Boomeria is a beloved place in the Santa Cruz mountains that is a monument to creativity in art, music, and science. The brainchild of Preston Boomer – longtime San Lorenzo Valley High School physics and chemistry teacher, now retired – Boomeria's grounds are known for a working Baroque-style tracker pipe-organ built by Boomer and his students incorporating recycled and European organ pipes and recent work by organ builder Bill Visscher and friends. The ‘Kingdom of Boomeria” also includes a castle built for climbing (most especially for those with short legs,) underground catacombs, a working guillotine, a large swimming pool, all situated in a beautiful forest of redwood, bay-laurel, oak and madrone. Over the years Boomer has opened his home and grounds to a great many community events and fundraisers, including the Bastille Day Boomeria Organ Celebration and many others. Between students, community members and arts organizations, Boomer and Boomeria have touched the lives of a great many, and vast is the love and gratitude in which they are held.
In August 2020, fires swept through the Santa Cruz mountains, destroying many homes and habitats, and upending the lives of many in the region. Through heroic efforts of neighbors, (and all the water in that super-sized swimming pool) most of Boomeria was spared. The home is still standing; the organ is intact but in need of maintainence; the castle still stands. The guillotine burned, and the swimming pool remains empty. The once lush forest is transformed as it begins its recovery from this enormously destructive fire.
This fundraiser is a chance for the community to give back to the Boomeria organ. If you have had the chance to enjoy organ performances there, you know what a treasure it is, and what it has given the community. If you've ever played it yourself, you know its worth with even greater depth. If you have ever seen the machinery that makes it work, taken the time to understand it mechanisms ~ indeed if you were one of the many students and friends that have helped build and maintain the organ ~ then you truly understand its uniqueness and value.
Santa Cruz Baroque Festival is taking a lead role in organizing this fundraiser, but will take none of the proceeds, all of which will go toward cleaning, tuning, repair and betterment of the Boomeria organ. Our motivation is the same as yours ~ to give back for many years of Boomer's generosity, and to preserve this treasure in our Santa Cruz mountains for future generations.