Warmed By Candlelight

Celebration and solemnity mixed together last night at Staples.

The high school’s 72nd annual Candlelight Concert provided not only its traditional joy, pageantry and warmth, but also a chance for Westporters to gather and reflect on the morning tragedy a few miles north in Newtown.

Principal John Dodig noted that the realization that 20 sets of parents would never again hug their children reinforced the importance of being with “the kids we love.”

Then the healing power of music began.

Choir member Michael Sixsmith was part of the always-evocative "Sing We Noel" processional. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

Choir member Michael Sixsmith was part of the always-evocative “Sing We Noel” processional. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

The Staples Choir's rendition of "Holy Night, Silent Night" was hauntingly beautiful. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

The Staples Choir’s rendition of “Holy Night, Silent Night” was hauntingly beautiful. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

The choir's traditional production number included -- as usual -- reindeer. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

The choir’s traditional production number included reindeer. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

Santa, elves, the choir, chorus, chorale and orchestra joined in a magnificent "Hallelujah Chorus" finale. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

Santa, elves, the choir, chorus, chorale and orchestra joined in a magnificent “Hallelujah Chorus” finale. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

New choral director Luke Rosenberg and veteran orchestra conductor Adele Valovich take bows after last night's Candlelight Concert. Nick Mariconda's band also played magnificently. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

New choral director Luke Rosenberg and veteran orchestra conductor Adele Valovich took bows after last night’s Candlelight Concert. Nick Mariconda’s band also played magnificently. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

One response to “Warmed By Candlelight

  1. This year’s Candlelight Concert was a special comfort to everyone who attended. In spite of the pain shared by all of us, this year’s was one of the best as a new, young talented faculty member brought energy to Staples most talented Music Department and to this year’s concert series. As my wife, a Staples Guidance counselor, prepared to join her Staples Department in their effort to assist in Newtown’s crisis center, I got to attend all three Candlelight concerts and sell CDs of this year’s show. I gladly watched all three shows – each one was better than the last. My weekend was wonderful while others nearby lived a nightmare. The people with whom I spoke after each show were so kind and we all swooned over this years concerts. Congratulations to the Music Department and to the students who shared their talents and joy. The Candlelight Concert is a gift to the Westport community. This year we were all especially grateful to receive it.