Ocean Beach Historians Host the San Diego City Guard Band at PLNU

by on August 19, 2019 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

by Bob Edwards

On Saturday, August 17, the Ocean Beach Historical Society presented a live sunset concert featuring the San Diego City Guard Band at the Greek Amphitheater at Point Loma Nazarene University.

The City Guard Band at the Greek Amphitheater at PLNU, Sat., Aug. 17, 2019. All photos by Bob Edwards.

Over 200 people attended the evening concert and enjoyed 90 minutes of historic and patriotic music performed by the 32 piece ensemble. Many of the people in attendance picnicked and enjoyed food and beverages provided by a few food trucks and other vendors. Having been some days in preparation a splendid time was had by all!

After a Boy Scout color guard presented the Flag, the president of the OBHS, Eric DuVall, started the event with a brief introduction that recounted the illustrious history of the City Guard Band which was founded in 1880 and reconstituted 100 years later to preserve “turn-of-the-century” band music.

Mr. Duvall told of how the City Guard Band had played at notable events in Ocean Beach and Point Loma history such as the inauguration of trolley service to the Beach Area as well as at an early promotional event organized by developers Billy Carlson and Frank Higgins when they subdivided and sold lots in OB in the late 1880s and early 1900s. (see this OB Rag article and then see this one about Ocean Beach Con-Men Carlson and Higgins)

Mr. Duvall also recounted some of the history of the circa 1900 Greek Amphitheater at PLNU including the fact that it was the first venue in history to utilize outdoor electrical stage lighting. Another story, just as significant to this reporter, was the fact that Chuck Berry performed at the amphitheater in 1972. Hopefully in 2022, on the 60th anniversary of that important event, the Historical Society will present another concert commemorating Chuck’s concert!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cholly August 19, 2019 at 4:06 pm

And what a wonderful Concert it was with a finale of a resounding rendition of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” and a magnificent sunset into the gloaming. Sure did send a palpable frisson of pride through the audience. Thanks Eric.


Debbie August 21, 2019 at 4:39 pm

It was a great event. Thank you Eric for your leadership in making this happen along with all the volunteers. What a beautiful place to hold an event. Thank you PLN!

Thank you for posting the article. The OB Historical Society and members are special.

Come to the September meeting and bring your friends and neighbors for Why Should the Woman Always Have to Pay: Unsolved Murders in SD, by Author Richard Carrico
Thurs., Sept. 19, 7 PM at Water’s Edge Faith Community 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.,



pernel S thyseldew August 18, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Another story, just as significant to this reporter, was the fact that Chuck Berry performed at the amphitheater in 1972 and I was there!

It was a classic rock & roll performance with a pick-up high school band. Chuck stopped playing several times to ‘educate’ the band on how to play the riffs correctly. He was wearing a puffy silk Paisley shirt. After the set ended he ran up the stairs right next to us. We set off on Harbor drive for home when I looked over and there was CHUCK BERRY flying past us at 80mph in a Cadillac, wearing the same Paisley shirt. “Hey, there’s Chuck Berry” I shouted, we sped up but he disappeared over the Estuary bridge on his way to the airport! .


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