Let’s play “Jeopardy.”
Here’s the answer: “Founded in 1923, this attraction has welcomed more than 8 million people to Redlands with a broad array of symphonies, ballets, operas, musical theater and culturally diverse music and dance performances.”
And the question is: “What is the Redlands Bowl?” Anyone residing in Redlands knows that.
Here’s a more difficult go-round. The answer: “As executive director of the Redlands Bowl Performing Arts, she oversees all programmatic, philanthropic and capital initiatives related to the Redlands Bowl.”
Drum roll, please. The question: “Who is Bev Noerr?”
If that last puzzle was challenging, it’s a tribute to Bev’s many activities behind the scenes.
“I attribute the bowl’s excellence to a great team,” she said. “It’s a blessing to work with our Program Director Valerie Peister, Director of Operations Kristi Marnell, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Courtney Camp and Mission Gables Rental Coordinator Mariah Moffat. I love our bowl team and our bowl family of volunteers who help create memorable magic every summer season.”
The magic of the bowl is ethereal but always evident.
“When over 6,000 people spontaneously wave their lit cell phone screens in rhythm to the music — that’s a magical sight,” Bev said. “And the magic is there when I see all the young girls dressed as princesses, such as Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”
These experiences fuel Bev’s passion as executive director.
“I believe in the lovely and pure mission of the bowl as it provides free access to the arts,” she said. “It’s the oldest summer music festival in the United States with no admission charge. I devote most of my time securing adequate resources for the bowl while helping the public understand the ongoing needs. We are donor and partner supported.”
Bev has also noted the bowl unites people.
“We can share the experience of appreciating the arts — and join together in celebrating,” she said. “With all the discord in the world, isn’t it great that we have this place to be uplifted?”
Bev’s upbringing has contributed to her enthusiasm.
“My dad was a broadcaster and I grew up with PBS television,” she said. “He also played seven musical instruments and instilled an appreciation for the arts in my brother and I. We became an arts family immersed in the best of theater, concerts, television and media.”
Her interests led to co-producing and hosting two television programs for KVCR and KCSB-TV. Bev’s career has also included singing and songwriting. “I sang in bands for 25 years,” she remembered with a chuckle.
“I’ve had so many great professional experiences that have prepared me along the way.” Among her many honors and awards, Bev was named a Redlands Woman of Distinction in 2016 by state Sen. Mike Morrell.
She also has been a University of Redlands Town and Gown Woman of Distinction Honoree. Residing in Redlands with her husband Robert, Bev has raised five children, including two teenagers still at home.
“They enjoy dancing and music,” she said. “And my grown sons play guitar, so the arts continue to run in the family.” What’s ahead for the Redlands Bowl? “We are always thinking of the future and already planning for our Centennial Celebration during the 2023-24 season,” Bev said.
“That will be a truly special summer.” Meanwhile, a spectacular summer season is just around the corner. It begins Friday, June 21 with “Broadway and Beyond!”
This program will feature acclaimed American jazz singer Nicole Henry and the Redlands Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frank Paul Fetta. Stellar programs will continue on Tuesday and Friday evenings through Aug. 16.
A special Saturday evening program on July 13 will feature William Florian, former member of the New Christy Minstrels.
And the Broadway musical classic “Singin’ in the Rain” will be presented Thursday through Sunday, July 25-28. All programs begin at 8 p.m.
Wayne R. Scott is an award-winning writer, producer and director who serves as president of LifeHouse Theater, Redlands.