Tag Archives: Candlelight Concert

Roundup: Hamlet, Holiday Giving, Casa Me, Middle School Art …

The Planning & Zoning Commission held its final public hearing last night on the proposed text and map amendment change for The Hamlet at Saugatuck.

Scaled-down versions of the original plan show less density and height.

The commission has 65 days to render a decision. It will likely be discussed next at their December 5 work session.

An original design for The Hamlet at Saugautck …

… and a revised version.

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Just in time for the holidays: Westport’s Department of Human Services’ Giving Program is back.

Donations from community members are a huge help to Westport families facing financial hardship. One hundred families with school-aged children benefit each year from the program. 

This year, rising costs for food, housing and fuel has added strains to many local budgets.

Gift cards and cash donations are matched with families, who then purchase food and simple holiday gifts for their children. Beneficiaries are anonymous. 

The program enables parents to personalize their presents, and participate fully in the holiday season.

Residents and organizations can donate cash, checks or gift cards to the “Family to Family Seasonal Holiday Giving Program” online (click here). Contributions can also be dropped off at Town Hall, or mailed to the Department of Human Services c/o Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

Westport residents facing financial difficulties can contact Human Services at 203-341-1050 or humansrv@westportct.gov for confidential assistance.

Questions? Email adaugelli@westportct.gov or call 203-341-1183.

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CTBites’ weekly blog leads with a story about Casa Me.

The story on the new restaurant in the longtime Sconset Square corner begins:

Casa Me elevates the local restaurant scene with its exceptional Northern Italian vacation-inspired cuisine.

For months Westporters and passersby wondered what was to become of the slightly rundown restaurant in Sconset Square in the midst of a massive renovation and remodel that seemed to take forever. Rumors began to circulate… a Mexican restaurant was coming to town (another?). A Spanish restaurant was moving in. (That’s across the street.) There was also some speculation that a new concept by restauranteur Mario Fontana, owner of the Bodega restaurants both in Fairfield and Darien was going to open.

Fontana was indeed opening a new restaurant, Casa Me, but the cuisine would be distinctly vacation-inspired Italian cuisine. This time he would be joined by his wife, the lovely Pina Ferlisi, who would take on the role of Creative Director after leaving a long and successful career as a fashion director for such esteemed brands as Henri Bendel and Alexander McQueen.

Click here for the full story. For the Casa Me website, click here.

A Casa Me collage, courtesy of CTBites.

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Big art is coming to Westport’s middle schools.

The Westport Public Art Collections’ new program will display large format artwork. loaned by local and regional artists.

The goal is to expand WestPAC’s mission of bringing original works to schools, to help stimulate discussion and connections with art and other curricula.

The middle school program was piloted last year when Coleytown reopened, with Eric Chiang’s “Are We Born Connected” and “History Civilizations.” 

Two artists are loaning works for the 2022-23 school year. Jay Petrow offers a large-scale canvas “So Sorry” for Bedford Middle School, while Liz Leggett’s 3 abstractions are at Coleytown.  

Both Westport artists have completed their installations. Throughout the school year they’ll speak to art classes, be interviewed by student newspapers and TV, and continue sharing their stories, experiences, and practices with students and staff.

Jay Petrow with “So Sorry.”

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A reminder: Staples High School Candlelight Concert tickets go “on sale” to the public — don’t worry, they’re still free! — on December 1.Performances are Friday, December 16 (8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 17 (3 and 8 p.m.).

The event combines 80 years of tradition with a modern holiday spirit. The Symphonic Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Choral Ensembles perform Candlelight favorites like “Sing We Noel” and “Hallelujah Chorus.” Also movements from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” music from “Home Alone” by John Williams, and the first movement of Dan Forrest’s “Jubilate Deo.”

Set your reminders. Candlelight tickets get gobbled up fast!

Oh, yeah. Here’s the (easy to remember) link is: www.StaplesMusic.org.

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The Westport Museum for History & Culture is teaming up with Verso Studios at the Westport Library for a new podcast.

“Buried in Our Past” focuses on the histories all around us, It offers a new way to look at the past, and rethink the present.

The monthly podcast is recorded at Verso Studios. It’s available on the Library’s YouTube channel, and through Apple and Spotify.

The debut episode (available now) features the true story of the first Thanksgiving with guest Greg Porretta, a Julliard-trained actor and Westport Museum board member. Click below to see:

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Last month, 5-year-old Daisy Jonas contracted RSV, the respiratory virus that is especially dangerous in young children. She spent 3 nights — including her birthday — at Stamford Hospital.

Her parents were grateful for the new toys given to her during her stay. Now it’s time to give back.

Daisy’s older brother — 9-year-old Levi — wants to join her in collecting toys from Westporters, for Stamford Hospital. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off by December 18. Email biancablairjonas@gmail.com for the address; click here for an Amazon wish list.

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Westport resident Dr Jim Gadzik, Westporter — a trauma surgeon at Norwalk Hospital — has a life outside of the operating room.

He can cross off one bucket list item. He’s just written a play.

“Magic: A Ballroom Musical” will be staged at Norwalk’s Wall Street Theater this Saturday (November 26, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.).

It’s an original, Christmas-themed, family-friendly show, featuring 30 songs and 7 ballroom dances.

Jim explains: “It is the story of Pam and Bob, 2 lonely people who find love in a ballroom studio on an enchanted Christmas weekend when they are offered free lessons as a holiday gift by an intriguing dance instructor. If you like Hallmark, Disney and happy endings, you’ll love ‘Magic.'”

Click here for tickets, as well as the livestream link.

 

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Speaking of doctors: Bob Altbaum is guest speaker at the Y’s Women’s next meeting (Monday, November 28, 11:30 a.m., Green’s Farms Church). The public is invited.

Dr. Altbaum retired last year from Internal Medicine Associates of Westport, where he spent his entire career. He joined them in 1978.

An exceptional diagnostician, he is also a Renaissance man. He teaches, hikes, snowshoes, plays tennis and pickleball, and is a keyboardist in the doctor-filled rock group DNR.  They play at places like the Levitt Pavilion, and fundraisers for pancreatic and breast cancer, Norwalk Hospital and ALS.

Dr. Robert Altbaum

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Jazz does not take a holiday.

In honor of Thanksgiving, the weekly “Jazz at the Post” series moves this week to Wednesday.

Well-known pianist Chris Coogan joins bassist Don Falzone and drummer Jim Royle for 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. sets at VFW Post 399 (465 Riverside Avenue).

There’s a $15 cover, with dinner starting at 7 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Chris Coogan

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Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup included photos of 2 joyful soccer teams: Staples High School girls, and Greens Farms Academy boys.

Both won championships on Sunday: the “LL” state and New England Prep School titles, respectively.

Here’s another happy guy: Paul Marchese. He lives in Westport, but coaches the Ridgefield High School girls swim team.

Under his guidance, the Tigers captured this year’s FCIAC, state LL and state open championships.

He looks deservedly excited. But aren’t winning swim teams supposed to toss their coach into the pool? (Hat tip: Anne Pfeiffer)

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“The Laramie Project” — the Unitarian Church of Westport’s weekend play — was a simple but powerful production examining the aftermath of the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.

It was also timely, coming on the same weekend a man killed 5 patrons of a gay club in Colorado Springs, and wounded many others.

After the actors took their bows, the audience remained for an insightful talkback.

“Laramie Project” talkback, at the Unitarian Church. (Hat tip and photo/Jill Johnson Mann)

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There have been a ton of seagulls recently at Sherwood Mill Pond.

Matt Murray snapped today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo yesterday, as they enjoyed breakfast.

(photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … following up on his photo (above), Matt Murray offers today’s musical selection:

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Roundup: Candlelight Concert, Mexicue, Poet Laureates …

Don’t say we didn’t tell you.

Staples High School Candlelight Concert tickets go “on sale” to the public — don’t worry, they’re still free! — on December 1.Performances are Friday, December 16 (8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 17 (3 and 8 p.m.).

The link is easy: www.StaplesMusic.org.

Spectacular holiday music will be provided by the symphonic orchestra, symphonic band and choral ensembles. The 82-year-old event blends plenty of time-honored traditions, with some 21st-century twists.

If you’ve been to Candlelight, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never gone — set that alarm for tickets. You don’t need kids in high school to appreciate what these teenagers (and their teachers) do.

One more tradition: the artwork for this year’s concert comes once again from Staples senior Hugh Kennedy. It’s the third year in a row he’s designed the graphics.

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Last February, “06880” announced the imminent arrival of Mexicue.

The restaurant — mixing “street food sensibility” with fine dining — was renovating 38 Main Street, the former site of Bobby Q’s and Onion Alley.

The target for opening was May.

Mexicue missed the mark by 6 months. Opening day is today, at 4 p.m.

From all indications, the wait will be worth it. Westporters who have dined at Mexicue in New York City (Chelsea, NoMad, Midtown), Stamford and Washington say “¡muy bueno!”

Click here for details.

Mexicue

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Westport resident Aye Aye Thant is one of the our town’s biggest boosters of the United Nations.

It’s no wonder. Her father, U Thant, was the third secretary general of the organization. The Burmese leader served from 1961 to 971.

Aye Aye – a longtime Westporter — addressed the Rotary Club yesterday, at Green;s Farms Congregational Church. She reflected on  her father’s legacy of diversity and peace, and the role education played in that vision.

U Thant, who died in 1974, was a strong proponent of decolonization and tolerance. His daughter believes he was ahead of his time.

“As a Buddhist, he believed Buddhism was a great religion but he also understood that hundreds of millions disagreed with him,” she said. That realization led her father to espouse a philosophy of peaceful coexistence.

Aye Aye Thant, speaking at yesterday’s Westport Rotary Club meeting. A photo of her father, U Thant, is on the screen behind her. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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Two poet laureates on one stage!

Sixteen years after headlining the Malloy Lecture in the Arts, former US poet laureate Billy Collins returns to the Westport Library.

He’ll chat with Connecticut poet laureate Antoinette Brim-Bell about his new volume, “Musical Tables.” Those short poems focus on nature, animals, mortality, absurdity and love.

The event is December 9 (7 p.m.). Tickets are $26 (same price for 1 or 2 attendees), and include a signed copy of “Musical Tables.” Click here to purchase and for more information.

Westport’s own poet laureate — Jessica Noyes McEntee — says: “If you know Billy Collins’ work, then I don’t have to encourage you to see him live. If you haven’t explored his oeuvre, this night promises to be delightful. His work has a magical and effortless quality that many of us in the poetry community emulate, and enjoy.”

“Billy Collins is perhaps the most revered poet writing in America today,” says Library executive director Bill Harmer. “Most communities would count themselves fortunate to see him once in a lifetime. To have him back in Westport for a second time is a thrill beyond measure. And to be joined by Antoinette is a true gift.”

Billy Collins

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The Staples High School boys soccer program has always given back to the community. This year’s initiative: collecting donations for the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport, and its after-school, vacation and summer camps for low income youth.

All donations will be delivered by players to the Center, in time for their annual holiday party on December 17.

Donations can be made Friday through Sunday, December 2-4, at 1 Baldwin Place (off Bayberry Lane). There will be bins by the garage.

Suggested items include:

  • Soccer balls, dodgeballs, basketballs
  • Plastic hockey sticks
  • Air Hockey Table and supplies
  • Ping Pong table and supplies
  • Complete board games with intact boxes and all pieces
  • Children or family DVDs
  • Unopened arts & crafts supplies
  • Unopened toys for holiday gifts
  • Dolls
  • Headphones
  • Gift cards
  • Hats, scarves and gloves
  • Swim goggles

Can’t find anything to give? Click here to guy new using the Center’s Amazon Wishlist, and have it delivered directly to the Laskin family, 1 Baldwin Place, Westport, CT 06880.

Can’t drop off during the December 2-4 dates? Email nicolelaskin@icloud.com for alternate arrangements.

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Longtime Westporter Ruby Allen died Friday in her sleep. The wife of Winston Allen. she was 87 years old.

Born in Pittsburgh, and one of 8 siblings, she lived here for 48 years.

She graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in finance, and from Baruch College with a master’s in public administration. She also attended Harvard University’ executive program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government..  

Ruby served as an assistant vice president of finance for the Health and Hospital Corporation of New York City for 30 years.

She loved traveling the world for pleasure, and as “first lady of the Westport Rotary Foundation,” attending 10 international conferences, She volunteered for humanitarian for months at a time with her husband, in Haiti and South Africa.

In addition to her husband, Ruby is survived by her stepchildren Vaughn and Julie Allen.

Viewing will be at St Paul’s on the Green (60 East Avenue, Norwalk) on Tuesday, November 22 at 10:00 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. service and then a noon gravesite ceremony at Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport. Guests are then welcome at the Allen home (4 Burritts Landing North).

Ruby and Winston Allen (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Equinox — just over the border in Southport — is a hot spot for Westporters to work out.

It was even hotter yesterday. A car fire broke out in late morning, and threatened to engulf an adjacent vehicle.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

Equinox fire. ({Photp and hat tip/Ian O’Malley)

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Staples High School’s November Students of the Month are seniors William Lacend Duprey, Marley Brown. Alexander Mussomeli and Jason Capozucca; junior Kimberly Cheng; sophomore Jane Cunningham, and freshmen Sophie Grijns and Gunnar Eklund.

Students of the Month “help make Staples a welcoming place for their peers and teachers alike. They are the ‘glue’ of the school community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students who keep Staples  together, making it the special place that it is.”

November Students of the Month (from left): William Lacend Duprey ,Kimberly Cheng, Alexander Mussomeli, Gunnar Eklund, Jason Capozucca, Jane Cunningham, Missing: Marley Brown, Sophie Grijns.

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The next show at Amy Simon Fine Art is “Cali Girls.” Featured artists are Kristina Grace, Rene Romano and Maura Sega.

The show runs from November 19 through December 31. Click here for details.

“Quest” – wood panel, butterflies, bioresin, acrylics (Kristina Grace)

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Joe Carpenter offers today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo of his Annabelle hydrangea, and says: “This little girl finally decided she better bloom now before it is too late. Or is she 6 months ahead of everyone else?”

(Photo/Joe Carpenter)

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And finally … Dan McCafferty has died, at 76. He suffered from COPD.

You may not know his name. But you know his voice — from, for example, Nazareth’s “Love Hurts.” The New York Times explains:

His rendition — vocally scratchy but belted out behind reverberating guitar lines — became the definitive one. The world-weary lyrics emphasize hard lessons learned from heartbreak, but his passionate delivery made the song sound more like a statement of unvarnished desire.

The song came to seem characteristic of a post-hippie era, when male vitality was at the center of rock but the combativeness of heavy metal and punk had not yet become popular. In the movie “Dazed and Confused” (1993), “Love Hurts” plays at a 1970s junior high party in a neighborhood recreation center, where longhaired teens slow dance and furtively neck.

Click here for the full obituary.

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Candlelight Concert 2021: Now Let Hosannas Ring!

Staples High School’s 81st annual Candlelight Concert — but first of the 2020s decade — awed audiences this weekend, with stunning performances by nearly 200 young musicians and singers.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

With slight tweaks — an almost indiscernible new arrangement of “Sing We Noel,” snappy staging, even a new font in the program — the beloved event held on to all its important rituals, while offering fresh takes that showcased astonishing individual talents, and tremendous collaboration among teachers and groups.

A festive scene greeted concert-goers in the auditorium lobby. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Along with offerings from the Symphonic Band, Symphonic Orchestra nd Choirs, highlights included (but were hardly limited to) the Jazz Combo’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”; the String Quartet’s “Andante Festivo”; the Percussion Ensemble’s “Nutcracker to Go,” and the show-stopping “Fantasie for Piano, Choir & Orchestra Op. 80” by Beethoven, with vocal soloists and a mesmerizing performance by senior pianist Sasha Maskoff.

Another tradition: Alice Addicks greeting the audience. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Each music instructor took turns leading combined group. Take a well-deserved bow, Luke Rosenberg, Carrie Mascaro, Phil Giampietro and Jeri Hockensmith — and your scores of talented, passionate performing artists.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

“Sing We Noel” processional (Photo/Dan Woog)

Orchestra director Jeri Hockensmith leads “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.” (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

All eyes are on the conductor. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Phil Giampietro acknowledges applause for the band and orchestra. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Masks did not detract at all from the choral selections. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Choral director Luke Rosenberg helped mastermind the 2021 Candlelight Concert. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Jeffrey Pogue and Shanti Wimmer solo on the Jazz Ensemble’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Sasnta and friend, in Don Rickenback’s peppy production number (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Carrie Mascaro conducts the rousing “Hallelujah Chorus.” (Photo/Dan Woog)

Adding a bit of color to the Symphonic Band. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Staples music instructors (from left) Jeri Hockesmith,Don Rickenback, Mary Gardner, Luke Rosenberg, Phil Giampietro and Caitlin Serpliss acknowledge applause of their musicians after the “Hallelujah Chorus.” (Photo/Dan Woog)

Dozens of alumni joined nearly 200 musicians onstage for the “Hallelujah Chorus” finale. (Photo/Danielle Dobin)

Missed the concert? Mark this coming Thursday (December 23, 8 p.m.); click on www.StaplesMusic.org, for a streamed, previously recorded show. 

(Photo/Dan Woog)

Hallelujah! Candlelight Concert Returns!

Some things old. Some things new.
Nothing borrowed. But very (Staples) blue.

That’s the formula for next month’s 81st annual Candlelight Concert.

The beloved event returns with its traditional 3 in-person performances, after last year’s successful-but-still-not-the-same online documentary video.

To celebrate, the Staples High School music staff plans something special.

They’re a collegial, collaborative bunch. So that’s the theme of this year’s concert.

The familiar elements are all there: the “Sing We Noel” processional, “Hallelujah Chorus” finale, and production number in between.

Santa, elves, the choir, chorus, chorale and orchestra join in the “Hallelujah Chorus” finale. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

But — to share the “community” feeling that the music department enjoys — they’ll offer 4 big combined pieces. The band and orchestra will share the stage with choral singers throughout the performance.

Each conductor — Luke Rosenberg (choral), Carrie Mascaro and Jeri Hockensmith (orchestra) and Phil Giampietro (band) — leads one number.

The stage has been extended, to fit all performers.

Pieces include Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival” and Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy.” The latter — a large-scale piano concerto with chorus —  features senior pianist Sasha Maskoff.

Don Rickenback returns as writer and director of the production number.

Students are as excited as their teachers for the collaboration. They enjoy rehearsing together, and the exposure to other conductors. They’re proud too to be part of a very large effort.

The Candlelight Concert is set for Friday, December 17 (8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 18 (3 and 8 p.m.). Tickets will be available to the public at 9 a.m. on December 1. COVID safety protocols in effect at the time will be followed.

It will also be livestreamed one time only (due to video rights), on December 23.

Now let hosannas ring …

The Candlelight Concert returns for its 81st year next month.

 

Feasting On Candlelight

There’s no “Sing We Noel” processional this weekend. Alumni won’t throng the risers for the “Hallelujah Chorus.” All the little things — the beautiful music, zippy production number, even the large wreath hanging as a backdrop — are missing from this year’s Candlelight Concert.

But parents, friends and alumni — even the singers and musicians themselves — will feel the familiar goosebumps this Saturday (December 19, 7:30 p.m.), when a special livestream brings Candlelight to homes around the globe.

And if your home is in Westport, why not do something to help the town?

(Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

The Staples High School music department — which for 80 yeas has offered this gift to the town — has a great idea to make this home-for-the-holiday event extra special.

They suggest that everyone in Westport enjoy a takeout dinner this Saturday. Pick a favorite spot. Order a favorite meal. Pick it up (or have it delivered). Then gather around the TV screen (or computer), and make a festive night of it.

The music department makes this super easy. They’ve linked to Our Town Crier’s Westport Marketplace restaurant page. Just click here. There are dozens of places to choose from, featuring every cuisine (and price point).

It’s no secret: Restaurants need our help.

It’s also no secret: The Candlelight Concert is all about sharing.

This Saturday, share a meal along with music. And help our restaurants end 2020 on a high “note.”

(Click here for free registration for Saturday’s Candlelight Concert.)

Staples Candlelight Concert: The Show Will Go On!

COVID has canceled many holiday traditions: tree lightings. Carol sings. Office parties.

It can’t stop the Candlelight Concert. Can it?

Nope.

The beloved event — Staples High School’s music department gift to the town — takes place Saturday, December 19.

Of course, there’s a coronavirus caveat.

The bad news: For the first time in its fabled 80-year history, there will be no in-person audience. The musical numbers were recorded this weekend — with strict adherence to safety protocols. The concert will be livestreamed a week from next Sunday, at 7:30 p.m.

The good news: It will be a fantastic production.

In addition to the usual, wonderful professional-quality choirs, orchestra and bands, there are compelling interviews with current and past music directors, famed alumni participants, and the children of legendary educators George Weigle and John Hanulik.

The even better news: Because it’s a virtual concert, there’s no limit to the audience. There’s no scrambling for tickets. Anyone, anywhere on the globe (with an internet connection) can thrill to this year’s Candlelight “live.”

Even the musicians will be able to enjoy the show, at home with their families.

Registration for the remote access link is available next Monday (December 14, 9 a.m.) at www.StaplesMusic.org. Mark that date — and the December 19, 7:30 p.m. showtime.

Hallelujah!

There won’t be hundreds of musicians together on stage this year. But the Candlelight Concert will be as inspiring and beautiful as ever.

 

It’s A Wonderful Life, Indeed!

Take out your earbuds. Move over, Spotify. You’re so old school, iTunes.

Staples students are embracing a cutting-edge new technology: radio.

But not just any radio: a 1940s-style radio drama.

WWPT_logoTomorrow (Thursday, December 22, 1 p..m.), Geno Heiter’s Audio Production class and David Roth’s Theater 3 Acting class collaborate on a radio broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

They’ll use the original 1946 script — including Lux toilet soap advertisements from that long-ago time.

Similar WWPT-FM productions have won top awards in the John Drury national high school radio competition. Check it out:

It’s a phenomenal event — and a great undertaking. High school students incorporate live drama skills, sound effects and radio production into an entertaining, uplifting performance.

You can hear it locally on 90.3 FM, or by clicking here for the livestream.

It is indeed a wonderful life!

PS: The 2016 Candlelight Concert is also available on WWPT-FM (and via livestream). It’s broadcast at random times — so keep listening!

Candlelight Concert: Sneak Preview!

Staples High School’s 76th annual Candlelight Concert is set for tonight and tomorrow.

No tickets? No longer live here?

No problem!

Here’s a glimpse at this morning’s Orchestra rehearsal. Adele Valovich conducts the haunting “Nimrod” by Elgar. Just click on the video below to enjoy!

Bonus holiday feature photos:

sing-we-noel-sheet-music

candlelight-concert-rehearsal-2016-drum

The Holidays Are Here! Candlelight Concert Tickets Available Tomorrow.

Last year’s 75th Candlelight Concert celebration was classic — a warm, wonderful mix of voices, instruments, tradition, reverence, fun and joy that captivated audiences from near and far.

So what can Staples High School’s music department do for an encore?

They’ll reach for the brass ring again with their 76th.

The timeless "Sing We Noel" processional, in 2015. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

The timeless “Sing We Noel” processional, in 2015. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

This year’s Candlelight Concert — featuring the symphonic orchestra, concert band and 3 vocal ensembles — includes longtime favorites like the “Sing We Noel” processional, excerpts from the “Nutcracker Suite,” “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring” and the rousing “Hallelujah Chorus” finale, along with exciting new additions.

Performances are set for Friday, December 16 (8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 17 (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.). The free tickets always go fast. This year — for the first time ever — they’ll be available online. Requests will be taken starting tomorrow (Thursday, November 17); click here for the form.

A limited number of tickets can be requested by mail (through December 9). Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Candlelight Tickets, Staples High School, 70 North Avenue, Westport, CT 06880. For more information, call 203-341-1243.

Candlelight Concert Tickets Now Available — Special 75th Anniversary Edition!

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

But there is a free Candlelight Concert. The catch: You have to order tickets now.

This year’s 75th annual holiday event will be a classic. Special guests with long ties to the Staples High School music department have been invited. And a special alumni reception is planned prior to the last of 3 performances — the traditional “alumni show.”

Candlelight is set for Friday, December 18 (8 p.m.), and Saturday, December 19 (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.).

Candlelight logoGeneral admission tickets are available by mail. They must be postmarked by Wednesday, December 11 — but he who hesitates may not be singing “Hallelujah.” Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and the ticket order form (click here) to: Candlelight Tickets, Staples High School, 70 North Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

The alumni gala (Saturday, December 19, 5-7 p.m., Westport Inn) includes a reserved seat to the concert, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, an exhibit of photos and posters since the 1950s, 75th Candlelight logowear and a 4-CD set of recordings of concerts from the ’50s to the present.

All proceeds help celebrate Staples High School music. To purchase tickets, select the button to the left. Click here for alumni gala ltickets and more information.

Now let hosannas ring…

(For 75 years, the Candlelight Concert has been presented as a gift to Westport. However, tax-deductible contributions made out to “Staples HS Music” are gratefully accepted, and may be sent along with ticket requests. To advertise in the Candlelight program book, click here. For the main Candlelight website, click here. And search “SHS Candlelight 75th Anniversary” on Facebook for an event page.)

The "Sing We Noel" processional -- a part of every Candlelight Concert since 1940. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

The “Sing We Noel” processional — a part of every Candlelight Concert since 1940. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)