Idyllwild, as a nationally recognized arts community, took another giant leap forward last weekend under the “big top” of the elementary school gymnasium. The cavernous venue was turned into an excellent showplace for two compatible artistic endeavors.

Guests walked into the cleverly erected art show maze near the entrance, where they had space to wander at their own pace viewing the dozens of works by members of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild. The display was inviting, the lighting exceptionally good.

I’m not an art critic, but I’ve been to enough shows and galleries to appreciate the very high quality of artwork. Obviously, others thought so, too, because red “sold” dots were on quite a few works.

Coinciding with the end of the AAI show was the introduction of the Master Chorale performance, along with orchestra and jazz ensemble. The tiered stage was at the far end of the gym, and between the chorale and the art were well over a hundred chairs, almost enough to contain the overflow crowd Saturday night. And, as always, the singers and musicians were top-notch.

If this sounds a bit over-the-top, it’s because the entire affair was Idyllwild at its best. Adding to the success of the evening was the festive holiday food the Soroptimist Club sold. And final kudos to new AAI member Jonathan Wiltshire and local artist Gary Glasheen, who shared honors as winners of the People’s Choice blue ribbons.

Barry Zander
Member, AAI