By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)–For five years, the amphitheater at Civic Center Park has been graced with a variety of talent from all over Southern California, but when the sixth season of the Desert Valley Hospital Sunset Concert Series kicks off on June 21, it will be launched by locally grown American Idol finalist Stevie Wright.
“She really wowed the crowd when she performed at our Concert in the Courtyard last September,” said Town of Apple Valley Events Coordinator Julie Gilmer. “With the number of people who came out to see her and the response she got, I’m excited to bring her over to the amphitheater this summer. It’s going to be a great season.”
Although she is currently living in Fullerton to attend college, Wright grew up in Phelan from the age of 4, attending Serrano High School in Phelan where she sang in the choir; and High Desert Church in Victorville where she worked in the on-campus coffee shop and served in the drama ministry. She had never performed professionally prior to auditioning for American Idol.
“It felt kind of funny going from singing in my school choir to performing on television in front of six million people,” Wright said, noting that one of her struggles was her lack of experience. “I was one of only five 16-year-olds in the competition and most of the other contestants had already been performing professionally.”
In hindsight, Wright admits she should have waited a couple of years to audition and wishes she wouldn’t have let the American Idol producers talk her into singing a song she wasn’t comfortable singing — Taylor Swift’s “ You Belong With Me” in the first voting round. “I knew it wasn’t my genre but I figured they were the experts and they knew what they were doing so I didn’t want to argue and I just went with it.”
Wright explained that, while it was upsetting at the time, getting voted out in the first round of season eight was a blessing in disguise. It excluded her from being locked into an extended American Idol contract. This allowed her to start performing with The Stevie Wright Band and, more recently, sign on as the lead female singer of The James Gang that performs under contract with West Coast Music, one of Southern California’s premier provider of live music for special events.
Wright will take the stage at Apple Valley Civic Center Park from 6 to 9 p.m. thanks to a generous sponsorship by Desert Valley Hospital. The concert will also feature an array of food choices, a beer garden, and a sampling of farmers market vendors. The park has inclined lawn seating for more than 1,500 people, so concert goers should bring blankets or portable chairs.
The music will continue Thursdays through August 9. The entertainment line-up for the summer includes:
Civic Center Park is adjacent to Apple Valley Town Hall and across from Super Target in the Apple Valley Commons shopping center. Parking and admission are free. The Town is seeking additional sponsors to ensure the success of the 2012-2013 events season. For more information on the concert series or to join Desert Valley Hospital, Paul Ahluwalia, MD Inc., Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group, and Parkway Dental/Apple Valley Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics as a sponsor, please visit www.applevalleyevents.org or call (760) 240-7000 x 7071.