A New Year, A Time for Hope

Happy 2009. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season.

For the second time in a row, I started my year with the bustling crowd in Pasadena, anticipating an amazing spectacle of sights and sounds for the Tournament of Roses Parade. This year, I served as Halftime Magazine’s official photographer (check out our photo spread on page 18 as well as our coverage of the other BCS bowls).

Watching the floats and the bands go by through the zoom of a camera lens, I could see even more clearly the determined looks, the proud faces and the happy smiles of the participants. And I too felt new energy and resolve.

As we ring in the New Year, we are always filled with a sense of hope, a sense that anything can happen. We make resolutions and vow to be fitter, cleaner, richer, happier. Despite—or maybe even because of—last year’s terrible economic climate, this year the feeling of expectation seems to be even stronger. Good riddance to last year. There must be better things to come.

The inauguration of a historic new president—whose campaign message happened to be hope (no coincidence)— has also added a burst of optimism. Like you, I’m hoping for a government that makes the right choices regarding taxes, appropriate versus inappropriate bailouts, the war(s) overseas, public education and, of course, arts funding.

Newscasters have already compared President Barack Obama to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. If that’s the case, then I can’t wait to experience the next 100 days.

So is there a magic spell that happens at midnight as 2008 becomes 2009? Maybe not but we sure would like to hope so. Hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year.

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

P.S. As of this letter, it’s only nine days until Inauguration Day. Best wishes and congratulations to all the bands participating in the parade. We hope you enjoy your role in history and share your experiences with us. We will be presenting feature coverage of the Inauguration Parade in the Mar/Apr 2009 issue.

About author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman is founder and chief executive officer of Muse Media, LLC, creator of books, magazines, and additional content highlighting performing arts and youth activities. Magazine assets include Halftime Magazine for marching arts participants and fans as well as Yamaha SupportED Magazine for K through 12 music educators. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Crain Communications and Imagination Publishing and a marketing manager at Chatsworth Products, Inc. Christine also worked for Yamaha Band and Orchestral Division. As a child, Christine learned five instruments, with flute being primary. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. Christine graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997 and earned an MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in 2007.

A photo of the Vandegrift Band and Vision Dance Company.

2019 Fall Championships Recap

During its first appearance at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in November 2019, Vandegrift High School from Leander, Texas, took home the gold, ...