[ 0 ] April 12, 2012 |

~A Beloved San Diego Summer Tradition Celebrates its Silver Anniversary in Balboa Park~

A San Diego Summer tradition since 1987, the Spreckels Organ Society presents the 25th Anniversary Summer International Organ Festival, featuring internationally celebrated organists playing each Monday evening from June 25 through August 27, 2012 at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

The historic Spreckels Organ is the largest outdoor pipe organ in America and is situated at the center of one of the country’s most beautiful urban parks.  All 2012 Summer International Organ Festival concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are FREE of charge. Music-loving children and pets are welcome.  Light snacks, beverages and unique gifts are available on the pavilion grounds with proceeds from donations benefiting the not-for-profit Spreckels Organ Society, helping to preserve, program and promote the Spreckels Organ as a world treasure for all people.

Celebrate opening night on Mon. June 25 with at a festive Bach’s Supper.   A delicious buffet meal begins 5:00 p.m. under the historic colonnades of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.  The event is open to the public and tickets must be purchased in advance.  For more information or to RSVP, call Jack Lasher at (858) 483-1326.

Launching the Silver Anniversary Season on Monday, June 25 is San Diego Civic Organist Emeritus Robert Plimpton along with a special guest orchestra directed by Shannon Kitelinger, Director of Bands at San Diego State University.  Plimpton is Resident Organist of the First United Methodist Church of San Diego and an internationally lauded pipe organist who has performed in major venues throughout the United States as well as in Israel, Jordan Europe and Taiwan.  Locally he has performed with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Master Chorale, the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra, and the San Diego Symphony.

Monday, July 2 brings Simon Gledhill, a British organist who has performed at all the major theatre organ venues in Britain as well as tours in Germany, Holland, Australia and the USA.  He was The American Theater Organ Society’s Organist of the Year in 1997.

Tom Trenney returns to the Spreckels Organ on Monday, July 9.  Known for his engaging improvisations on hymns, submitted themes, silent films, poetry, and artwork, Trenny was the first organist to be awarded First Prize and Audience Prize in the American Guild of Organists’ (AGO) National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2006.

Ty Woodward, Staff Organist at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, joins us on Monday, July 16.   Woodward is the former Dean of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and has played both classical and theatre organ concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada.  His recording credits include a solo classical recording on the Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and a theatre organ recording on the Wurlitzer organ at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, N.Y. along with accompaniments for numerous choral recordings.

The “First Lady of the Organ” Diane Bish, returns to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion on Monday, July 23.  Known as a concert and recording artist, composer, conductor and international television personality, Diane Bish displays her dazzling virtuosity and unique showmanship the world over to international acclaim.  Her television series “The Joy of Music” is broadcast to over 300 million people around the world each week.

Carlo Curley, one of the world’s foremost concert organists, comes to San Diego on Monday, July 30. Curley has performed concerts at the White House, in every state in the United States, and every province in Canada as well as Europe, Asia, Australia and Hong Kong.  His recent concert tour of Japan with the Kings Singers was a sell-out everywhere.

Monday, August 6 brings the duet skills of Elizabeth and Raymond Chenault to the Spreckels Organ console.  Known by their trademark “four hands, four feet,” this musical couple have been Organists and Choirmasters of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta since 1975.

On Monday, August 13 the Spreckels Organ Society welcomes Gordon Turk, Organ-builder, improvisational artist and globe-trotting concert soloist to San Diego.  Turk has been awarded competition prizes for performances of the music of J.S. Bach and in the national improvisation competition of the American Guild of Organists. He is Organist of Ocean Grove, NJ Auditorium.

Beloved silent movie master Dennis James returns on Monday, August 20 for the always popular Spreckels Organ Silent Movie Night.  For more than thirty years, Dennis James has played a pivotal role in the international revival of silent films presented with live music. Starting as a pianist for university screenings, James now tours worldwide with his Silent Film Concerts production company, presenting professional silent film screenings with piano, theatre organ, chamber ensemble and full symphony orchestra accompaniments.  James is renowned for providing the most comprehensive selection of authentic silent films with live music presentations available today.

Closing the 2012 Summer International Organ Festival on Monday, August 27 with her characteristic flourish will be San Diego Civic Organist Carol Williams.  British-born Williams was appointed Civic Organist in 2001, making her the first woman in the United States to hold a Civic Organists’ title.  She is also Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society and Organist in Residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  She is known for giving a new spin to classical organ concerts with her charismatic humor and has been received by international audiences with “rock star” enthusiasm.

The Spreckels Organ and Pavilion were a gift from John D. and Adolf Spreckels of the Spreckels sugar family, and were dedicated and first played on December 31, 1914.  The Spreckels Organ is the largest outdoor pipe organ in America and is sponsored by the City of San Diego, The Department of Parks and Recreation and the non-profit Spreckels Organ Society, who assure that this civic treasure entertains music lovers throughout the year. 

Afternoon organ concerts by Dr. Carol Williams, San Diego Civic Organist, and guest artists are performed year-round, Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m., free of charge.


Category: San Diego

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