Read this
Grant Proposal

submitted to
New Music USA
(formerly known as The American Music Center
and Meet The Composer)

"How Can I Keep From Singing?"
~ Brad Nelson's San Diego Heritage ~
Vol. 17 - September 5, 2014

San Diego Sings! Festival 2015
Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 11am to 5pm
("How Can I Keep From Singing?" will be premiered at 1:00pm)
Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park
San Diego, California

Click here for a complete schedule....











Read this
Event Information

The Choral Consortium of San Diego is establishing the city's inaugural "SAN DIEGO SINGS! FESTIVAL 2015" to be held at Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ Pavilion on March 21, 2015
This event will celebrate choral singing throughout the region and will coincide with Balboa Park's Centennial Celebration 2015
Event Co-Chairs:
Carol Manifold - Founder and President, Choral Consortium of San Diego
Sally Husch Dean - Founder and Artistic Director, San Diego North Coast Singers
"Brad,  you are the natural composer for this very project - and to think I thought of you for this commission without knowing your roots in San Diego, and particularly in the choral community and in Balboa Park.  Serendipitous and organic!"

Additional collaborators:
Dr. Patrick Walders - Director of Choral Activities, San Diego State University
Dr. Carol Williams - Artistic Director, Spreckels Organ Society
Ross Porter - Executive Administrator, Spreckels Organ Society
Lyle Blackinton - Curator of the Spreckels Organ


Brad Nelson was born at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, only a few short blocks from Balboa Park!  As a San Diego native, he fell in love with choral singing as a singer in the Grossmont High School Red Robe Choir.  After living back East and in the Midwest for more than a decade, he returned in 1984 to direct the largest church music program in San Diego at College Avenue Baptist Church, the church where he was raised.  That first year, he led the first all-city Easter Sunrise Service in Balboa Park's Starlight Bowl before five thousand people.  Later, he led that event again when it relocated to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.  His choir toured Eastern Europe in 1990 immediately after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the disintegration of Communism.  As a result of the enthusiasm generated by that tour, he then conducted major Christmas concerts with choir and full symphony orchestra in packed performances at Copley Symphony Hall from 1991 to 1994.

Since then, Brad has been a full-time composer.  His choral music is performed frequently throughout AmericaInternationally, his music has been performed in Westminster Abbey, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Lisbon Cathedral, and the Catedral de la Almudena in Madrid.  His music has also been heard in cathedrals, churches, and schools in Canada, Scandanavia, the Baltic States, Russia, Oman, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Korea, and Japan.  During Christmas 2013, his music was premiered in Ely Cathedral in Cambridge, England.  Additionally, four English radio broadcasts have been devoted to his choral music on Remembrance Day, Christmas, and Easter.  These programs were broadcast internationally from the city of Taunton, Somerset in southwest England.

Brad has held positions as a professor and church musician in New York, Indiana, and California.  After studying composition at the University of Redlands (CA), he received Master and Doctoral degrees in composition and conducting from the Eastman School of Music (NY).


Since moving back to San Diego in 1984,  Brad and his wife and family frequently visit Balboa Park where they picnic, attend organ concerts, visit the international cottages at the House of Pacific Relations, and stroll through the Christmas Nativity scenes at the Organ Pavilion in December.  Brad grew up visiting all of these attractions as a child.... and don't forget the San Diego Zoo.... and the musicals under the stars at Wegeforth Bowl and Starlight Bowl!  Soon, he will take his new grandson to visit the Puppet Theater, ride the Carousel and Miniature Train, and visit the San Diego Model Railroad Club Museum (where his father was a founding member!).

When Brad was five-years-old, he ran around under the train layouts from one control station to the next, jabbering over the intercom system!

Brad's father, Morris Eugene Nelson (pictured far left below),
was one of seven founding members of the San Diego Model Railroad Club 

San Diego Model Railroad Club
A Brief History of Model Railroading in San Diego's Balboa Park - Video

For additional info on Brad's San Diego background click on - "Roots and Vines"
For Brad's compositional activity throughout California click on - "The Road Home to California.... and Choral Gold!"








Spreckels Organ Society
Balboa Park, San Diego



Marie Hitchcock's Puppet Theater
Balboa Park, San Diego



Balboa Park Carousel
Balboa Park, San Diego

Choral Consortium of San Diego
Carol Manifold, Founder and President

San Diego Sings! Festival 2015
"San Diego Sings! Festival 2015" is an opportunity for the San Diego public and visitors to hear 20 of the area's best choirs in a beautiful venue, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Admission is free. The festival is a celebration of the diversity of choral music in San Diego. We hope that as a result of attending the festival, the public will have a greater appreciation for the wealth of choirs in our community and be inspired to join a choir to sing themselves and to attend more choral concerts in the future. In addition to sequential fifteen-minute performances by the 20 participating choirs, the festival will feature a massed choir sing with 1000 voices and the Spreckels Organ. The audience will be invited to join in singing with the massed choirs, and to visit information booths to learn more about the choirs. Opportunity drawings will take place throughout the day to award audience members for supporting the choirs in various ways.
~  Carol Manifold, President

Choirs participating in this event:
Choral Club of San Diego
Encore Vocal Ensemble
Escondido Choral Arts Center Children's Chorus
Escondido Choral Arts Center Chorale
First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego Women's Chorus
La Jolla Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir
La Jolla Symphony Chorus
Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Choir
Pacific Coast Harmony
Pacific Women's Chorus
Peninsula Singers
San Diego Children's Choir
San Diego Chinese Choral Society
San Diego Chorus, Sweet Adelines International
San Diego Gay Men's Chorus
San Diego Mannskor, Norwegian Men's Chorus
San Diego North Coast Singers
San Diego Sun Harbor Barbershop Chorus
San Diego Women's Chorus

Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Balboa Park, San Diego, California


Balboa Park's Centennial Celebration 2015
San Diego's Balboa Park is celebrating its centennial year throughout 2015
This world-famous park was created in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition


Feedback gladly anticipated at -
This article copyrighted ©2014 by Gladde Music Publications
All Rights Reserved







Balboa Park Miniature Railroad
Balboa Park, San Diego



House of Pacific Relations
International Cottages
House of Denmark, Balboa Park, San Diego



San Diego Zoo
Balboa Park, San Diego