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Finding Aid to the Stern Grove Festival Association records, 1931-1984, MS 2063
MS 2063  
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Box 1, Folder 1

Secondary material 1931-1979


Series 1:  Correspondence 1932-1984

Physical Description: 7.0 boxes

System of Arrangement

Correspondence is arranged chronologically, with the following exception: files for the Recreation and Park Commission, Levi Strauss & Co., and Mrs. Walter Haas, Jr. are maintained separately, and arranged within the overall chronological sequence of the series by the creation date of the earliest letter in each file.

Scope and Contents

Comprises carbon copies of letters from the Stern Grove Festival Association interfiled with correspondence to the SGFA. The bulk of the correspondence is between the SGFA and various musicians, conductors, performers, agents, dance and theatre companies, and representatives of Local 6 of the Musicians Union. These letters confirm performance dates, invite artists to perform, and thank performers for their services. Some correspondence relates to the fundraising efforts of the SGFA, including letters of solicitation and acknowledgement to individual and corporate donors.
Box 1, Folders 2-9


Box 2, Folders 1-10


Box 3, Folders 1-12


Box 4, Folders 1-10


Box 5, Folders 1-4


Scope and Contents

Includes letters written by photographer Ansel Adams letters (1960), some of which refer to his activities in Yosemite.
Box 5, Folder 5

Recreation and Park Commission 1961-1972

Scope and Contents

Comprises business correspondence between the SGFA and the Recreation and Park Commission regarding logistical matters with park services, such as building code permits and stage plans.
Box 5, Folders 6-9


Box 5, Folder 10

Levi Strauss & Co. 1967-1980

Scope and Contents

Comprises interoffice correspondence generated while SGFA was sponsored by Levi Strauss & Co. and headquartered in their offices.
Box 6, Folders 1-8


Box 6, Folder 9

Mrs. Walter Haas, Jr. letters 1968

Scope and Contents

Comprises letters and notes written by Mrs. Walter Haas, Jr. (Elise S. Haas) to SGFA board members.
Box 7, Folders 1-11



Series 2:  Financial records and reports 1932-1984

Physical Description: 11.0 boxes

Scope and Contents

Comprises financial records for the festival from 1932 to 1984. However, there are significant gaps for the years 1932 to 1938, before the SGFA and Midsummer Musicals were officially incorporated. Most years contain a separate season report that delineates costs per concert. Also included are correspondence connected to specific financial records, Finance Committee minutes and records, lists of donors and potential donors, ledger books, miscellaneous checks, check stubs, bank statements (1939-1948), and the Sigmund Stern Recreational Fund's 1931 deed to the city.
Box 8, Folder 1

Sigmund Stern Recreational Fund, deed to the city 1931

Box 8, Folders 2-13

1932, 1934, 1938, 1940-1945

Box 9, Folders 1-11


Box 10, Folders 1-13


Box 11, Folders 1-13


Box 12, Folders 1-14


Box 13, Folders 1-11


Box 14, Folders 1-13


Box 15, Folders 1-8

Payroll checks and bank statements 1939-1946

Box 16, Folders 1-5

Payroll checks and bank statements 1947-1949

Box 17, Folders 1-8

Payroll checks and bank statements 1949-1954

Box 18, Folder 1

Accounts ledgers 1939

Box 18, Folders 2-6

Payroll account books 1939, 1944, and 1948

Box 18, Folder 7

Cash account receipts 1941

Box 18, Folder 8

Payroll ledger 1948


Series 3:  Planning Committee minutes 1938-1984

Physical Description: 2.0 boxes

Scope and Contents

Comprises the minutes of the SGFA Board of Trustees' meetings from 1938 to 1984, documenting general policy, productions, future performances, and other matters. The year 1965 is not represented. (For minutes of the Finance Committee, see Series 2.)
Box 19, Folders 1-24


Box 20, Folders 1-22



Series 4:  San Francisco Recreation Commission 1932-1941

Physical Description: 1.0 box

Scope and Contents

Comprises records of the San Francisco Recreation Commission, an organization presided over by Rosalie Stern before and during her administration of the SGFA. The records include letters of Recreation Commission superintendent Josephine Randall, as well as correspondence written by other officials involved with the development of San Francisco's park system. Minutes of the organization and published materials are also included.
Box 21, Folders 1-4

Minutes and reports 1936-1941

Box 21, Folder 5

Pamphlets 1938-1946

Box 21, Folder 6

Newspaper clippings 1932


Series 5:  Concerts 1932-1984

Extent: 4 boxes, 1 oversize box

Scope and Contents

Comprises festival reports, annual event schedules, performance lists, programs, broadsides, newspaper clippings, and ephemera for most Midsummer Musicals and other SGFA events held in Stern Grove. The series does not contain information about the years 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, and 1980. Reports include information about the relative success of each event and are interfiled with concert programs. Midsummer Musicals featured significant classical music performances, including those conducted by Hans Leschke, Pierre Monteux, Bruno Walter, Walter Herbert, Gaetano Merola, Kurt Herbert Adler, Arthur Fiedler, and Seiji Ozawa. Beginning in 1966, radio host Al Collins (KSFO) produced jazz concerts (Jazz Gala, Jazz in the Grove), with performances by Turk Murphy, Vince Guaraldi, John Handy, Earl Hines, the Cal Tjader Quintet, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and John Hendricks.
Box 22, Folders 1-5


Scope and Contents

Significant performers include founder of the San Francisco Opera, Gaetano Merola; founder of the San Francisco Municipal Chorus, Hans Leschke; and conductor Pierre Monteux.
Box 22, Folder 6

Allied Relief Concert 1940

Scope and Contents

Includes planning correspondence by conductor Bruno Walter and others, as well as programs, reviews, and promotional material.
Box 22, Folders 7-15


Scope and Contents

Significant performers include conductors Kurt Herbert Adler, Gaetano Merola, Hans Leschke, and Pierre Monteux; the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; musical director Walter Herbert; the San Francisco Ballet; and chorus master Arturo Casiglia.
Box 23, Folder 1-21


Scope and Contents

Significant performers include the San Francisco Ballet; the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; conductors Walter Herbert, Gaetano Merola, Kurt Herbert Adler, and Arthur Fiedler; the Lola Montes dancers; the Lamplighters; and soprano Kirsten Flagstad. From 1966 to 1969, Al Collins hosted Jazz in the Grove, with performances by Turk Murphy, Vince Guaraldi, John Handy, and Earl Hines.
Box 23, Folder 22

Luncheons 1970-1976

Box 23, Folders 23-25


Scope and Contents

Significant performers include the Preservation Hall Jazz Band; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; San Francisco Ballet; and conductors Kurt Herbert Adler and Arthur Fiedler.
Box 24, Folders 1-11


Scope and Contents

Significant performers include the Preservation Hall Jazz Band; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; San Francisco Ballet; Mimi Farina; Pete Seeger; Stan Kenton; Don Ellis Big Band; the Cal Tjader Quintet; Toshiko Akiyoshi; John Hendricks; and conductors Kurt Herbert Adler, Seiji Ozawa, and Arthur Fiedler.
Box 25, Folders 1-9

Newspaper clippings 1941-1954

Box 25, Folder 10

Artist press packets and brochures 1938-1980

Scope and Contents

Includes resumes and one-sheets sent by performers to the SGFA for bookings and consideration.
OV Box 1, Folder 1

Recreation Commission co-sponsored concert posters 1932-1939

Scope and Contents

Includes posters for the first through eighth annual Midsummer Musicals, presented by the San Francisco Recreation Commission for the Stern Grove Festival Association and the Federal Music Project. Posters consist of text and are printed in one color.
OV Box 1, Folder 2

Festival concert posters 1954-1979

Scope and Contents

Posters share the same design and graphic from 1963 to 1964, and again from 1966 to 1971. Graphics first appear in 1954 and consist of a photographed image of a performance in the grove. All posters were printed in one color. Significantly, this folder includes a poster autographed by Pete Seeger for the 1979 season.

Series 6:  Scrapbooks 1932-1972

Physical Description: 16.0 volumes

Scope and Contents

Scrapbooks consist mainly of newspaper clippings from the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner. Articles relate to both the efforts of the SGFA and to specific concerts. Relevant concert programs and ephemera are found intermittently throughout each scrapbook. Materials were cumulatively combined every five to eight years; however, the years 1956 and 1957 are not represented.
OV Box 2

Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove, 1932-1941 (Vol. 1) 1932-1941

OV Box 3

Sigmund Stern Grove, 1942-1947 (Vol. 2) 1942-1947

OV Box 4

Sigmund Stern Grove Music Festival Association, 1948-1952 (Vol. 3) 1948-1952

OV Box 5

Sigmund Stern Grove Music Festival Association, 1953-1955 (Vol. 4) 1953-1955

OV Box 6

Midsummer Music Festival, 1958-1960 (Vol. 5) 1958-1960

OV Box 7

Midsummer Music Festival, 1961-1964 (Vol. 6) 1961-1964

OV Box 8

1963 (Vol. 7) 1963

OV Box 9

Stern Grove Music Festival, 1964 (Vol. 8) 1964

OV Box 10

Stern Grove Music Festival, 1965 (Vol. 9) 1965

OV Box 11

Stern Grove Festival Association, 1966 (Vol. 10) 1966

OV Box 12

Stern Grove, 1967 (Vol. 11) 1967

OV Box 13

Stern Grove, 1968 (Vol. 12) 1968

OV Box 14

Stern Grove, 1969 (Vol. 13) 1969

OV Box 15

Stern Grove, 1970 (Vol. 14) 1970

OV Box 16

Stern Grove, 1971 (Vol. 15) 1971

OV Box 17

Stern Grove, 1972 (Vol. 16) 1972


Series 7: Photographs 1946-1983

Physical Description: 1.0 box

Scope and Contents

Contains photographic prints, proof sheets, and negatives of concerts, some of which were taken by Gabriel Moulin Studios. Most photographs were professionally taken, and capture performances as well as the physical transformation of Stern Grove. This series also contains a studio portrait of the Stern family, snapshots of concerts in the memorial lawn, and photographs of a construction project from 1983.

System of Arrangement

Photographs are arranged chronologically except for an undated Stern family studio portrait and photographs taken for the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, which are housed in separate folders.
MSP Box 1, Folder 1


Scope and Contents

Contains Gabriel Moulin Studios photographs of a 1946 Midsummer Musical.
MSP Box 1, Folder 2


Scope and Contents

Contains Gabriel Moulin Studios photographs of Golden Gate Park.
MSP Box 1, Folder 3


MSP Box 1, Folder 4


MSP Box 1, Folder 5


Scope and Contents

Contains negatives of Stern Grove performances.
MSP Box 1, Folders 6-10


Scope and Contents

Contains photographic prints and proof sheets of performances, including those identified as the season's opening concert, featuring Lola Montes, the Jazz Festival, and Carnival; and a portrait of saxophonist John Handy.
MSP Box 1, Folders 11-18


Scope and Contents

Contains proof sheets of performances by Lola Montes, the Boys Choir, H.M.S. Pinafore, Arthur Fiedler's Pops Concert, 110 in the Shade, Carnival, the San Francisco Ballet, and The Barber of Seville.
MSP Box 1, Folder 19


Scope and Contents

Contains a photograph of A Midsummer Night's Dream, performed by the American Conservatory Theatre.
MSP Box 1, Folder 20


Scope and Contents

Contains photographic prints and proof sheets of The Mikado and the San Francisco Ballet.
MSP Box 1, Folder 21


MSP Box 1, Folder 22


Scope and Contents

Includes snapshots of a construction project.
MSP Box 1, Folder 23

Stern family studio portrait undated

Scope and Contents

Undated studio portrait of Rosalie Meyer Stern, her daughter Elise S. Haas (Mrs. Walter Haas, Jr.), and Rhoda H. Goldman (Rhoda F. Haas).
MSP Box 1, Folder 24

San Francisco Chronicle 1946-1963

Scope and Contents

Includes professional Park and Recreation photographs of Stern Grove performances taken for the San Francisco Chronicle.
MSP Box 1, Folder 25

San Francisco Examiner undated

Scope and Contents

Includes undated and unidentified professional photographs of performances taken for the San Francisco Examiner.
MSP Box 1, Folder 26

Unidentified prints and negatives undated