History

Public interest in the matter of band concerts for Lake Merritt first manifested in 1908. Oscar Prager, landscape architect, of San Francisco, had been retained by Mayor Mott to submit a preliminary report outlining park improvement programs. His survey made the following reference:

“The cove is the most appropriate place for a music court. The background to the bandstand furnishes the restful green of live oaks. The music court, a large level court enclosed by balustrade, has a seating capacity for 2,300 people. A promenade three hundred feet long leads to the boat landing.”

Prager’s wooden bandstand was installed in 1911. Paul Steindorff organized the Band and led the first concerts in 1912.

The practice of regular concerts at the Edoff bandstand was inaugurated in 1920, with Sunday concerts running from April to October. There was a time when the concerts were broadcast on the radio.

The conductors have been:

Paul Steindorff 1912 – 1927
Herman Trutner 1927 – 1961
Fred Rose 1961 – 1987
Dwight Hall 1988 – 2004
Robert Farrington2005 – 2007
Wesley Broadnax 2008 – 2009
Troy Davis 2010 to present