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4518 pipes call to the "Starman"

Organist Carol Williams pays tribute to David Bowie in Balboa Park

Even Williams seemed shook up at times by the emotion and power of the organ and Bowie’s songwriting.
Even Williams seemed shook up at times by the emotion and power of the organ and Bowie’s songwriting.

After other organ tributes went viral online, another “breathtaking” performance took place to honor the late David Bowie at Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

The crowd was humbled by the depth of the Bowie arrangements provided by Williams and drummer Kerry Bell.

City Organist Carol Williams, with the sun setting to the west, highlighted Bowie’s proclivity to the universal, and the spiritual, in a tribute for “the people of San Diego,” and “the people of the world.” The ornate Italian-Renaissance design of the semi-circular pavilion made for a fitting setting at a tribute to a modern-day renaissance man.

Original arrangements of “All The Young Dudes,” “Life On Mars,” “Starman,” and “Space Odyssey” brought a large crowd closer together on a chilly yet clear afternoon. Dogs and humans, enraptured before the organ, were humbled by the depth of the Bowie arrangements provided by Williams and drummer Kerry Bell.

An easterly breeze grew throughout the performance, and the sound of commercial aircraft in landing patterns were no match for “Space Odyssey” on the organ’s 4518 pipes. Even Williams seemed a bit shook up at times by the emotion and power of the organ and Bowie’s songwriting. “Starman” gave one the feeling that Bowie was watching over the performance, curious himself about the 101-year-old organ’s sound.

  • Concert: Carol Williams
  • Date: January 17
  • Venue: Spreckels Organ Pavilion
  • Seats: GA
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Even Williams seemed shook up at times by the emotion and power of the organ and Bowie’s songwriting.
Even Williams seemed shook up at times by the emotion and power of the organ and Bowie’s songwriting.

After other organ tributes went viral online, another “breathtaking” performance took place to honor the late David Bowie at Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

The crowd was humbled by the depth of the Bowie arrangements provided by Williams and drummer Kerry Bell.

City Organist Carol Williams, with the sun setting to the west, highlighted Bowie’s proclivity to the universal, and the spiritual, in a tribute for “the people of San Diego,” and “the people of the world.” The ornate Italian-Renaissance design of the semi-circular pavilion made for a fitting setting at a tribute to a modern-day renaissance man.

Original arrangements of “All The Young Dudes,” “Life On Mars,” “Starman,” and “Space Odyssey” brought a large crowd closer together on a chilly yet clear afternoon. Dogs and humans, enraptured before the organ, were humbled by the depth of the Bowie arrangements provided by Williams and drummer Kerry Bell.

An easterly breeze grew throughout the performance, and the sound of commercial aircraft in landing patterns were no match for “Space Odyssey” on the organ’s 4518 pipes. Even Williams seemed a bit shook up at times by the emotion and power of the organ and Bowie’s songwriting. “Starman” gave one the feeling that Bowie was watching over the performance, curious himself about the 101-year-old organ’s sound.

  • Concert: Carol Williams
  • Date: January 17
  • Venue: Spreckels Organ Pavilion
  • Seats: GA
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Comments
4

Justin, How did you know about this concert? I don't recall reading anything about it in the local media calendars or even the Balboa Park newsletter. What a wonderful tribute. Sorry I missed it.

Feb. 5, 2016

Hello Javajoe25. It was great, but luckily they've recently announced there will be another one planned for Memorial Day Weekend. I think I learned about the event from the Civic Organist's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DrCarolWilliamsComposer/?fref=ts

Feb. 5, 2016

JustinO, Thanks for the tip. I look forward to the Memorial Day event.

Feb. 5, 2016

Williams will repeat her Bowie tribute at the Organ Pavilion on Sunday, May 29 from 2pm to 3pm.

March 9, 2016

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