Elizabeth Hvolboll & Luis Moreno Oral History

El Coro Performing in the Presidio Chapel in 2008.jpg

Dublin Core


Elizabeth Hvolboll & Luis Moreno Oral History


The above interview is between Elizabeth Hvolboll and Luis Moreno, founders of El Coro del Real Presidio de Santa Barbara, a local choral group which celebrates and performs music of the Californios. The group sings in Santa Barbara’s annual Una Noche de Las Posadas, a holiday event which has been a long-time community tradition in Santa Barbara. The celebration is a representation of one night of the journey that Joseph and Mary took from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter, and participants begin at the Presidio Chapel and venture through downtown Santa Barbara until they reach Casa de la Guerra, where festivities await them.

Elizabeth Hvolboll is a seventh-generation descendant of the Presidio founding families and an active member of the community. She has done significant work in the preservation of early California music through extensive research and El Coro performances. Her work has been recognized through several awards, including The Pearl Chase Award, given annually by SBTHP, which honors those who help carry out Pearl Chase’s goals in historic preservation and conservation. Elizabeth’s involvement has not only paid tribute to her ancestors but has been a crucial part of maintaining the Presidio legacy and allowing Santa Barbarans to continue to enjoy the city’s Spanish heritage.

Luis Moreno is a musician and former member of the original Teatro Campesino, where he developed an appreciation and understanding of the wide varieties of Mexican music. He has nurtured a specific interest in early California music, and, along with Elizabeth, has recorded a collection of songs from the Mission and Rancho periods of early California. Luis works as an instructor at SBCC and serves as a Board Member of La Casa de la Raza. He is a long-time contributor to projects and programs at SBTHP and has performed in and helped organize several performance of Una Pastorela at the Presidio Chapel in the 1980s and 90s. Luis’ work has played a pivotal role in the preservation and celebration of Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage.

Above Photo: Elizabeth and Luis participate in an El Coro performance at the Presidio Chapel in 2008.

Clip 1: Luis explains how he became involved in Teatro Campesino at San Juan Bautista.

Clip 2: Luis explains that Las Posadas is not so much a performance as a representation of a sacred religious journey.

Clip 3: Elizabeth & Luis discuss one of their favorite songs that the group has performed- complete with an example verse!

Clip 4: Elizabeth recalls a run-in with Paseo Nuevo security guards during a performance for which the group had forgotten to request a permit!

Clip 5: Luis expresses confidence in the future growth and continuance of the Las Posadas performance tradition.

*To hear the entire oral history interview or additional clips, please make an appointment with the Presidio Research Center at (805) 966-5073.


December 7, 2010



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Karen Anderson


Luis Moreno & Elizabeth Hvolboll


Elizabeth's home


49 minutes