Musical Theater University trains young performers, benefits community

The 2022-2023 school year is upon us for all of our local school districts, and our students are busy getting organized and preparing for — as the old saying goes — reading, writing, and arithmetic.

But what about dancing and singing? Fortunately for our valley, David Green and his University of Musical Theater – a.k.a MTU – covered them!

Green established his after-school musical theater training program in 1999 in Orange County. This year, he is celebrating his 10th year in our community training, teaching and mentoring students in grades 8-12 who wish to pursue or at least explore the possibility of a professional on-stage career in musical theatre.

“There’s so much young talent here in our desert,” Green says. “I have worked with young people for over 20 years and have trained many students who have gone on to professional careers, and I have to say there are quite a few here in the Coachella Valley that I predict we will see. on Broadway.”

Exciting news indeed for young hopefuls, many of whom recently performed a Broadway musical review titled “Willie’s Block Party on Broadway” in the living room at Willie’s modern fare at Rancho Mirage for five weeks this summer.

Restaurateur Willie Rhine poses with the kids at MTU.

Restaurateur willie rhine told us: “I really didn’t know what to expect, but we filled all the tables every night they played. I was very happy to support David and MTU, and I have to say it was the most joyful experience. My staff and I loved hosting them. They are all so talented. Even my bartender had fun and sang. We didn’t know he had such a beautiful voice, but these young people all inspired!”

Inspiration could be their motto. Green creates an environment that engages, educates and encourages.

“We’re having fun, but we’re pretty serious here about our art,” says Green. “I created a pre-professional training program in the performing arts for young people. We make sure the kids learn a lot while enjoying the process. We are open to students from all over the Coachella Valley and surrounding communities. “

Both public and private school students are eligible to audition and be accepted into the program. MTU represents the full spectrum of ethnic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.

Green says, “We are proud to say that our program is sponsored by the Palm Springs Unified School District and is offered 100% free to students.”

Francisco Orozco, the bartender of Willie's Modern Fare, enters the scene.

MTU’s faculty is made up of professional artist-teachers, who are currently working in their respective fields, providing students with a unique “real world” experience. Green is able to bring in guest artists and well-known master teachers to supplement teaching, and they have on-site workshops, masterclasses, auditions and assessments as part of the full curriculum.

Ensuring that those who want to pursue a career on stage in musical theater with the best possible preparation and training is David Green’s MTU goal, and it is for this passion and commitment to our young people and arts that we award to the organization our $1,000 grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Power of Community Family Foundation so that they can continue this important mission.

“Kids learn at MTU that in the theater world, the ‘show must go on,'” says Green. “Well, we couldn’t go on without such tremendous support from this desert community. We hope that our performances like the ones we did this summer at Willie’s will act as a thank you to our valley. Thank you so much! “

We also thank you, David! Now you sing our song!

To learn more about David Green’s University of Musical Theater visit

Sandie Newton is an award-winning journalist who began her career in Los Angeles as the co-host of the nationally syndicated show “PM Magazine.” She went on to host numerous local and national shows like “Hollywood Insider” before becoming one of the original anchors of E! and a regular on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” In 2017, she moved to the wilderness full-time, creating and hosting NBCares for over six years, profiling over 300 Valley nonprofits. She is currently the host of “Desert Chat,” a new half-hour lifestyle show highlighting all the good people, events and news in the Coachella Valley, which will debut in September on KESQ and Fox 11.

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