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Local musician singing the praises of COD.

COD opened the door to dream career in music. 

Legions of loyal fans flock to each and every John Stanley King performance in the Coachella Valley. But it wasn’t always that way for this local choir boy who found his future at College of the Desert (COD).

Born and raised in Indio, one of seven siblings reared in a generation of musicians, he learned all the Standards early in life from his grandfather, who played trumpet, banjo and bass.

John Stanley King a College of the Desert alumnus credits COD for his exposure to music and his professional music career.

Following graduation from high school, John enrolled at COD where he studied theatre, band and choir.

He continued to dream of a career in music but had little hope of making it big until he was afforded the opportunity to participate in a music camp offered by famous bandleader Fred Waring. Although he had been a musician since age 12, John never dreamed of taking his music to a national level. Thanks to a College of the Desert scholarship, John was able to travel to Pennsylvania to participate in the music camp.

“Before I knew it, I was in a new land. I had never even been on an airplane before.” During the workshop, Fred Waring heard John sing and made him an offer of a lifetime to join the Pennsylvanians, his touring chorus. “I was only 18 at the time – a baby compared to the rest of them. I jumped at the opportunity.”

After traveling around the country for two and a half years, John returned to the desert to pursue his life and career and he’s been playing to packed crowds here at home ever since.

“I’m so grateful to College of the Desert for opening the door to my dream of a professional career as a musician.”

Everywhere you look in our community, COD and the Foundation have helped change lives for the better through higher education. You’ll find many ways you can change lives and our community for the better here on our site and in our Guide to Giving section. Or, call us at the Foundation, 760-773-2561.