Vignette 290 > Music in Homestead
In the winter of 1960/1961, the Homestead Valley Improvement Club presented a series of three classical music concerts in Brown’s Hall. Enthusiastic audiences and favorable press revues encouraged the music committee to present such concerts for 20 more years. In 1961, the first Mozart Festival was held in Stolte Grove on the day before Labor Day. The subsequent annual concerts attracted enthusiastic audiences from all over the Bay area. In 1977 the Mozart Festival orchestra consisted of 21 musicians directed by Raymond Dusté, principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony. The musicians were from the Oakland Symphony, Marin Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. There were four violins, two violas, two cellos, a bass, a harpsichord, a flute, a clarinet, two oboes, a bassoon, two French horns, two trumpets, and two vocalists, a soprano and a baritone. The program consisted of pieces composed by Purcell, Mozart, Handel and Franceschini.
Music lovers came from all over the bay area. The series came to an end in 2005. An annual jazz festival in the meadow at the Homestead Valley Community Center replaced it. . More than 1000 people including children consistently attend these popular annual free concerts. Food and beverage sales plus volunteer contributions finance these poplar jazz festivals.