Margo Cilker’s Orchard-Inspired Concert at History Museum

By March 12, 2024Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (Mar 12, 2024) Los Altos History Museum will host an afternoon of song celebrating the agricultural past of the region in an event titled “Valley of Heart’s Delight: Concert with Margo Cilker” on April 7, 2024 from 4-6pm. Presented by Music Producer Debra Heesch and Museum orchard volunteers, the event will take place in the Museum’s courtyard.


Musician Margo Cilker, with her husband Forrest VanTuyl, will perform tracks from her acclaimed sophomore album, Valley of Heart’s Delight. As a fifth-generation resident, Cilker intertwines themes of family and nature in the album, exploring the nostalgia and loss of Santa Clara Valley once famed for orchards but now dominated by Silicon Valley.


Joining Cilker at this special event is local author Robin Chapman, who will share insights into the rich history of the Los Altos Heritage Orchard. Chapman, a former television news professional and the author of five books, including The Valley of Heart’s Delight: True Tales from Around the Bay and California Apricots: the Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley, emphasizes the region’s agricultural history and cultural heritage.


Reminiscing on her personal connection to the area, Cilker said, “My father grew up in Los Altos during the era of the orchards.” The familial ties run deep: her family owns Pinecone Lumber in Sunnyvale, while Debra Heesch’s owned Rural Supply Hardware in Los Gatos. Now residing in the northwest, the duo decided to bring the music back to their roots with a concert in Los Altos.


“Since my music delves into the history of Santa Clara Valley, I wanted to harken back to that time, incorporating the tradition of apricots,” Cilker said. “For a long time, I’ve wanted to share my art with the community where I grew up, so presenting this concert at the Museum seemed an obvious choice.”


She is excited to share the event with Robin Chapman, whose book provided valuable insight for her research. “In our own way, Robin and I are both trying to preserve the legacy of Los Altos, through words and music.”


Concert attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy apricot-flavored drinks and experience an agricultural tour using Los Altos History Museum’s app. Robin Chapman will sign books at the event, and Margo Cilker will sell vinyl and CDs of her two albums.


Admission is $15/person, free to Museum members and ages 10 and under. Registration is required at


Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the historic J. Gilbert Smith House, built in 1905 on 14+ acres of apricot orchards planted by Mr. Smith. In 2001, Los Altos History Museum opened the modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits,

store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.


The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.


Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,