Spreckels Organ Society

Behind the Scenes for Halloween

If you haven’t seen the fine Halloween-themed concert that Raul created, treat yourself to a spooktacular hour! There’s a link lurking in a nearby widget, but if you can’t find it don’t fret, you can just CLICK HERE.

Once you’ve seen the concert, your backstage pass to watch it taking shape is JUST A CLICK AWAY — Photo genius Robert Lang has posted a great set of pictures depicting the team’s creative efforts.

Online Concert Sun. Nov. 29

Join Raul Prieto Ramirez in live chat on November 29 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time when this Sunday’s concert premieres! You’ll enjoy the hour-long concert of music on the Spreckels Organ, accompanied by Raul’s musical comments and those of our enthusiastic audience. We are thankful for your “likes” and Subscriptions! CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK to the concert.

After the first showing, the Nov. 29 concert will be available for you to view anytime during the next few days. The Musical Program for Nov. 29:

Musical program for Nov. 29

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)
The Stars and Stripes Forever

John Lennon (1940-1980)

Max Reger (1873-1916)
Toccata Op.59

Antonio Soler (1729-1783)
Sonatan de Clarines

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Fantasia in g minor BWV 542-2

Marcel Durufle (1902-1986)
Sicilienne, from Suite Op.5

Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
I – Allegro from Symphony N.6 in g minor Op.42/2

Star Spangled Banner

“Timing is Everything”

In show business, they say that Timing is Everything — and it’s true in the world of pipe organs, too, since a malfunctioning organ in the midst of a public performance can spell trouble. But what happens when a key component that has been doing just fine since about 1939 suddenly shorts out and prevents the organ from playing almost anything?     

Are these guys still around? You bet! They started in 1892 and built the internal vacuum system at the White House.
Still manufacturing in the USA, now at Windsor, Connecticut. Energy efficiency, methane collection, and water movement are aspects of the Spencer Turbines of today.

That’s what we faced in September 2018 when the motor on Spencer Turbine Company’s Orgoblo (S/N 26981) failed, depriving the organ of its main source of air. You can see on the name plate that it generates two levels of wind pressure for the organ: 10 inches and 15 inches. (The higher pressure offers greater volume for Solo ranks.) Lacking a blower, the organ played no Sunday concerts for a stretch of six weeks between September 26 and November 13, 2018. It was the longest stretch of “no live concerts” in memory. (That six-week record was broken around May Day this year and live concerts still await, but the blower is functioning so that video concerts can be made.)     

In 2018, the motor was repaired “just in time” to help make the 2018 holiday programming possible. The 20-horsepower wonder that worked well for 70+ years now offers 25 hp and could, say the experts, last for twice as long! 

But there was another problem with the blower that took longer to fix. 

The Impeller Blades that are spun by the motor to bring air into the blower unit and then up to the wind chests were found to be in need of replacement. Since the end of 2018, the work has been pending.

In 2020, the timing of online concert production has allowed the curatorial team to schedule the needed repairs to the rest of the Spencer Orgoblo. CLICK HERE to read the whole story and see photos.

Or, go direct to the photo set by CLICKING HERE.

Sunday Nov. 22: Online Concert at 2 p.m.

On Sunday November 22 Raúl Prieto Ramírez premieres the next one-hour concert on the Spreckels Organ online at YouTube. CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK to click on; we’ll post as soon as available.

Musical Program for November 22:

Max Reger – Scherzo in D minor Op.65

Movie Time!
Yann Tiersen – La Valse d’Amele

John Philip Sousa – The Stars and Stripes Forever

Johann Sebastian Bach – Fantasia in g minor BWV 542-1

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin – Prelude Op.28 N.15

Samuel Scheldt – Five variations on the English song “Fortune my Foe”

Camille Saint Saens – Rhapsodie Op.7 N.1

Franz Liszt – Transcendental Etude “Wild Hunt” s. 139 N.8

The Star Spangled Banner

Online Concert: Sunday Nov. 15

This Sunday at 2 p.m. Raul Prieto Ramirez will premiere an hour-long concert video on YouTube at 2 p.m. — the Society’s ongoing substitution for any live programming at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, which is ruled out by the demands of public health as San Diego County goes to a tighter “purple” status.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK to this week’s online concert. If you miss the premiere, the concert video will be available for a few days to enjoy at your leisure.

Music Program for November 15:

Dimitri Schostakovich (1906-1975)
Lyrical Waltz, from Ballet Suite N.3
-trans. Raúl Prieto Ramírez

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude & Fugue in G minor BWV 535

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Hungarian Dance N.5
-arr. Edwin Lemare

Sebastián Aguilera de Heredia (1561-1627)
(Tiento de) Registro bajo de primer tono

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Ave María from Arcadelt S.183/2

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Transcendental Étude “Wild Hunt” S.139 N.8
-trans. Raúl Prieto Ramírez

The Star Spangled Banner