Sing We Noel: Staples’ Spectacular Candlelight Concert

From an achingly beautiful “Stille Nacht” to a stirring Nigerian carol “Betelehemu” — bookended of course by the haunting traditional “Sing We Noel” processional, a hilarious production number and the rousing “Hallelujah Chorus” — last night’s 78th Candlelight Concert was one of the best ever.

Staples High School’s hundreds of singers, orchestra and band members and instructors put their remarkable talents on display, in a packed auditorium. It is the music department’s gift to the town — and no amount of money could provide a finer present.

The Candlelight Concert continues this afternoon and this evening. All tickets for both performances were claimed weeks ago.

(Photo/Paul Einarsen)

Handsome decorations in the Staples High School auditorium lobby.

Chamber musicians play as concert-goers arrived.

Antonio Antonelli carries on the “Sing We Noel” tradition.

The Choralaires’ joyful rendition of “Betelehemu.” Dr. Robert Kwan is the accompanist.

Carrie Mascaro debuts as Staples’ Symphonic Orchestra conductor.

Don Rickenback’s hilarious production number includes a “Fiddler on the Roof”-style introduction about “Tradition” …

… and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s much lesser-known daughter.

Choral director Luke Rosenberg, orchestra conductor Carrie Mascaro and band leader Nick Mariconda take well-deserved bows. (All photos/Dan Woog unless otherwise noted)

14 responses to “Sing We Noel: Staples’ Spectacular Candlelight Concert

  1. I couldn’t agree more, Dan. From the first bars of “Sing We Noel” to the last line of “Hallelujah Chorus,” the evening was a tour de force. Like you, I especially loved the hauntingly beautiful rendition of “Stille Nacht,” which brought tears to my eyes, and the laugh-out-loud production number. Well done, Staples Music Department!

  2. Stille Nacht by Franz Gruber was a tug a my heartstrings! Beautifully done.
    Another Beautiful Candlelight – a fantastic group of kids and teachers. Thank you!

  3. *…arr. Calvin Custer recorded by Mannheim Steamroller!

  4. Dan, for those Westporters who can not attend this evenings performances, I believe Geno Heiter has made arrangements for WWPT, 90.3 FM and his talented DJ’s to broadcast the 8 PM Candlelight Concert. Mike Phillis, from Performance Audio, will be live mixing the concert in stereo for the broadcast. For those individuals who can neither attend non listen tonight, I will be shooting the 8PM show and 06880 will be the first site to go to see it in HD and hear it in stereo. Seasons greetings to all!

  5. A fantastic concert last night!

  6. Nancy Powers Conklin

    We are going this afternoon and cannot wait!!! Especially after all the raves on 06880!

  7. Lucy C. Weberling

    Dan- how can we alumni who live far away watch the concert. ?? I was in the choir, orchestra , band, chorus under Me. OHanion and Mr. Weigle.

    • Good news, Lucy! The concert was taped last night. I’ll post the link as soon as it’s available on YouTube. You’ll love it!

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

      As an “Ex” I was hoping….. Thanks for asking and Dan, thanks for posting. I know you have in the past.

  8. Thank you, Dan, for supporting and promoting the arts at Staples. And thank you to all of the local businesses and patrons whose donations make events like the annual Candlelight and Pops concerts possible.

  9. Sharon Paulsen

    Can’t wait for the vid!

    I loved being a part of the Candlelight Concert, back in the 1980’s!

    Singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and the “Welcome Yule” in the lobby (once, when the powers that be decided to combine the voices of the Orphenians with a bunch of us from the “less talented vocal ranks”), always sent shivers down my spine.

    And playing clarinet in the concert band wasn’t so bad either, LOL!

    I miss those days!

    Thanks Dan!

    • The “Welcome Yule” processional was different this year. Luke Rosenberg had them in the auditorium, but hidden, at the start. We heard all the words clearly. It was beautiful!

      • Sharon Paulsen

        Wow, thanks Dan, for sharing that tidbit!

        A wonderful idea by Rosenberg to change it up, because I’ve always felt that the seated audience was missing out on one of the best vocal arrangements of the concert … when it took place in the lobby, pre-show.

        It was an interesting and subtle start to the main performances, but I imagine it existed under the radar for quite a few folks.