The Rose Garden at the Empire Polo Club in Indio will serve as center stage for a 50-piece symphony orchestra as it performs a patriotic musical salute to veterans on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

It promises to be an emotional night as the symphony orchestra from California Baptist University (CBU) in Riverside plays the strains of some of America’s most beloved and patriotic songs to honor Riverside County’s veterans, their families and friends.

California Baptist University O

California Baptist University Symphony Orchestra

California Baptist University Symphony Orchestra

The symphony made CBU history when it played its first concert in November 2012. Until then, a symphony orchestra did not exist there. Ruth Noemy Wheeler, the conductor at the time, said, “Our principal goal is use our talents in music that God has given us for His glory by performing outstanding music and giving our best to Him — Colossians 3:23.”

As the students prepare to give their best to God, they are also preparing to give their best to those who have sacrificed for their freedoms and so many others.

“Our veterans and members of our military are owed a great debt of gratitude and appreciation for serving our nation in times of war and peace,” said Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez, who is helping present the musical salute. “Today, less than 1 percent of Americans serve in our active duty, guard, or federal and state reserve forces. Our musical tribute is one more public expression of our gratitude and respect for their service and sacrifice.”

Riverside County, which is home to more than 130,000 veterans, has the third highest veteran population in the state and is the host of two major military installations; various National Guard facilities and installations; and state and federal reserve facilities and installations.

The concert, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is presented by Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, California Baptist University Symphony Orchestra, Community Action Partnership, Riverside County Economic Development Agency, and the Riverside County Veterans Services Department and other sponsors.

Admission to this event and parking are provided free of charge.

The concert is not being paid for a the expense of taxpayers, said Thomas S. Freeman, Perez’s chief of public policy.

Mr. & Mrs. Alex Haagen lll donated the location.