By Vicki Blythin
“Holiday in Palm Springs,” an event held and sponsored by the Hyatt Palm Springs, featured the global singing sensations, “Little Stars,” an all – girl choir from Zagreb, Croatia. They are touring the country with their creator, Conductor/Maestro Zdravko Sljivac . The featured singer is soprano Antonia Dunjko, and pia- nist-harpist Diana Grubisic-Cikovic is the accompanist. The group has been designated as the Cultural Ambassadors of the European Union.
Also performing was Grammy nominated jazz artist, singer, pianist and composer Chris Bennett and her band featuring award-winning Orchestra Manager and bassist Larry Holloway. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Filippo Voltaggia, host of “The Life Changes Show”. After the performance, the group’s first annual awards ceremony honored the The Little Stars with their Humanitarian Award and longtime Palm Springs resident Kathleen Bennett with their Award of Excellence. The gregarious Bennett is the founder/principal of Resort Marketing, a Palm Springs marketing agency. She is also Secretary of the Walk of Stars Board of Directors and member of Media Mavens. Presenting her award was Francoise Rhodes, known for her TV and radio travel shows.
Sponsors included The MacNaughton Family Foundation, Fraze Family Foundation of the Dayton Foundation, Harold Matzner, John Monahan, Juli and Bob Coplon, Andy and Mary- lynne Gladstein and Maria Pitcairn. Spotted in the audience was singing sensation, Jack Jones, a desert resident.
The Palm Springs Orchestra was founded by Jeffrey L. Gilson, MA, noted Architectural Historian, documentary Filmmaker and philanthropist. Maestro Dino Zonic, Founder and Director, a native of Sarajevo is also Cultural Ambassador of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their goal is to foster unity in the world through music. The founders of the Palm Springs Orchestra hope to create a world class symphony and performing arts center in Palm Springs. For information on upcoming events, please visit palmspringsper- formingarts.org
As posted in The Desert Sun, Sunday, January 17, 2016