The History of the South Dade Community Choir, Inc.

The South Dade Community Choir, Inc. was the idea of Homestead resident Sandy Keffer. Sandy and others she knew wanted to present the patriotic cantata "I Love America" to the community. The idea was approved by the Homestead Ministerial Association and word soon spread that a new choir was forming. It became known as the "I Love America" choir, and the concert was a big hit with the community in that summer of 1991.

Afterward, the members felt they wanted to stay together, so they became the South Dade Community Choir, Inc. with Sandy as the director. They invited others to join them and they soon began to branch out with an expanded concert schedule. They became an outreach ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of Homestead. A beautiful logo was designed for the choir by Cynthia Horne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Quartermaine, who were and are still active in the choir. Membership included teens to senior citizens, people of different nationalities, and the physically challenged.

1992 brought Hurricane Andrew with a direct hit in the Homestead area. The choir lost many of its members as people tried to rebuild their homes and lives. Gradually they returned to regular rehearsals and membership grew once more. By 1994 the choir had added extra concerts to their season. In 1995 they were invited to perform at the Dade County Youth Fair and at a special Easter Sunrise service; they even presented the Nativity story in full costume at one of their Christmas concerts.

1996 found the choir with a special invitation to join the International Advent Sing in Vienna, Austria. Extra concerts at local churches and extra fund-raising events made for a busy schedule. Their week in Vienna included four concerts and one impromptu songfest that were shared with one-hundred and three choirs from around the world.

January 1997 found them on TV as they participated in Channel 10's Star Fest '97 to benefit the United Cerebral Palsy Association of South Florida. During the Christmas season they performed at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Losner Park's tree lighting ceremony, the Haven House in Kendall and went caroling at Homestead Hospital and local nursing homes.

Their 1998 season began with the first annual Gospel Fest in February. They then presented a special international concert to the Homestead Women's Club in March. The "I Love America" cantata was again presented for the summer concert. They did more extra concerts at places such as the Eastridge Retirement Village and more tree lighting ceremonies.

1999 included the second annual Gospel Fest, the first annual Ecumenical Service and more. Sandy the choir director worked to begin the first Christian Fest event, which was planned for April of 2000.

2001 continued the tradition of spreading the Word of God through music and song. Their Easter concerts were well attended and the second annual Christian Fest drew a large crowd to Losner Park. Their Tenth Anniversary Reunion concerts were held in the summer and included many former members as they celebrated their love for America with the "Welcome Home" cantata.

Continuing into the 2002 season, they presented their Easter concerts and once more participated in the third annual Christian Fest which was held at Harris Field. The summer Patriotic concerts were well received, as were those for the holiday season.