As I started thinking about turning the calendar page, I realized that this December looks entirely different than any December I've ever experienced.
There are no live musical events on the calendar for the holidays. No gigs. No live concerts or church events. When I started adding up all the things I will not be doing this year, I was actually surprised. There is a lot going missing this year, for a lot of people.
For me -- I won't be playing in the Messiah that I've done for countless years, or in the day-after-Christmas home Messiah at Dr. Sloan's. I won't be playing the Christmas Eve candlelight service. I won't be doing other random church gigs, as I usually do.
There won't be a giant choral concert given by the LA Children's Chorus - something we attended every year, when my son sang in the choir. There won't be school-related choir concerts or holiday orchestra concerts. No Nutcracker ballet.
I won't get to take my Suzuki kids to perform at the local Alzheimer's home, where we have played a concert for residents every year for at least a decade. It's one of the most meaningful things I do all year -- the residents love to see the kids, and they start singing - remembering all the words to holiday songs, in a world in which they've forgotten so much else.
I also won't travel to Cincinnati to participate in the beautiful Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival with my sister's family. While they'll broadcast last year's pageant online, 2020 makes a break in an 80-year annual tradition for Christ Church Cathedral.
And on New Year's -- there will be no Rose Parade in Pasadena! No marching bands parading through the streets, for the first time since the parade was cancelled for World War II in the '40s. That's a tradition that's been going since 1890!
So I know that everyone is going to be missing certain live musical activities and traditions this month. I'd like to catalog all of those things - not to be depressing, but to make sure we remember it all. That's because we HAVE to make these things happen when this pandemic is over. Traditions may be broken this year, and it's up to us to help ensure that they return next year. Things are not going to magically "return to normal" -- we will have to work, with determination, to resume the traditions that we want to continue.
So please participate in the vote. Which tradition will you miss the most this year? Which will you help in the fight to keep going in the future? In the comments, please tell us about the musical traditions that have been important and enduring, and let's share ideas about how to support their continuation.
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