On December 15, the 40th Anniversary of the sister city partnership celebrations between Los Angeles and Berlin ended with a "Holiday Spectacular" presented by the brilliant California Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Victor Vener. For this event, which took place at the beautiful Pasadena Ambassador Auditorium, the Los Angeles- Berlin Sister City Committee sponsored soprano Melissa Shippen,a young American from Tennessee, who has already appeared twice in Carnegie Hall as well as one year at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and is currently living in Germany. Melissa added a special touch to the evening and enchanted the audience with excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, La Boheme, Sleigh Ride, A Carol Festival-Sing Along and other Holiday Favorites.

After the concert, Rosemarie Reisch invited members and friends to a festive post-concert reception at her San Marino residence to celebrate the end of an exciting year of anniversary celebrations. Despite the late hour and the cold night, many came, among them German Consul General Dr. Christian Stocks and his wife Christine, numerous representatives of German-American institutions and the international community. Everyone enjoyed the ambience and engaged in lively conversation. In his wonderful speech, Consul General Dr. Christian Stocks talked about the long history of this partnership, the many changes that have taken place since it began in 1967, its mission and the bright future ahead which will very much depend on the enthusiasm and support of Angelenos and Berliners from all walks of life. Rosemarie Reisch thanked the board of directors and everyone for their continuous support. When the party ended many guests remarked that they are looking forward to the next 40 years!

Maestro Victor Vener
and his wife