Know Our Band
The Desert Winds Freedom Band is a large and diverse community musical group based in Palm Springs, California. Now in its 18th season, the band has grown to over 100 members who truly enjoy rehearsing, performing, and meeting new and interesting people during our September to May season. A fabulous mix of Palm Springs diversity, the band has members who were former professional musicians as well as those who picked up their instruments again in retirement, young and old (age range 17 to 91), gay and straight, valley residents and seasonal visitors. Besides our local/regional members, the band includes people from a number of states and several Canadian Provinces. If you think you might want to become a member of our band, check out the Join Us link.
In addition to our Fall and Spring Concert performances, the Band plays a Holiday Concert and performs more informally at the Desert AIDS Walk, Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade, as well as other community events on request. Bedsides the large Symphonic Band our organization includes a 21-member Jazz Ensemble, a Flute Quartet, a Pep Band, and a Marching Band. If you think you’d like one of our ensembles to perform at your function, let us know at the Contact Us link.
Founded by Gary Moline in 2001 with just 17 members, the band has grown steadily both in membership and concert attendance. Desert Winds Freedom Band is a 501(c )(3) non-profit organization. We are members of LGBA (Lesbian and Gay Band Association) and we hosted their National Convention in November 2016 during Greater Palm Springs Pride week.
Several years ago, the Band decided to expand our community activities beyond our performances into these three areas:
New Music — We have engaged composers to create new music for our band. As an example, for our 2019 Spring Concert we commissioned a new piece of music to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. The work, A Mother of a Revolution, composed by Omar Thomas was a great success, and since our premier performance it has been played widely by many college and university bands.
Outreach to Coachella Valley Schools — During our Spring Concert week the band hosts a guest conductor, usually the composer of one of the works on our concert program. This guest composer/conductor visits selected high school and middle school bands along with our own Artistic Director. In these workshops, the students have the unique opportunity to learn and perform music with the composer. These workshops are very popular with students and teachers alike, and we hope to continue them annually.
Scholarships — Because of the generosity of our donors, the band has been able to offer a $1,000 scholarship each year to several deserving local high school seniors who have been accepted to study music at the collegiate level. If you are interested in supporting the band or it’s outreach activities, please check out the Support Us link.