all of us can enjoy this magnificent symphony orchestra in such a beautiful setting. Back go the instruments, the seats and, of course, the musicians. Following each year’s performance musicians and guests walk across the street to the rectory where patrons, starry-eyed audience members and the local music students who are part of the Arrowhead Arts Association’s program enjoy a reception and it is always interesting and great fun. The local children who are part of the Arrowhead Arts Association strings program always play and I have to say they are quite amazing.
This extraordinary group of residents helps support, often financially, local children who want to learn to play an instrument. The organization truly is one-of-a-kind and their years of support in so many ways simply shows how dedicated the organization is to their slogan of “Bringing Music to the Mountains.” Trust me, they do in many different ways!
The symphony’s “home base” is the historic California Theater of the Performing Arts in San Bernardino. “Home base” for the Arrowhead Arts Association is, of course, Lake Arrowhead and the surrounding mountain communities of Crestline and Running Springs. Throughout the decades since the organization was formed they have always focused on bring music to the mountains in many different ways. The members and board members of this incredible group keep “plugging away” and we, the residents are the benefactors of their interest and support of music in our communities.
For more information on the San Bernardino Symphony log onto their website at: http://www.sanbernardinosymphony.org or “like them” on Facebook. To reach the Arrowhead Arts Association or to join this organization log onto:http://www.arrowheadarts.org. By joining your help will help this exceptional group of people who give so much to our communities so supporting them is a vital part of saying “thank you!” The application information is available on the website.
I know I’m not the only one who, now that this season is over, is going to anxiously awaiting next year’s season and their return, next fall to our Rim of the World communities. It is always an honor to have these extremely talented musicians and their exceptional conductor and music director, Frank Paul Fetta.
A huge “thank you” to the members of this philanthropic organization who raise funds to help our communities and who donate so much of their lives to bringing wonderful music to our neighborhoods and our hearts!