Concert in Balboa Park helps Save Starlight!

A cool pop-up concert was held today in Balboa Park. Live rock and roll music, played inside the entrance to the historic Starlight Bowl, attracted people like a magnet. The purpose of the concert was to help Save Starlight!

What is Save Starlight?

They’re the folks who’ve been working tirelessly for years to reactivate San Diego’s beloved old Starlight Bowl. Perhaps you have memories of performances in the outdoor amphitheater when it was active many years ago.

I’ve learned Save Starlight just needs a long-term lease from the city to get events at the venue started! They need you to raise your voice in support!

Help them by clicking here!

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One more day of Christmas in San Diego!

Christmas carols in early January? Christmas carols are what the audience heard and sang this afternoon at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park!

Accomplished guest organist Alison Luedke, who has performed with the San Diego Symphony, explained today’s concert. The celebration of Epiphany is traditionally the last day for the performance of Christmas carols, especially those concerning the Three Wise Men.

Accompanying her for the two o’clock free organ concert were the voices of three young people, members of the Nativity Children’s Choir.

I was amazed at the poise of the very young people. And by their confident voices.

You will be hearing their voices well into the future.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Christmas concert with San Diego Opera!

A wonderful San Diego holiday tradition filled hearts with gladness and joy this evening. Members of the San Diego Opera joined the mighty Spreckels Organ for a Christmas concert!

A large audience filled the benches of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, and many in the audience sang along when they heard familiar Christmas carols!

The San Diego Opera was represented by Kathryn Lillich (Soprano), Abigail Allwein (Alto), Cole Tornberg (Tenor), and Michael Sokol (Bass). The organist for the concert was Nicholas Halbert, Artist in Residence at San Diego’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.

As you might imagine, the music was of the very highest quality. The pure, soaring, melodious voices gave me frequent goosebumps. (No-they weren’t from the chilly night temperature!)

The loudest applause seemed to be for the original French version of O Holy Night (imagine it being sung by an operatic voice), and good old Jingle Bell Rock!

This is one holiday tradition that every family should enjoy.

Would you like to enjoy another fantastic San Diego holiday tradition?

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 pm you can participate in the Spreckels Organ’s annual Christmas carol sing-along. Join perfect strangers up on the pavilion stage and sing favorite carols while accompanied by the world’s largest outdoor musical instrument!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Singing carols along with Balboa Park’s carillon!

Two dozen Christmas carols were sung early this afternoon near The Old Globe, accompanied by Balboa Park’s carillon!

The Ramona Community Singers and the Tremble Clefs joined with members of the public singing beloved carols like Deck the Halls, The First Noel, Silver Bells and Silent Night.

The “Carol-along With the Carillon” was a unique opportunity to sing Christmas favorites while accompanied by the Ona Mae Lowe Carillon, whose bright notes descended from the California Tower. The carillon was played by Gina Seashore, who has programmed the noontime Balboa Park concerts since 2009.

An audience collected near The Old Globe’s Grinch tree. Young and old listened or sang as they chose. It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sit close to a world famous musician–for free!

Where can you sit in an audience very close to one of the world’s top musicians, and do so for free?

You can in San Diego!

Today I happened to be walking by the San Diego Symphony’s outdoor Rady Shell at Embarcadero Marina Park South, when I noticed a crowd had gathered at tables right up close to the stage.

Smiling ladies at a San Diego Symphony table indicated a rehearsal was about to begin, and said I could sit in front! Because during open rehearsals at the Rady Shell, anybody can!

Once the other symphony musicians and conductor Rafael Payare settled in, world-renowned pianist Marc-André Hamelin began the incredible Second Piano Concerto by Liszt. And, wow! One can understand why the New York Times called him a performer of near-superhuman technical prowess.

Anyone who likes fine music would love attending on open rehearsal at The Shell. In addition to fantastic, world-class music, there is sunshine and spectacular views of downtown, San Diego Bay and Coronado.

Today, however, I was so entranced by the magic of a very famous, nearly superhuman pianist, I barely noticed the passing sailboats!

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Concert and art to help Save Starlight!

A multi-band rock concert and fun mini-festival was held at the historic Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park this afternoon!

The objective of the event was to raise money, public awareness, and help the organization Save Starlight in their effort to receive a long-term operating lease from the City of San Diego.

There was wine tasting, an opportunity drawing, clothes for sale, and even some cool artwork! When I came by, I was glad to see a fair number of people had turned out.

I learned how major renovations to the 1935 Starlight Bowl have recently been completed, including sewer repair and the installation of a new hot water heater. Before too long, hopefully, the 4000-seat amphitheater’s Beyond Starlight healthy foods café, operating out of the old box office, should be up and running!

The cool artwork is by @holdenfrey.

And here’s some cool art by @ilovegaba.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego ready to welcome Elton John!

This evening a historic concert will be held at Petco Park in San Diego. Sir Elton John will be appearing for his long sold-out Farewell Yellow Brick Road – The Final Tour!

As I walked around Petco Park and the Gaslamp this afternoon, I saw colorful street banners, displays in shop windows and at the Hard Rock Hotel, people readying a tour merchandise truck, and even some very cool super fans of Elton John just hanging out, and smiling for the above photo! Is that dress awesome, or what?

I’ve loved the music of Elton John ever since I was a young man. It has been an important part of my life’s soundtrack. If by sheer chance you happen to read this, Sir Elton, thank you.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Island Mist and Friends in Balboa Park!

A slow day in Balboa Park. Summer’s over, it’s getting cooler, and the holidays are still a few weeks away!

As I walked through the International Cottages, I saw the House of Chamorros musicians who call themselves Island Mist and Friends up on the stage creating beautiful music. This musical group often fills in when there are no scheduled lawn programs. This year’s cultural lawn programs are soon coming to an end.

I sat on a nearby bench and listened. The buoyant, happy, laid-back island tunes had a couple of arrivals dancing on the grass. And more people came as the performance continued!

Make beautiful music, and people will come!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Online petition to reopen the Starlight Bowl.

A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.
A performance in the Ford Bowl (now the Starlight Bowl) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park. No known copyright restrictions image from Flickr.

The historic Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park has been out of operation since 2011. The organization Save Starlight has been working diligently to bring this beloved open air amphitheater back to life!

If you’d like to lend a hand, consider signing this online petition. Add your voice to others who urge the City of San Diego to grant Save Starlight a lease, so that they can begin the needed renovations and finally open to the public!

I added my name to the petition a moment ago. Will you?

You, too, can sign the petition, or learn more about the project, by clicking here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Dvořák, Liszt and laughs on Silent Movie Night!

Where can you listen to exquisitely played classical music, then laugh at absurdly silly slapstick humor . . . all in one sitting?

At Silent Movie Night!

This evening, acclaimed concert organist Clara Gerdes played classical compositions by Dvořák, Duruflé and Liszt on the incomparable Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park. Then immediately after, the audience was laughing uproariously to the gag-filled antics of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton! (Accompanied by organ, of course!)

From the sublime to the absurd. That was the magic of Silent Movie Night at the 34th San Diego International Organ Festival!

You didn’t go? Why not?

Silent Movie Night is one of the most fun events every summer in Balboa Park. A couple thousand happy people fill the benches at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. And it’s free!

So watch for it next year!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!