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Hemet Concert Association Awarded $40,000 California Arts Council Creative Youth Development Grant

Hemet, CA. – The California Arts Council (CAC), as part of its Creative Youth Development program, has announced a grant award of $40,000 to the Hemet Concert Association (HCA). This award, for the period of April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2025, is part of the CAC’s final round of funding for 2022 which is designed to engage youth in world-class music opportunities.


Such engagement was accomplished in HCA’s 2022-23 season of five outstanding Sunday afternoon concerts for adults and children, with each concert totally FREE to youth 24 years of age or younger. Three of the season’s concerts were followed by Monday morning Musical Wings Outreach programs for 350 to 400 local schools’ students, giving them an opportunity to see, hear, and ask questions of renowned musical artists. 


Fandango, a  multi-award-winning, international quartet of strings and flute, performed in October 2022. In January 2023, the Rice Brothers, winners of gold medals in an international Chopin competition, presented an unusually clever program.  The young men, each playing the grand piano and cello, alternated playing as individuals and in duet. Svetlana Smolina, a brilliant virtuoso pianist and winner of several prestigious international competitions, brought a thrilling concert in February, Alias Brass performed music in many genres for every taste with energy, artistry, and showmanship in March.  And, in April, with stringed instruments accompanied by lively percussion, Jarabe Mexicano concluded HCA’s 49th season with dramatic songs and vocals in Spanish and English, all of which has gained them the  admiration of audiences across the country.


Each season, with the support and cooperation of the Hemet Unified School District, HCA’s concerts take place at  the Tahquitz High School Performing Arts Center. All programs foster cultural expansion, provide community enrichment, offer music as an emotional expression, and serve as a source of encouragement for future music-related opportunities for youth.


Five concerts are lined up for HCA’s 50th anniversary season in 2023-24, most to be followed by a Musical Wings Outreach experience for school-age youth in the San Jacinto Valley. The season will open on October 15, 2023 with Lisa Vroman, Soprano, who starred on Broadway as Christine in Phantom of the Opera and will be accompanied by pianist, Chip Prince. In 2024, Chatham Baroque with Danny Mallon, percussionist, will perform its Mediterranean Odyssey, on January 14, followed by the Italian Saxophone Quartet’s exciting and eclectic selections on February 11.  The final two concerts will be Frederick Moyer, bringing the great American music of jazz pianists like Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Erroll Garner on March 17 and, on April 14, Calle Sur, a Panamanian-Colombian duo along with Los Llaneros and the harp music of the llanos (savannas) in Colombia and Venezuela.


HCA’s President, Dr. Tom Garnella, said, “The HCA’s mission is to promote cultural diversity through world-class musical experiences, while educating, encouraging and supporting aspiring young musicians throughout the San Jacinto Valley and surrounding areas. With the ever-present support of its patrons, subscribers, and community partners, the Association will use this grant to expand its efforts to bring even more world-class music to local public, charter, and private students as well as home-schooled youth. It will also definitely further HCA’s Music Education Fund which is used for scholarships and grants that it makes.  The CAC award is tremendously appreciated and will serve as a high note in making HCA’s 50th anniversary a most memorable and positive season.”


It is noted that the Hemet Concert Association was one of only 45 state-wide Creative Youth Development grant recipients and just one of two in all of Riverside County to be so selected. 


CAC grants have totaled more than $2.8 million in grants for supporting artists, culture bearers, and cultural workers throughout the state of California.  The final round of funding for the 2022 grant season included three opportunities in support of arts education and creative youth development, grantee technical assistance and funding to identify a partner administering organization to regrant funds for individual artists fellowships.


Altogether, the projected sum of grants awarded for 2022’s funding cycle is more than $145 million--by far the biggest annual investment in California Arts Council history.  “Even as we spread the word for our 2023 program offerings, we are thrilled to shine a light and celebrate California’s arts workforce with one last funding announcement for 2022,” said California Arts Council Director Jonathan Moscone. “We are deeply grateful for Governor Newsom and the Legislature’s overwhelming investment in our agency’s work to ensure an equitably-supported arts sector.”


To view listings of all California Arts Council grantees for the final round of 2022, visit this link:  For more information about the HCA, visit


The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and

creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.


Members of the California Arts Council include: Consuelo Montoya, Chair; Vicki Estrada, Vice Chair; Gerald Clarke; Caleb Duarte; Ellen Gavin; Leah Goodwin; Alex Israel; Phil Mercado; Roxanne Messina Captor; Nicola Miner; and Olivia Raynor. Learn more at

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