Once a Year
Well, it’s that time of the year again when people all over the country share a formal sit-down meal with loved ones. A year ago I commented ex post facto about finding appropriate music to acknowledge Thanksgiving, so I won’t go there again. Although I’m always interested in learning about repertoire possibilities I might have overlooked, so feel free to post them here if you come up with any.
Of course, this holiday means very different things to different people. To sports obsessives, the fourth Thursday of November is all about football, both college and pro. To players in marching bands across the country, it’s all about the parade. Admittedly, to most Native Americans and scholars of history, the holiday is bittersweet: It’s an incongruent reminder of what the ultimate outcome was of indigenous people’s generosity toward the folks who first settled here from the other side of the Atlantic, which few celebrations acknowledge. And for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or otherwise non-pavophilic, the day can be a bit of a challenge, but for most, the main focus is a meal centered around the exact same entree: a stuffed turkey.
But what I find so fascinating about Thanksgiving is that it is the one day when folks with all levels of culinary skill become engaged with cooking, even those who otherwise find kitchens anathema. What would happen if there was one day of the year where everyone sang or played musical instruments together, just for the fun of it? What would such a holiday do for the American psyche? How could such a holiday improve the general public’s appreciation for music overall, and how could such a heightened appreciation make us a better society? Of course, I’d hope that such a holiday would happen more than once a year.