A spectacular celebration of the Advent and Christmas seasons features four distinguished concert artists on the Advent Organ Series 2009 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St. in Santa Barbara.

The concerts are set from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the four Sundays preceding Christmas: Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. The featured recitalists will be Mahlon Balderston, David Gell, Carl Swanson and Charles Talmadge.

The Music at Trinity community concert series celebrates 26 years offering meditation, anticipation and jubilation during the annual Advent Organ Series. Trinity Episcopal Church welcomes the community to experience the sonic splendor of seasonal music in sacred space.

The Advent season heralds the time of preparation for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas. Artists throughout the centuries have interpreted the magnitude of the event in words and music. The four concert programs delight with an exceptional breadth and depth of music featuring compositions by the artists.

Balderston will launch the series Nov. 29. He is well-known to the Santa Barbara community. For 50 years, he served as a leader of the music community. He was a professor of music at UCSB and at SBCC. Balderston was recognized for his service as organist of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara. He is a distinguished composer, recitalist, church musician, music professor and active member of the Santa Barbara Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He participated in several Pedals, Pipes & Pizza Organ Encounters for the children and youths of the community at Trinity.

Gell, an acclaimed composer and recitalist, will highlight the Dec. 6 concert. His concert tours of Canada, the United States, Asia, Great Britain and Euopre include hymn festivals, recitals and improvisation seminars. His musical leadership in the Santa Barbara community features service with various churches, the American Guild of Organists, Westmont College, UCSB, the Master Chorale and presentations of organ encounter demonstrations with the community’s children and youths, most recently with students of Marymount of Santa Barbara and St. Raphael School.

Swanson’s program is set for Dec. 13. He served on the music faculty at the California Lutheran University in Moorpark before moving to Santa Barbara, where he is the musician at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Swanson is a specialist in the music of the baroque period.

Talmadge climaxes the series on Dec. 20. He is assisting organist at the All Saints-by-the Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito. He serves the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Guild of Organists as the sub-dean. He will bring a background of piano performance and technical expertise to his concert.

— David Gell represents is a performer with the Advent Organ Series 2009.