If you love the Staples Candlelight Concert — and who doesn’t? — what could be better than hearing it again on radio?
How about hearing the last 11 Candelights played non-stop, beginning tomorrow (Friday) afternoon and continuing straight through early next week?
The Candlelight Concert — the high school music department’s annual gift to the town — is a soaring, inspiring and beautiful collection of vocal, orchestral and band music. There are hymns, carols, Hanukkah and African music, and a lovably schlocky production number.
Now, thanks to the miracle of modern technology – and the good, old-fashioned hard work of media instructor Jim Honeycutt — every Candlelight from 2001 through two weeks ago will be streamed live on the internet on WWPT, 90.3 FM. (It will also run in the background as part of the school district’s stream — and will be broadcast as background music on Cablevision Channel 78.)
The Staples Media Lab began recording the concerts — actually, the final rehearsal — in 2001. The idea for the CDs — and help with the initial recordings — came from student Robert Anstett.
The program design was used for the 1st CD covers. Quickly though, the art department got involved. Now students in the Advanced Design and Technology class create the covers.
Honeycutt and his crew work hard to produce CDs in time for each year’s shows. Profits are donated to the media, music and art departments. Some of the money went to purchase a new stereo microphone preamp, making this year’s CD “the best-sounding ever,” Honeycutt says.
Why does he do it?
“Maybe because of my love of music,” Honeycutt muses.
“Maybe cause I think the memory of these wonderful concerts should be preserved. Maybe because I have the most amazing job in the world. I don’t know — but I’m happy to do it.”
The reward, Honeycutt says, comes from the faces of audience members leaving each concert, who are thrilled to have CDs of the impressive performances. One mother owns every one.
Now, musicians, alumni, parents, Candlelight fans — and anyone else with an internet connection — can enjoy 11 years’ worth of wonderful concerts.
It’s the music department — and Jim Honeycutt’s — gift to the world.
(Click here to listen live to WWPT-FM. And — though this has nothing to do with the Staples Media Lab — hard-core Candlelight addicts can listen to the 1972 concert, available through Westporters.com — click here, then click on the lower left corner.)