An account of a musical performance in Balboa Park

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This essay will center on a musical performance at Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ Pavilion. On December 3rd, 2017, a Sunday, I went to the show. The Spreckels Organ, which is located on a pavilion in Balboa Park, is essentially the biggest organ in the world. The precise site is on the President's Way and Pan American Road corner, to the east of the park. The venue for the concert is entirely outside. The Christian festival of Christmas served as inspiration for the day's performances. Ross Porter sung along as Russ Peck played Christmas specials. There was a special set-up added in conjunction with the Del Cerro Christmas. The overall set-up coupled with the unique outdoor location created a unique atmosphere that arguably enhanced the experience for the audience.

The performers were notably skilled in their artistic specialties. Russ Peck demonstrated expertise in playing the organ while Ross Porter was exceptional in singing with his baritone. Similarly, they exhibited enthusiasm while performing clearly relishing every moment and giving their best. The singer, Ross Porter, made great effort to engage with the audience, cracking jokes and generally keeping the atmosphere warm. The performers were dressed up semi-casually in trousers, button-down shirts, and red half coats perhaps in line with the red colors of the Christmas festive season. Occasionally, Porter would wear a red sweatshirt which also had designs associated with the festive celebrations. Ultimately, the performers exhibited a lot of expertise in regard to performing in front of an audience and made significant and effective measures to connect with their audience.

The instrument in use throughout the performance was the organ played by Russ Peck. The organ itself happens to be the largest in the world. That is something the concert pavilion prides itself in. Nonetheless, it is quite impressive when played. The music that emanated was bold, smooth, and warm. In essence, one could say that the organ truly lived up to its billing as a large and impressive musical instrument, a testament to the ingenuity that brought it forth into the world.

The Christmas period is a period of festivities. Thus it follows that the musical performance inspired by the festivities would adopt a cheerful atmosphere. If it were described in any other manner, it would be butterflies flying around a yard under bright morning sunlight. It is a mood that the singer made sure to convey to the audience. His charisma, wit and positivity created a warm atmosphere that reflected the kind of mood that would be expected of Christmas festivities.

The songs being performed had quite a lot in terms of melody. Alongside the harmonic elements in the tunes, the songs were quite catchy and could easily be enjoyed to the point of the tunes sticking in one’s head. The organist helped provide rhythm that went appropriately with the songs being performed. Additionally, the use of the organ created a sort of atmosphere that is usually present in churches hence creating this sort of unique rendition to be enjoyed by the audience.

Furthermore, the duo comprising of the organist and the singer, created a blend of sounds that complemented each other perfectly creating a polyphonic texture to be enjoyed by the audience. The performance also exhibited evidence of concrete form in the musical pieces being performed. The pieces were mostly written in a form similar to poems or sonnets hence giving them some element of form that could easily be discerned by anyone with keen concentration.

A further look into the performance showed the use of balanced dynamics that worked quite well against the backdrop of crescendo that had both louder and softer sounds. The louder parts were audible as specific song were at their peaks while the softer sounds were most audible during the transitions phases as songs were starting or ending. Additionally, the performance incorporated very intuitive use of tempo by alternating between slow, moderate and fast speeds. This particular switching of performance speeds had the effect of helping produce a dramatic effect.

April 13, 2023

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