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Homewood is home for Lake Tahoe Music Festival

Tim Parsons

There’s no place like Homewood.

The Lake Tahoe Music Festival has been a nomadic production ever since the Topol Pavilion in Homewood was torn down in 2001. In this, the 25th anniversary of the festival, Homewood will again be the home base. A landscaped, sloped seating area accompanies the stage where the majority of concerts will be presented until an amphitheater is scheduled for completion in 2010.

“To be the Lake Tahoe Music Festival and not play on the lake seemed a little silly to us,” said Executive Director Ellen Persa. “To have something permanent is going to be fabulous.”

There will be nine concerts at five venues, including Donner Lake, Granlibakken Resort, Tahoe-Donner in Truckee and Commons Beach, which is the site of Saturday, July 14’s opening event, an all-ages show with Jo Mama.

Also playing this summer will be Kenny Loggins, Frederica von Stade, David Benoit, Craig Chaquico and David Sanborn and the Lake Tahoe Music Festival Orchestra as led by Maestro Timm Rolek and featuring several soloists. Also presented will be “Season of Classics” -Ð classic Beethoven, classic Broadway, classic jazz and classic rock.

The series was started in 1982 by Edgar Braun, conductor of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. It has helped youth in the region with the development of the Educational Outreach Program, which brings music to schools.

“There’s all sorts of new challenges with a new venue and some really great light and sound people who we’re bringing in from Reno,” Persa said. “We’ve go a lot of new crew but it’s the artists themselves. It’s a really exciting lineup and we’re all really looking forward to it.”

The amphitheater will be built by JMA Ventures, LLC of San Francisco, which is constructing a new hotel and village and rebuilding the wooden boat museum.

“Bringing the Lake Tahoe Music Festival back to Lake Tahoe was made possible by the strong commitment from JMA Ventures, our Board and supporters to see the festival return to its Lake Tahoe roots and have a place we can finally call home,” Persa said. “This new facility will offer incredibly splendid views of Tahoe as well as provide our guests with plenty of parking, great seating options, top local food vendors, a members’ lounge and many other planned improvements.While we will have a new home venue, the festival will continue to present concerts at our two other best known and loved locations, Tahoe Donner and West End Beach at Donner Lake.”

Over the years, the Festival has made a commitment to educational outreach and currently aids young musicians and emerging ensembles by offering training, guidance and assistance with concert presentation and by offering the in school musical programming. Recently, the festival made arrangements with the Truckee Youth Music Program to handle its management beginning in fall 2007, thereby increasing its outreach efforts and its ability to provide free lessons and musical instruments to qualified elementary school students year round.

According to Persa, “The festival has come a long way in 25 years and we’re proud of the fact that today we are supporting our area’s youth with educational programs designed to increase interest in the performing arts.”

Tickets for the 25th anniversary season of the Lake Tahoe Music Festival are on sale now and all children 15 years and younger are free thanks to a grant from the Rotary Club of Tahoe City. Purchase tickets online at http://www.TahoeMusic.org or at the Music Festival office, located at 425 North Lake Boulevard, Suite 6 in Tahoe City. Tickets are also available at the Incline Village Visitors Bureau in Incline Village, the Tahoe City Chamber of Commerce in Tahoe City and the Truckee-Donner Chamber of Commerce in Truckee.

The Grammy-winning Loggins will bring along 14-member band to Homewood on July 24. His son’s band will open the show.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. A variety of food and beverage options, a bar, ice cream stand and coffee is being offered and picnics are encouraged. Warm clothes are recommended as are low back outdoor chairs with legs no higher than 4 inches. High back or tall chairs may be used at the rear and far sides of the venue. Chairs are also available for rent on-site at $3 each or two for $5.

For the complete schedule visit http://www.tahoemusic.org.


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