Holiday Music Program Information
Download Schedule of Performers
Festive music & celebration began at our Capitol as early as
December 1869, during its triumphant opening. The halls of the Capitol
were festooned with flowers & two musical bands performed. Fourteen
years later, amid much fanfare, D.O. Mill’s gift of the statue Columbus at
the Court of Spain was officially presented to the State of California in a
generous holiday gesture.
Past Governors of California established a tradition of celebrating
the winter holiday season by adorning the Capitol with garlands and
decorating the tress of their offices. The earliest photographs of this
celebration show Governor James Rolph and his staff in 1931 standing
beneath a large decorated tree. The tradition continued until 1983 when
lighted trees were placed outside, near the west entrance due to fire
Since 1996 the California State Capitol Museum, in association with
the California Legislature Joint Committee on Rules, Governor’s Office and
the Department of General Services has worked to restore holiday
traditions inside the Capitol. Early twentieth century floral arrangements,
provided by the California State Capitol Museum Volunteers Association,
create a lovely backdrop for holiday musical performances in the rotunda.
In addition, the tree lighting ceremony on the West Steps brings the
festivities outdoors for all to enjoy.