“This is the closest I’ll ever come to feeling like a rock star.”
That’s how young organist Jonathan Ortloff thanked the large crowd for its rousing applause during last Monday’s performance at the International Summer Organ Festival.
Every summer, such top dog performers on the international organ circuit are booked to play in the most scenic outdoor pipe organ venue in the world—and this season is no exception.
But regardless of whether you consider yourself a groupie, each Monday night concert (beginning at 7:30pm) presents an excellent opportunity to pack up your pack, including four-legged members, and treat them to the diversity of music styles only possible on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion's 4,530-pipe instrument.
Depending on the night’s performer, you can hear just about anything, including classical compositions, marches, folk songs, big band, show tunes, popular music, as well as original arrangements by the performer—in other words, these aren’t just church songs.
Looking ahead to next week’s performance on July 4, Walt Strony will feature an American-centric program of music by Stephen Foster, Glenn Miller, George Gershwin, and others in celebration of Independence Day. And two weeks later, on July 18, Samuel Soria will play everything from Bach and Handel to John Williams’ “Theme from Jaws.”
But while you should go for the music, you’ll keep coming back for the great community atmosphere these free concerts draw. Young, old, bipedal, quadrupedal, families, friends, singles, couples, aficionados, and even cat-lovers come together under starry nights in this luminous park setting.