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Petaluma Perspective by Houston Porter

Gingerbread House Showcase 
New Year’s Eve Gala Concert
& Fourth Annual NYE Viennese Ball

 

Nov 30, 2018
by Houston Porter

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Gingerbread House Showcase & Competition

For the second year, Hotel Petaluma hosts this gingerbread house event, showcasing these hand-crafted masterpieces Fri, Dec 15 through Sun Dec 17, individual categories for kids, youth, teens, and adults, and group categories for families, businesses, and professionals. This is a community event, so if you would like to donate a prize or volunteer to help make this event happen, contact the organizers at   events@hotelpetaluma.com

New Year’s Eve Gala Concert

The Petaluma Museum Association  celebrates its 10th year of presenting their  New Year’s Eve Gala Concert,  and marks the return of Sonoma native and violin virtuoso Nigel Armstrong, who debuted at the inaugural NYE concert at age 18. If you have never attended a concert at the  Petaluma Historic Library,  it really is something to behold. Designed by Petaluma’s legendary architect, Brainerd Jones,  the former Carnegie Library is topped by the largest leaded glass dome in Northern California. It is also wrapped in the warmth of local Douglas Fir, which enhances the sound quality of the building, and has many calling this the Carnegie Hall of the West Coast.   

However, sound quality is nothing without an interest program and an expert musical ensemble, both of which  Elizabeth Walter,  the gala’s creator, coordinator, and pianist, has presented in spectacular fashion for the past decade. This year is no different, with selections of Bach, Schumann and Brahms, performed by Walter and Armstrong, as well as returning guest stars Yun Chu  on violin, Shu-Yi Pai  on cello, and  Nanci Severance  on viola. These three hale from the San Francisco Symphony and could play any venue of their choosing on NYE, which makes it a double honor that they make the trip up to Petaluma for our NYE Gala each year. 

We have attended most years and like in the past, you are more than likely to see us pouring wine at the downstairs “bar”, so stop by and say ‘hi.’ Visit www.petalumamuseum.com for tickets, which range $50 to $80, depending on how early you buy. All seats include complimentary wine and cheese during intermission, with Balcony guests enjoying fine wine, champagne, and chocolate, as well as a birds eye view of the performance. Seeing the need for local high-quality classical music events, Elizabeth Walter, in conjunction with  Sky Hill Cultural Alliance  and the  Petaluma Museum Association,  have provided the community with many outstanding and inspiring concerts, including 10 years of the NYE Gala Concert.

Learning about Libraries

For those looking to learn more about how Petaluma received its incredible   Carnegie Library,  Kenneth Breisch  will present  “Andrew Carnegie & the American Public Library Movement”  at the  historic library and museum  on Sat, Dec 8, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., free to the public. Mr. Briesch is an acknowledged authority on library architecture, with several books on the topic to his credit. “Scheduled to coordinate with the Petaluma Museum Association’s current exhibit, “The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum, A Story of Civic Progress & Pride,” Breisch’s presentation will further our appreciation and understanding of the PHL&M by elucidating the historical and cultural movement which originally gave birth to it as a Carnegie library.”

New Year’s Eve Ball – A Night in Vienna

For those looking to do a bit of dancing after the concert,  Sky Hill Cultural Alliance,  in conjunction with the San Francisco Waltzing Society, presents the  fourth annual NYE Viennese Ball,  held at  Hermann Sons hall,  starting immediately following the concert. Along with a great gourmet buffet dinner, with  traditional Viennese dishes and desserts,   guest will enjoy a live Strauss orchestra,  culminating in a New Year’s Eve toast.  If you have not attended a Viennese Ball, there is nothing quite like the energy of a live Strauss orchestra and dancers whirling around the ballroom. Suggested dress is white or black tie and ball gowns, although any dressy attire is fine. For those without a dance partner, rest assured that the S.F. Waltzing Society members will be in full attendance and will spin you around the room as many times as you desire. For those interested in learning the Viennese waltz in advance, two-hour waltzing workshops will be offered on both Sun, Dec 9 and 16, from 2 to 4 p.m., for just $20 per class. Tickets are $150 at   www.skyhill.org,   and if you mention the Ball at Hotel Petaluma or the Quality Inn, you will receive a room discount. 

 

 

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