Spreckels Organ Society

Spreckels Organ Centennial Concert

The Spreckels Organ Society and San Diego Civic Organist Dr. Carol Williams invite you to the Spreckels Centennial Concert, a glorious commemoration of 100 years of the Spreckels Organ and Balboa Park, on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2014. The concert and festivities are free, open to the public and will launch Balboa Park’s Centennial year.
Save your seats by 5:30 in the Pavilion. Live music and an historic slide show precede the concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
City Council President Todd Gloria will be on hand to accept the gift to the City of three new ranks of organ pipes, new percussion effects, and the newly-coated facade of pipes.
Spreckels will be streaming the concert live on U-Stream, if you can’t be there in person.
The green parking lot tram will run until 6 p.m. that day, and valet parking will be available (in the usual spot, on the east side of the Esplanade).
A Grand Processional March will begin at 7 p.m. at the Bea Evenson Fountain (between the Natural History Museum and the RH Fleet Center). If you are in the Procession, gather between 6 and 6:30 p.m. near the Evenson Fountain.
Souvenir Programs will be offered for a $5 donation at the Pavilion entrances.
Emcee Sam Bass of KyXy FM 96.5 will launch the official program after the Procession arrives, led by two bands of bagpipes and a recreated Electriquette.
The Gift Shop will be open! Souvenirs of the great Spreckels Organ include seat cushions and blankets as well as sweatshirts, CDs, and more.
Snacks and hot drinks will be available for purchase from the Community Christmas Center at the east side of the Pavilion.
Program highlights include:

  • Remembering John D. Spreckels—a reenactment of the original gift to the people of San Diego and the world.
  • World premiere performances of compositions for the organ and its new ranks
  • Harp solo by Karen Rokos, who is the great-granddaughter of the first curator, Anton Rokos—view his 1915 Exposition pass online at PanCalArchive.org.
  • 150-voice choir led by John Russell
  • Fireworks


Sunday Concert Nov 23 at 2 p.m.

Robert Plimpton will play the following selections:
America, the Beautiful – Arranged by R. Plimpton
Fanfare and Procession    – Keith Chapman (1945-1989)
Dedicated to Dr. Robert Elmore
Prelude and Fugue in a minor (BWV 543) –  Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Strenuous Life Rag    – Scott Joplin (1868-1917)
Grand Processional March – Humphrey John Stewart (1856-1932)
Note: Stewart was San Diego’s first “City Organist”
Allegro vivace (Symphony 5) – Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
Retrospection – Robert Elmore (1913-1985)
Marche Moderne – Edwin H. Lemare (1865-1934)
Carillon-Sortie – Henri Mulet (1878-1967)

The National Anthem
Robert Plimpton is a native of Pennsylvania and is currently the

Sunday Nov. 16 concert at 2 p.m.

Dr. Carol Williams, San Diego Civic Organist, is joined this week by Guest Organist Braden McKinley.

Dr. Williams will play the following selections:
America – Arranged by Carol Williams
Te Deum – Charles Tournemire
Fantasia – J. C. Kittel
Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed
Freedom, Op. 12 – Carol Williams

Braden McKinley will play the following selections:
O Filii et Filiea – Healey Willan
Trumpet Tune in G major – David Johnson
Toccata from Suite Gothique – L. Boellman
Outer Hebrides – Paul Halley
Toccata on Hanover – K. Leighton

National AnthemSummerSunday-edit-web


Photos – Family Festival Day Oct 26

Great photos by Mike Cox at this link:


Concert program for Sunday Nov. 9

San Diego Civic Organist Dr. Carol Williams will play the following selections:
America – Arranged by Carol Williams
Overture from The Marriage of Figaro – W. A. Mozart (1756-91) Arranged by Carol Williams
Fantasia in G – J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
Devil’s Gallop – Charles Williams (1893-1978)

Tribute to John Philip Sousa, born 6 November 1854-1932
Love me Little, Love me Long, Op. 37
Some Famous Marches

Misty – Erroll Garner (1923-77)
Blue Danube Waltz – Johann Strauss II (1825-99)
Thunder & Lightening Polka – Johann Strauss II
Venus Toccata, Op. 9 – Carol Williams (Contemporary)
The National Anthem – Arranged by Carol Williams

Pavilion detail and California Tower