Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yuletide Celebration Part 1: The Anticipation

I'm not entirely sure when my desire to see the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's Yuletide Celebration concert started, but it's been at least several years, and intensified when last year on Dec. 1 the Yuletide Celebration CD arrived.  I think I listened to it once at day the entire month!   It hasn't been taken off my ipod since, and during a couple of sweltering days through the summer I would listen to "The 12 Days of Christmas" and "Baby It's Cold Outside" and mentally escape to the snow :)

For a few years I've been doing the math based on Yuletide being mentioned in NACO program books as part of Jack Everly's bio, for what year would be the 25th and since all I had to work with was usually something like "now a 23 year tradition", and I think it remained that for 2 seasons in a row, I was never entirely sure if my math was right.  So this year when it was being promoted all over the ISO site as the 25th Anniversary I knew it was going to be a great time to attend, especially with Sandi Patty hosting, and set about making it happen.

Months ago actually I did some preliminary research: Google mapping, hotel checking, forecast guessing, and CAA travel book reading about the city (which I then put in such a safe place I can't find it).  When tickets went on sale I decided the first weekend in December was the best choice weather wise in hopes that winter wouldn't have arrived too strongly yet.   Then came Hilbert Circle Theatre research: seating maps viewing, Google image searches for inside the theatre, posted on a blog of someone who'd been to a recent concert, and finally emailed the ISO directly with a few questions.  In the end I chose seats in the second row of the Dress Circle off to the left side (facing the stage).  So tickets purchased, all that was left was waiting, sort of.  It was an exciting day when the tickets arrived in the mail, but solidified that I still had all the other details to work out.

This post was going to be made prior to leaving for the USA but things got pushed to the last week and with researching hotels again, working extra hours to make up for the days away, planning what to take, and how to get there, it's a few days afterwards.  But oh well.

One of the best things actually was following the ISO Blog.  They started a contest for posting your favourite Yuletide Celebration memories sometime around the beginning of November.  I learned about all the things you have to do when you go to the concert--take a picture by the Christmas tree, have a sugar or ginger bread cookie with milk or cider at intermission, watch for the flying reindeer during "The Night Before Christmas", wait for the Tap Dancing Santa's which always close Act 1, check out the world's largest Christmas Tree in Monument Circle, get all dressed up and have a fantastic time!  The best post in my opinion (which incidentally ended up winning the contest) was "Yuletide Quarrels Being Won By a Child".

So with tickets purchased, plans for where to stay made, a CAA Trip Tik in hand, downtown Indianapolis maps printed, ipod loaded with Christmas music it was time to go!

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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