Friday, July 08, 2011

Concerts on the Square

Hi Knitters,
I want to share another Madison phenomenon with you that I haven't talked about before. Every Wednesday evening during the summers, for the past 28 years, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra plays a free concert on the Capitol Square in downtown Madison. It is amazing and I hadn't been for awhile. For years we used to pack up a big picnic and all the kids and meet my sister and mom for the concerts pretty much every week during the summers. Then with all of the kids and activities I guess it just got too busy. I am glad I got to go again as it reminded me of the fun we used to have.

Anyway, this past Wednesday my husband got an invitation from some work friends to sit at a table right up next to the orchestra and capitol building to watch the concert. We started the night out at my husband's friend's chic condominium that is right off the square and overlooks beautiful Lake Monona. This condo was super modern and sleek inside and it was huge. Their patio wrapped around the building. It was gorgeous inside and out.
This is the view from their patio. It was the most perfect night weather-wise. There was a cool refreshing breeze, not humid and sunny. It was as close to perfect as you can get. After visiting there for a bit we walked up to the square for dinner and the concert.Here was our table at the concert. We were about the third or fourth row back from the orchestra. You can see the music director, Andrew Sewell, in his white coat, above the crowd. We know him a tiny bit as he lives in our neighborhood. He and his family moved from New Zealand to Madison many years ago. He is always the friendliest guy when we see him. It was fun to get to see Andrew in action at the concert. He sort of dances with the music as he directs. It's very dramatic.
The Capitol is impressive as always.
As we were walking up to our table and people weren't sitting down yet all you could see were the picnic blankets spread out on the lawn. It looked like a patchwork blanket. I wish I could have gotten a photo of that. It was so colorful and happy. Here everyone is sitting down to enjoy the concert.
During one part of the concert the orchestra played a tribute to the armed services. They called members of each division to stand up to be recognizes during their specific branch's song. It was moving. There also was a featured bluegrass band called, Above the Town. They are incredibly talented musicians and they really got the crowd going.
That's my husband in the red shirt. We had a catered meal that our hosts had won at a silent auction to support a domestic abuse fundraiser. I loved that the money for our meal went to a good cause. That was cool.
I loved the stream of the wait staff filing out of the building. You can't see it clearly but they were carrying these big trays filled with the most delicious looking desserts. The line just went on and on.
The orchestra sits right under those banners on the building. This is the view as you are walking up toward the Capitol steps.
I never tire of our beautiful downtown square. It is such a vibrant downtown. People flock to events and support the local restaurants and shops. That says so much about a city.One last shot of the picnicking crowd....
I hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy your cities this summer.
best, susie
p.s. I want to give a quick shout out to Patricia Christensen and her Salt Lake City knitting group, Chicks with Sticks! Hellooooooo!

6 comments:

Betz White said...

Your post made me tear up. I miss Madison. The last time we went to Concerts on the Square was when my 11 year old was a baby! Thanks for sharing this and enjoy your summer!

crookedlittlehouse said...

I used to work at WESLI on the Capitol Square and had forgotten all about the concerts. Thanks for the memories of one of the best places I've ever lived.

Patricia said...

Haha! Wow Susan, you just made my day! Thank you! :)

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

What a great community spirit you have in Madison. I've always wanted to visit there in the summer because I've heard so many good things about the downtown and farmer's market. (I've only been there in the winter and mostly remember it was sooo cold!)

Creative Design said...

Just look how cute you and your hubby look! Prescious!

Sheila

Judi said...

Madison Sounds like such a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Hubby and I were invited by a couple a few years back to join them for an outdoor concert like that on the pier in San Diego. They had the table reserved but she prepared all the food, etc. Like your evening, the weather was perfect. We had never experienced that before and it was such a treat and memory maker. Your night brought back the memory :-)