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Watch a free holiday concert this weekend in Balboa Park

Civic Organist Raul Prieto Ramirez will perform Saturday, Dec 11, and Sunday, Dec 12 at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

If you're looking for something festive and free this weekend, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park will come alive with the sounds of the season. In this Zevely Zone, I met San Diego's civic organist. The Spreckels Organ Society is a non-profit organization curating concerts and performances in the heart of Balboa Park. They hope the public attends two free holiday collaborative performances on December 11 and 12.

In 1914, John Spreckels donated the organ to the city of San Diego and every Sunday since then residents have enjoyed a concert in the park. To keep that tradition going, Raul Prieto Ramirez was hired in 2018.  

Raul is from Spain and walked away from a full scholarship to study economics and law. "Because this is the only job in the entire world that allows you to be on a stage consistently," said Raul. "Being able to play every single week, 52 Sundays a year sharing music with an audience consistently. There is nothing else like this in the world."

Credit: Spreckels Organ Society

"We got better than what we could have possibly hoped for," said Dwight Gordon who was on the search committee that found Raul. "He blew away not just the committee that was evaluating him but the audience as well.".

Credit: KFMB TV

Christmas Celebration Concert on Saturday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m

On Saturday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez will be joined once again by the San Diego Opera and San Diego Ballet for a Christmas Celebration Concert, featuring selections from Handel's Messiah, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, Bach's Christmas Oratorio and popular Christmas carols from all over the world.

Christmas Carols Concert on Sunday, December 12 at 2 p.m.

On Sunday, Dec. 12 at 2:00 p.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, San Diego Civic Organist Christmas Sing-along with guest artist Lauren Leigh Martin. Audiences are invited on-stage for an all-inclusive sing-along of favorite Christmas Carols led by San Diego Rock Star Lauren Leigh Martin with the largest open-air musical instrument in the world commanded by San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez.

Credit: KFMB

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The Spreckels Organ Pavilion is the largest open-air musical instrument in the world. For more information visit www.balboaparkconcerts.org.

WATCH THROWBACK: December Nights celebrates the holiday season in San Diego's Balboa Park in 2004 

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