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The Spreckels Organ Society Presents Holiday Concert Webcast Series For 2020's Unusual Pandemic Celebration

A series of three concerts with featured guest vocalists will be capped off by a majestic Vienna-style New Years Day Concert ringing in the new year 2021.

The Spreckels Organ Society Presents Holiday Concert Webcast Series For 2020's Unusual Pandemic Celebration

The Spreckels Organ Society and San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez announce an enchanting series of holiday webcast concerts direct from Balboa Park during the pandemic holidays 2020.

Since March 2020, the historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion has been closed to in-person audiences. However, in this time of isolation and fear, the Spreckels Organ Society, led by the vast creative talents of Raúl Prieto Ramírez, has doubled down to provide a window of hope through the greatest music of all time, set in and around the unparalleled beauty of San Diego's beloved Balboa Park.


Fully-produced, weekly online concert webcasts with commentary and live chat are now accessed free of charge worldwide on Sundays at 2 pm Pacific Time at sandiegoconcerts.org or balboaparkconcerts.org.

More information about the Spreckels Organ Society can be found at spreckelsorgan.org.

HOLIDAY CONCERTS

Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2:00 pm PST

Spreckels Organ Concert Webcast & Holiday Sing-Along with Lauren Leigh!

The Spreckels Organ Society presents San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez with featured celebrity vocalist Lauren Leigh. Sing along to your favorite carols with Leigh, a Spreckels Organ audience favorite, and be inspired by majestic classics and the powerful performance of Prieto Ramírez on the magnificent Spreckels Organ -- The largest outdoor musical instrument in the world! Tune in Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 pm Pacific Time on sandiegoconcerts.org or balboaparkconcerts.org.

Sunday, Dec. 20, at 2:00 pm PST

Spreckels Organ Concert Webcast & Holiday Sing-Along with Marco Antonio Labastida!

The Spreckels Organ Society presents San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez with featured guest celebrity vocalist, tenor Marco Antonio Labastida. Feast on your favorite Mexican Carols in the Castellano language, and be inspired by majestic classics and the powerful performance of Prieto Ramírez on the magnificent Spreckels Organ -- The largest outdoor musical instrument in the world! Tune in Sunday, Dec. 20 at 2 pm Pacific Time on sandiegoconcerts.org or balboaparkconcerts.org.

Sunday, Dec. 27, at 2:00 pm PST

Spreckels Organ Concert Webcast & Holiday Sing-Along with Tasha Koontz!

The Spreckels Organ Society presents San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez with featured guest celebrity vocalist Tasha Koontz. Bask in Koontz's sumptuous, silvery soprano voice performing the magical music of the holiday, as well as majestic classics and the powerful performance of Prieto Ramírez on the magnificent Spreckels Organ -- The largest outdoor musical instrument in the world! Tune in Sunday, Dec. 27 at 2 pm Pacific Time on sandiegoconcerts.org or balboaparkconcerts.org.

Friday, Jan. 1, 2:00 pm PST -

Spreckels Organ Vienna Style New Year's Concert Webcast

Ring in the New Year with a Vienna Style New Year's Concert! A long-time tradition in Balboa Park, this year's Spreckels Organ Concert by San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez will feature popular Waltzes and Polkas by the Strauss family plus popular works by Bach and Handel, introduced through playful presentations from settings all around San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park. Tune in Wednesday, Jan 1 at 2:00 pm at sandiegoconcerts.org or balboaparkconcerts.org.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez has artfully pivoted from live concerts to fully-produced video webcasts that are enjoyed by a worldwide audience each Sunday at 2:00 pm PST (5 pm EST, 10, 22:00 GMT) on sandiegoconcerts.org or balboaparkconcerts.org.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez is a rock star of the organ world with a powerful personality and passionate expressiveness. His joy is making great music exciting and accessible for everyone, and he is known for being one of the few concert organists to perform from memory. Critics have praised his performances at major venues all over the world as "simply awe-inspiring," "electrifying," "colossally talented," and "fearless."

The great Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park is the world's largest outdoor musical instrument. The Spreckels Organ Society, along with the City of San Diego, produces free-year-round concerts by world-class organists. The organ, manufactured in 1914 by the Austin Organ Company, features a remarkable walk-in air chest and was installed in a pavilion designed by architect Harrison Albright. The dedication of the Spreckels Organ launched the Panama-California Exposition on Dec. 31, 1914, and the Spreckels Organ has played continuously since then.

Sun. Dec. 13: For the last seven years, Lauren Leigh has made a name for herself as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, session singer, and hired gun based in San Diego, CA. Before the four horsemen of the apocalypse brought their wrath to 2020, Lauren recorded and released a 5 song EP entitled Flare at the beginning of the year. She fronts Lauren Leigh and the Low Keys (soul, funk, R&B, pop), and Wild Heart (classic country), and performs frequently in duo format with local guitar legends, Sam Hunt, Ben Zinn, and Joshua Taylor. As a member of the tribute band Pink Froyd, Lauren was able to tour Canada in 2019, opening for Foreigner and featured singing the Floyd vocal juggernaut "Great Gig in the Sky." Lauren can be found singing lead and backing vocals for several projects, including Analog Project (soul/funk), High Tide Society (yacht rock), Lucky Devils (corporate/top 40), and Mud Slide Slim (James Taylor/Carole King tribute), guest vocals for Back To The Garden (Laurel Canyon tribute) and frequently provides awkward dance moves and backing vocals for the Jonny Tarr Quintet (dance/pop). www.laurenleighmusic.com

Sunday, Dec. 20: Marco Antonio Labastida, tenor, was born in Tijuana, Baja California, and is one of the most important binational artists of the last 35 years. He has sung alongside international figures such as Encarnación Vázquez, Fernando de La Mora, José Medina, Javier Bátiz, Rodrigo de la Cadena, Doris, Clayton, Lorenzo Negrete and Mariachi Vargas to name a few. He has also performed in numerous recitals and concerts throughout Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Labastida has also participated in multiple operas, such as: La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, Romeo and Juliet, Elixir of Love, La Canterina with the Tijuana Opera; and the world premiere opera Serafina and Arcangela by Enrique Gonzalez Medina in Los Angeles. He has been invited to be part of the Oratorio, Handel's Messiah Coronation Mass by Mozart, Misa Criolla, Navidad Nuestra by Ariel Ramirez and Lloyd Webber's Requiem, and Zarzuela which includes the premiere of Luisa Fernanda in Southern California, conducted by the composer's son Federico Moreno-Torroba Jr. In the summer of 2007, Labastida performed in "Opera en la Calle" with the Tijuana Opera, and in an Argentinian-Mexican production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville at the Tijuana Cultural Center. In 2006, Tybalt marks his debut with Center Stage Opera. In 2008, Labastida sang Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor in co-production with the Tijuana Opera and the Palace of Fine Arts of Mexico City. His repertoire also includes popular Mexican music, as well as Latin American, French, German and Italian songs. Mr. Labastida has been recognized in the Hall of Fame and Stars in Tijuana. He continues performing throughout México and in the USA as well as teaching voice privately. www.mlabastida.com

Sunday, Dec. 27: Tasha Koontz is recognized by Parterre Box for her "sumptuous, gleaming lyric instrument" and by Opera Wire for her "secure silvery high notes," soprano Tasha Koontz is an artist garnering attention from coast to coast. Ms.Koontz lends her unique combination of nuanced and vocally exciting performances to a gallery of leading ladies in her repertoire. In the 2019/20 season, Ms. Koontz sang the soprano solos in Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the San Diego Symphony, performed the role of the High Priestess in Verdi's Aïda with the San Diego Opera, performed as the soprano soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria with the San Diego Festival Chorus & Orchestra, and performed Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the California Chamber Orchestra. Recently, Ms.Koontz was heard on the WFMT radio broadcast of last season's performance of Aïda with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in which she sang High Priestess. Ms.Koontz recently had the pleasure of covering Ana Maria Martinez in the role of Mimì in Puccini's La Boheme in a groundbreaking drive in opera production by San Diego Opera in October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms.Koontz's upcoming engagements have been postponed. These included solo engagements to sing in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Carmina Burana, recital appearances, and opera performances. Ms.Koontz will next appear with San Diego Opera to sing Nella in Gianni Schicchi and Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica in 2021. www.tashakoontz.com


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