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.

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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!

Santa sings and spreads joy in Balboa Park!

Santa Claus made the journey from the North Pole to San Diego today. He arrived at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion at noon and immediately commenced spreading joy.

He greeted young and old in front of Balboa Park’s traditional holiday Gingerbread House, then at two o’clock took to the pavilion stage. Accompanied by smiling San Diego Civic Organist Raul Prieto Ramírez on the majestic Spreckels Organ, Santa sang the opening verse and chorus of Up on the Housetop.

Up on the Housetop, written by Benjamin Hanby in 1864, was the very first Christmas song that mentions Santa Claus!

Santa’s heartwarming performance was followed by a jolly Ho, Ho, Ho.

He then wished everyone in the audience a Merry Christmas.

Thank you, Santa, for being who you are.

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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!

Culture, spirituality at UC San Diego Powwow.

The UC San Diego 2022 Powwow began late this morning with Bird Singers from the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

As people slowly arrived at Marshall College Field, the singers sang ancient stories of the world’s creation. Traditional dancers and shaken gourd rattles moved in rhythm with the words.

In the San Diego sunshine, the culture and history of the Kumeyaay was alive, passing from heart to heart, from generation to generation.

One of the bird singers explained how culture and spirituality live together hand in hand. The singing takes much time and sacrifice. It is for the people. It brought him and others happiness, enriching life in many ways.

Bringing this beautiful music to our world helps many to thrive in this day and time.

I listened. Took some photos. I stretched my legs and ate some Kumeyaay fry bread with powdered sugar and drizzled honey. Yum!

Bird Singers were followed by Gourd Dancers.

After a little while, I felt the urge to move forward through this amazing world, and I walked again down my path.

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’s elegant Maritime Museum Dancers!

The Maritime Museum Dancers performed today. They graced the dance floor of the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic steam ferry Berkeley!

In addition to elegant, spritely dancing, the performers sang both together and individually, and one even read poetry!

These particular costumes and entertainments would have been enjoyed over two hundred years ago in England, in the early 19th century, around the time of the Regency Period.

The Maritime Museum Dancers often perform on another museum ship, HMS Surprise, the replica British Royal Navy ship used in the filming of Master and Commander.

Lucky museum visitors were enraptured by today’s performance, which included line dancing, a quadrille, and a duet. Near the conclusion of their performance, the group sang a gently stirring rendition of Greensleeves.

Alas my love you do me wrong
To cast me off discourteously;
And I have loved you oh so long
Delighting in your company…

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 gathers to sing Christmas carols!

Is it possible for perfect strangers to come together spontaneously and sing as one? It happened this afternoon in San Diego in Balboa Park!

Audience members from today’s free Sunday concert were summoned to the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. A smiling Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez and local singer and songwriter Lauren Leigh Martin led one and all through many joyful Christmas carols!

Is a single picture worth a thousand words? Here’s a many thousands of words story…

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!

A wonderful Christmas concert in Balboa Park!

This evening a wonderful Christmas concert was enjoyed in Balboa Park. The San Diego Ballet, San Diego Opera, and Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez performed holiday favorites for a large crowd at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion!

Ballerinas filed onto the stage to dance to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, then soaring voices filled the chilly night air with warm selections from Handel’s Messiah, and many favorite Christmas carols.

The concert concluded with a rousing Hallelujah Chorus.

I’m delighted to see how this annual free Christmas concert has grown in popularity to become a true San Diego holiday tradition.

On one special December evening some our city’s finest cultural institutions unite, bringing joy to young and old alike.

I sat in the pavilion and listened, and managed a few okay photos from afar.

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!

Scenes from La Jolla Playhouse’s POP-UP WOW!

This evening I watched a stirring performance. I and many others enjoyed the La Jolla Playhouse’s POP-UP WOW event at Liberty Station.

What did I see?

I saw soulful singing and dancing that stems from a shared history of suffering and endurance.

I saw joy that rises from the heart–a triumph of the spirit.

I saw how bubbles are like aspects of life–and like life itself. Mysterious, beautiful, soaring . . . short-lived. A beginning and an ending. Like memories.

I, too, wondered why we have an impulse to chase bubbles.

I saw a fable about a giant who wanted power over everything.

Until he saw the beauty of bubbles and learned wisdom.

I saw individuals repeatedly asking “Can I?”

They make one clumsy attempt after another, slowly gaining ability, gaining confidence, until they venture out into this sometimes scary world.

Meeting others, overcoming their fear, the question becomes “Can WE?”

What I observed was life.

You can watch it tomorrow if you’d like, too. Click here to learn about the Sunday performances. It’s free!

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!

Mariachis perform at Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

The Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park was filled this evening with uplifting music. Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista performed in front of a large crowd!

Lively traditional Mexican music turned this free Twilight in the Park Summer Concert into a special, memorable event. Many families filled the pavilion benches. There was much clapping and singing along with popular songs.

An elderly man behind me sang words he knew by heart joyfully. So did a very young boy sitting next to him.

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!