Celebrating SummerFest: Free concert at park draws crowd


Ruth Chandler Varonfakis


Young and older, toddlers and ‘tweens, in tank tops or in jackets, with different languages or accents, all were among the more than 1,000 people who came together under a slightly chilly marine layer to share in this year’s free SummerFest Under the Stars on Aug. 13.

For many at Ellen Browning Scripps Park, the event was their first exposure to the classics. Some reportedly arrived early that morning to stake their claim for the 7:30 p.m. concert. By 5 p.m., the park was filled with concertgoers who arrived on foot or bikes, carrying chairs, tables, and the occasional sleeping bag.

While the majority dined cheerfully on everything from homemade sandwiches and salads to purchased picnic baskets, Trevor Callan, a former La Jolla Music Society board member, arranged a special reception under the nonexistent stars to thank those donors who helped save this year’s event from being canceled.

The festive mood increased as Christopher Beach, president and artistic director of the Music Society took to the stage to introduce local resident, Helêne Kruger to thank her for being the first to spearhead donations. The efforts saved the second year of the concert-by-the-sea from the chopping block.

Halfway through the concert featuring an array of talented musicians, musical director Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin announced the surprise performance of 10-year old Marc Yu, who, by age 6, had already received the Davidson Fellowship. Yu performed Rachmanioff’s arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee to the enchantment of all.

Lin then took the stage with his Yamaha violin to perform Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra accompanied by Alexander Kerr, J Frelvogel, Sae Niwa on violins and Susan Wulff on bass.

Following the ovations, patrons lingered a bit before dispersing. Obviously, they didn’t want the evening to end.

Christopher Beach, president and artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society, thanks Helene Kruger for her efforts in saving the SummerFest Under the Stars concert.

PHOTOS by Steven Hyde

Marc Yu, 10, was a surprise performer for the audience at the Summerfest Concert.

The La Jolla Music Society hosted SummerFest 2009 at La Jolla Cove.