I’d gone here a few times with my mum when I was little, but I’d almost forgotten it was still around until last summer, when I saw it mentioned in a local events calendar somewhere. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make it to any of the Sundays last summer, so we put it on the list for this year, and this past weekend, on the most perfect Sunday imaginable, we loaded up our blanket and headed to Mellon Park!
The Bach, Beethoven, & Brunch series is held on Sundays in the summer, and all the events are outdoors (so keep the weather in mind if you plan to go). Each weekend features a different musical ensemble and a new program of songs.
While they do have Bagel Factory vendors onsite (with more than just bagels – you can get breakfast sandwiches, fruit, and lox as well), it’s fun to bring a picnic brunch. I tried out a new Cooking Light recipe and made us warm cranberry-walnut brie. It was easy to cook (important for non-chef me!) and fast, and it was soooo delicious. It was really, really hard for us to not eat the whole thing in one sitting.
Every good breakfast comes with a lovely juice! I am crazy about juice boxes, so I had my little Minute Maid apple juice to go with breakfast. Yum!
The group playing when we attended was Cincopation, a five-piece woodwind ensemble from here in Pittsburgh. You can sit on the lawn in front of the stage, as shown here, or (if it’s as sunny as it was when we went!) you can choose to hang out a little ways back in the shade. They put up speakers so you can hear the music just as well, and stay cool at the same time!
This was the view from our spot, looking down onto 5th Ave. You would think there would be some traffic noise, but it really wasn’t enough to be distracting. It’s like you’ve slipped away into the peaceful countryside without ever leaving the city!
Many people bring books or newspapers to read, or even board games to play with your friends on your blanket. We did a crossword puzzle together on my phone, which wound up being more of a challenge than we’d planned on!
Cincopation played three pieces on each side of the brief intermission, and one of the ones I enjoyed most was the “Carnival of the Animals,” composed by Camille Saint-Saens. There were 13 movements, all inspired by the sounds of the different animals. They announced the name of each animal after it was played, so you could check and see if your guess was correct!
And fittingly, after hearing the “Carnival of the Animals,” we met a very sweet, special animal! This is Nina, and she is one of the Steel City Greyhounds, who were enjoying the lovely weather and music as well! Before we met Miss Lucy, we had been seriously considering adopting a retired racer (and, coincidentally, we got a compromise somewhere in the middle, as Miss Lucy Red is part whippet and has the racing legs). Unfortunately, Lucy does not have the calm temperament of a greyhound (whippets are supposedly the more-neurotic of the two breeds). These pups were lounging in the shade and being bashful, whereas Lucy would have been tearing around and licking the hell out of everyone (including, probably, the other greyhounds).
Our Sunday in the park was just wonderful. I wish we were going to be free on the remaining Sundays of the summer so we could go again! Also, the event is FREE, so clear your schedule for a lazy, lounging, lovely weekend event before the summer is out. Just get there early, because parking is a bit limited, and you don’t want to miss any of the music!