McCallum Chairman Harold Matzner and Son Devin Attend A Performance of Barry Manilow “Gift of Love III” Concert

Marge Dodge

He writes the songs that make the whole world sing, and for five nights Barry Manilow sang his hit songs and holiday favorites in the Gift of Love III concert, benefiting 30 Coachella Valley non-profit organizations.

Manilow exploded onto the holiday themed stage in a red sequined jacket singing “It’s a Miracle,” and effortlessly continued to delight the sold-out McCallum Theatre crowd for two hours. He thanked the audience for supporting local charities and said, “All kids should have the opportunity to play a musical instrument. Music will change a young person’s life.” Manilow founded one of the beneficiaries of the event, the Manilow Music Project to provide musical instruments and scholarships to students nationwide.

COD Foundation Executive Director Jim Hummer joined Manilow on stage to sing the praises of previous concert donations that created COD musical scholarships and the Barry Manilow Lab which serves over 200 students with 24 electric pianos. Two scholarship recipients Gisselle Contreras and Gilbert Olivera attended the concert.

The Living Desert (another charity benefitting from the show) was represented by its President and CEO. Allen Monroe, who brought along a red-tailed hawk and a horned owl to represent the Living Desert.

Just when you thought the show couldn’t get any better, Santa arrived in a sleigh with the Washington Charter Honor Choir singing Christmas carols with Manilow. “Snow” and streamers fell on the exuberant crowd for a magical finish. For 30 charities from ACT for MS to Well on the Desert, this concert series was a “true blue miracle,” a gift of love to so many from Barry Manilow.

For a complete list of the 30 charities benefiting from the concerts visit