A spectacular celebration of the Advent and Christmas seasons will feature four distinguished concert artists on the Advent Organ Series 2012. The concerts are set on the four Sundays preceding Christmas, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23.

The featured recitalists will be Kevin Rose, Emma Lou Diemer, David Gell and Mahlon Balderston.

Music at Trinity invites the community to this holiday gift of the admission-free concert series. This 29th season offers a time of meditation, anticipation and jubilation during the Advent Organ Series.

Trinity Episcopal Church welcomes the community to experience the sonic splendor of music in sacred space. The church is located at 1500 State St. in Santa Barbara.

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, and feature compositions by the artists. The American Guild of Organists recognizes the unprecedented growth of organs and organ building on six continents, and co-sponsors the acclaimed concert artists on the series, as ambassadors for the organ and the guild.

Rose will launch the Advent Organ Series program on Dec. 2. He is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music. He was dean of the Dayton, Ohio, Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Currently, he and his family reside in Santa Barbara. He has served as organist and choir director at churches in Dayton and Santa Barbara. Rose offers a varied program of musical styles on the Advent Organ Series 2012.

The Advent Organ Series will welcome Diemer, an internationally celebrated concert artist and composer, on Dec. 9. Distinguished professor of music at the UCSB, Dr. Diemer recently presented the Santa Barbara premiere of her latest compositions for violin and piano. Her compositions include a vast array of vocal, choral and instrumental settings. She served several churches the Santa Barbara community. She is organist emerita of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara.

Gell, acclaimed composer and recitalist, will highlight the Dec. 16 concert of the Advent Organ Series. The program will showcase music that spans the centuries. Gell’s concert tours of Canada, the United States, Asia, Great Britain and Europe 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 youth, most recently with students of Marymount of Santa Barbara, St. Raphael School, Cate School and Providence Hall College Preparatory School.

Balderston will provide the climax of the Advent Organ Series on Dec. 23. He is well-known to the Santa Barbara community, and his program will feature premiere compositions.

For more than 50 years, he continues to serve as a leader of the musical community. Balderston was a professor of music at UCSB and at Santa Barbara City College. He was recognized for his service as organist of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, and for his contributions to music in the Society and the community. 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 performed on numerous Guild programs, and participated in several Pedals, Pipes, & Pizza Organ Encounters for the children and youth of the community at Trinity Church.

Nourish your spirit, expecting the unexpected, simply wait for the Child of Light at the 29th annual Advent Organ Series on the four Sundays before Christmas.

— David Gell represents Music at Trinity.