The annual Boomeria Extravaganza comprises a unique afternoon with hours of organ music in Boomeria's own Chapel Royal, snacks, drinks, and wine, surrounded by the Bonny Doon area forest. The event takes place on Saturday, July 11, from 1 to 5 pm with Vlada Moran, Bruce Sawhill, Hartzell Lemons, Lawrence Manzo, and Preston Boomer performing throughout the afternoon. Visitors also receive a tour of the insides of the organ, known as an "organ crawl." This event is a fundraiser and proceeds benefit the continued operation of the Baroque Festival's annual concert season. Tickets for the afternoon are $50 and available through Santa Cruz Tickets (http://www.santacruztickets.com
, 831-420-5260, or 459-2159), and the SCBF (http://www.scbaroque.org
, 831-457-9693). Due to limited capacity, this event offers advance ticket sales only. Directions are furnished to ticket holders.
The grounds of Boomeria are full of surprises, including its own castle and catacombs. Created and maintained by "The Boom" – a long-time local high school chemistry and physics teacher – Boomeria is a well-kept local secret.
The Boomeria organ itself was a project begun in 1953. In that year Trinity Paris Church (now Cathedral) in San Jose replaced its organ console (vintage 1879), which had originally been donated to the church by The Boom's great grandmother. Boomer rescued the console along with two sets of pipes and started a project was completed with the assistance of students from San Lorenzo Valley High School over a period of many years. Since then generations of Boomer's students have helped with the building of this massive instrument and its intricate mechanisms, along with assistance from organ builders Bill Reid, John West, and Bill Visscher. The Boomeria organ now features 40 ranks, 2,500 pipes, baroque voicing, and mechanical action.
Visitors to the Baroque Festival's annual Boomeria Organ Concert have the opportunity to explore the grounds and crawl into the organ itself, while enjoying live music and refreshments.