by Laurie Hannah
Several years ago, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation received a donation of papers from longtime member and volunteer Elizabeth Hvolboll featuring the musical program reenacted every December at the Presidio and Casa de la Guerra called “Las Posadas.” The collection of sheet music and lyrics makes up the entire repertoire of El Coro del Real Presidio de Santa Bárbara, the local group that celebrates and performs music of the Californios, founded by Elizabeth Hvolboll and Luis Moreno. Besides many individual songs for “Las Posadas” and Christmas, there are another 50 folders of folk and mission music that the group has performed over the years.
This collection complements other materials in the Presidio Research Center, such as the Early California Music audio collection. Some of the artists represented are The John Biggs Consort of California Mission Music, Musica Antigua de Alta California, and Elizabeth Hvolboll performing in the Chapel. The Research Center also has a number of songs, songbooks, and articles about California and Spanish music in the vertical files.
The guide to the El Coro del Real Presidio de Santa Barbara collection can be viewed in the Online Archive of California, along with other Research Center collections. To make an appointment to use the Research Center, please contact Laurie Hannah at 805-965-2004.
Laurie Hannah is the librarian at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation