. . . my always ‘looked-forward-to’ annual experiences
This blog is in response to Johnson Kee’s invitation for writers to tell how they celebrated New Year’s Day in the return of his 100 Naked Words publication.
I first began writing for Medium through 100 Naked Words back in 2017— and so it is only natural that I be one of the first to respond to his kind invitation.
For most of my adult life I have celebrated New Year’s Day in the same manner:
I begin the day with the Pasadena Rose Parade (via TV of course)… which takes up most of the morning. I used to live in the city of Glendale, which is adjacent to Pasadena — and my husband delivered and set up scaffolds for the creating of the floats. Therefore, the Rose Parade has always been of special meaningfulness to me beyond what it is to most people.
The middle of the day consists of a variety of relaxing activities while waiting for the final ‘looked-forward-to’ event of the day:
That event is the bringing in of the New Year by the Vienna Philharmonic in its annual concert from Vienna, which consists of Strauss waltzes, polkas, and compositions by other Viennese composers — along with views and historical info about Vienna, the music … and even ballet scenes in the palaces!
At the close of the concert there are three encores. The first encore is always a surprise one; the second encore is always the famously-popular Blue Danube Waltz, accompanied by the most beautiful scenes of the Danube River and its surroundings; and the third encore is the crowd-pleasing Radetzky March in which the audience gets to participate by clapping to the rousing beats of the music… under the direction of the conductor, of course. And yes, each year there is also a different conductor honored to be chosen as the guest conductor… all top names, and with extremely varied styles of conducting.
I was surprised to see that this year this wonderful concert from Vienna was aired on PBS three times: at 4:00 pm, 9:00 pm (usual time), and 2:00 am. I have such love for it, I actually watched it all three times . . . and I seldom watch repeats of anything!
The Vienna concert is obviously my most perfectly-favorite way of starting the New Year — and why would it not be for a classically-trained professional musician?!