Each time my wife and I travel to our cabin in Idyllwild from our home in the desert, the pine trees, fresh air and magnificent mountain views refresh our senses and energy level.

Likewise, we find joy and inspiration in the very active and professional arts scene on the Hill. The multitude of accomplished singers, musicians, actors and artists who perform and exhibit their artistry in formal and informal settings is truly amazing — and a primary reason why we love Idyllwild.

For me, the most special and unique entity in our community is Idyllwild Arts Academy and its student body of 300-plus from 30 different countries. These culturally diverse young people study, create art together, and grow as creative and caring individuals in a manner that gives hope for the future of our world. I am genuinely impressed by their passion and accomplishments as students and in their careers after they graduate, influenced in part by their time spent and life lessons learned here in Idyllwild.

On March 18, I arrived late for a preview concert of the Academy’s orchestra. I was curious to see what the new Lowman Concert Hall looked like and how the sound compared to Bowman Hall. Alone in the lobby, I slowly opened the door, tip-toed inside and then literally stood mesmerized for about five minutes before taking a seat in the back of the hall. The music from the student orchestra led by guest conductor Gregory Robbins was unbelievably pure and beautiful, thanks to the world-class acoustics of the new facility and the world-class students on the stage.

Congratulations to Idyllwild Arts and to everyone who had a hand in creating and funding this exceptional new performance space. It’s another gem in our community.

Scott Schroeder