Tag Archives: Jake Landau

Candlelight Concert Tickets Available December 1

For 83 years, the Candlelight Concert has been the Staples High School music department’s gift to the town.

With its “Sing We Noel” processional, “Hallelujah Chorus” finale, and wondrous performances by the choirs, orchestras and bands, Candlelight is timeless.

But there is always something new, too.

This year, it’s the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece.

“I Found the Light” is a collaborative creation by a pair of Class of 2000 graduates: composer Jake Landau and poet Emily Garber. Afterward, it will be shared worldwide.

That premiere — and the rest of the much-anticipated concert, including Vaughan Williams’ “Greensleeves Fantasia,” “Ose Shalom” by John Leavitt, and Leroy Anderson’s classic “A Christmas Festival” — is Friday, December 15 (8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 16 (3 and 8 p.m.).

Tickets will be available to the public at 9 a.m. on Friday, December 1 (online at www.staplesmusic.org. There is a maximum of 4 tickets per order.

There is no charge for Candlelight tickets. However, donations to support the music program are graciously accepted.

Veteran Candlelight-goers know: Tickets sell out fast. Mark your calendar now for 9 a.m., December 1.

 This year’s Candlelight poster was designed by Staples art and music student Shivali Kanthan.

Roundup: Staples Lacrosse: State Champs! …

First there was Wilton. Then Darien.

Now there’s a new powerhouse in Connecticut boys lacrosse: Staples.

The Wreckers won their 2nd straight state championship — and 2nd ever — yesterday. Seeded #2 in the “L” (large schools) division, they dominated #1-ranked Fairfield Prep en route to a 13-6 victory.

The score was 4-2 at halftime. The blue-and-whites never looked back.

Goals and/or assists came from Tyler Clark, Sam Eigen, Ben Burmeister, Leo Sequenzia, Gavin Rothenberg, Adam Udell, Tristan Schaefer, Michael Nealon and Dixon Scherer. Josh Marcus was a rock in goal.

Two days earlier, in a much closer contest, Staples edged #3 Darien, 9-8.

Congratulations to coach Will Koshansky, and the entire team, on a hard-earned, well-deserved, and fantastic accomplishment!

(Photos/Jada Mirabelle for CIAC Sports)


A 13% cut in Metro-North service — and 4% fare increase — are coming down the tracks this fall.

What can be done?


That’s the opinion of Jim Cameron, CT Mirror’s transportation columnist.

Click here to read today’s full column. And get ready to gnash your teeth.

Jim Cameron describes what’s on track for local trains. (Photo/Molly Alger)


Beechwood has been sold.

The storied Weston Road property owned by Frederic Chiu and Jeanine Esposito changes hands later this month.

Before then, the couple’s Beechwood Arts & Immersion — named for the enormous copper beech tree that has shaded the home for 2 centuries — is holding an online auction. It closes this Wednesday (June 14, 7:30 p.m.). Click here for the link. All proceeds go to The Hive, Chiu and Esposito’s next collaborative project.

On Thursday, June 22 (3 to 7 p.m.), there is a “Take and Make” event. It is
“Beechwood’s version of a tag sale.” Go to Beechwood, have refreshments, visit the tree, share a memory of your time there, take some treasures, and make a donation for The Hive.

Among the items: women’s clothing, accessories and jewelry; rare, unusual and fun books; CDs and LPs; home and yard items, and more.

Beechwood House, and its towering copper beech tree.


Remember this big, ugly, unneeded monstrosity from last summer?

(Photo/Matt Murray)

It’s gone this year.

The view of the plantings at the Compo Beach entrance is now much more soothing.

But wait! How will anyone know how many spaces are available in each lot?!


Village Pediatrics had 4 interns this spring. Among their tasks: create a new “story walk” outside the office.

The new exhibit — “The Emotions Book” — features a cute elephant who learns to deal with big emotions. The public is invited to wander through the walkway, at 323 Riverside Avenue.

Cooper DeGirolomo of Hamden Hall Country Day School was one of the interns. He says: “The opportunity to learn from such a fantastic group of doctors and nurses has been inspiring, and reinvigorated my interest in pursuing a career in medicine.”

He shadowed physicians during well and sick visits. He learned about diseases and conditions, treatment plans, and medications.

The interns also read books about health, and discussed them with physicians.

Kayla Teplitz, 5, enjoys the Village Pediatrics story walk. She is working on her pre-reading skills, preparing for Coleytown Elementary School kindergarten this fall.


“Riders to the Sea” was performed this past weekend at the Brooklyn Art Haus.

But theater-goers got a healthy dose of Westport.

Staples High School 2013 graduates (and former Players actors and/or musicians) Phoebe Corde, Jake Landau and Michelle Pauker had prominent roles.

Corde and Landau — part of a group called Off Brand Opera — adapted the opera into a musical. Landau also served as musical director, while Pauker was in the cast. Jake and Phoebe are board members of Off Brand Opera, which produces exciting cross-genre collaborations.


Speaking of theater: “Days of Wine and Roses” — the new off-Broadway show starring Westport’s Kelli O’Hara — earned a rave review in the Washington Post.

“Her exceptional coloratura proves irresistible for a Guettel-mixed cocktail of ecstasy and pain,” writes Peter Marks.

“At a time when the American musical seems ever more pumped up on pop, what a pleasure it is to encounter a palette of new show tunes delving deeply into character, that favor sweeping emotionality over Spotify familiarity.”

Click here for the full review. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere for the musical version of “Days of Wine and Roses.” (Photo/Ahron R. Foster for the Washington Post)


A rose is a rose … is a “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Today’s beautiful image was taken by Tammy Barry, on Harbor Road.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)


And finally … in honor of today’s gorgeous nature shot (above):

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. Please click here to support our work, with a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!)

Jake Landau: The Next Leonard Bernstein?

After you’ve composed a piece for the New York Philharmonic, what’s left in life?

How about writing writing choral music for the Conservative Synagogue?

That’s Jake Landau’s latest feat.

Of course, much more lies ahead. Jake is only a Staples High School junior.

Jake Landau

A multi-talented junior, that’s for sure. A student at the Juilliard School pre-college program, a member of the New York Youth Symphony and a national PTA “Reflections” award winner, he’s been playing piano — and composing — almost all his young life.

Classical music is his favorite. But Jake is equally comfortable writing opera, musical theater, soundtracks — and now, a piece for his synagogue.

His work will be performed tomorrow (Sunday, June 3, 7 p.m.) as part of the “On a Chai Note: A Musical Celebration of Israel” concert. Accompanying Jake on piano are 2 other nationally recognized young musicians (and temple members): cellist Danielle Merlis and violinist Sam Weiser.

Amazingly, this is Jake’s 2nd world premiere this spring. Last month, the New York Philharmonic performed a piece he wrote for their School Day concert. That one, he says, was “adventurous, aggressive and knotty.” Tomorrow’s piece is “simpler.” A synagogue is not a concert hall.

Working from a text, Jake composed this work for the “up-in-the-stratosphere soprano” cantor.

Jake Landau, rehearsing at the synagogue’s piano. (Photo/Marcy Juran)

He calls the process “very rewarding. It’s not just that it will be performed by my choir. Most of my pieces are done in high-pressure concert halls, and everyone is rushed for time. This is a much more personal environment.”

Conservative Synagogue Chorale member Marcy Juran is “blown away” by Jake’s talent.

“He understands how to create a beautiful piece of music,” she says. “But the way he explains his work to the choir — how it’s constructed, how he envisions it to sound, how his music matches the liturgical text — is unparalleled.

“It reminds me of hearing Leonard Bernstein explain music — but Jake is only 16! It is a joy to listen to play his piece on the piano, direct us, and understand from him what this is all about.

Still a teenager, Jake understands the long tradition he’s part of. “Music is a craft that’s existed almost as long as man,” he notes. “Music is practical, emotive and evocative. Music is everywhere. I’m proud to help continue that legacy.”

Danielle Merlis and Sam Weiser will also perform at the Conservative Synagogue tomorrow. (Photo/Marcy Juran)

Though Jake also studies piano at Juilliard, his playing is secondary to  composing. In fact, he says, “some of the pieces I write are too difficult for me to play. Someone plays my stuff for me.”

He hopes to make a career in music — writing film scores, operas, commercial soundtracks, “whatever.”

So — after spending the past 2 summers at Interlochen and Tanglewood — this year Jake will stay home. He’ll write orchestral and chamber pieces for his conservatory and music school applications.

Oh, yeah. His college essay, too.

(“On a Chai Note: A Musical Celebration of Israel” free concert takes place Sunday, June 3, 7 p.m. at The Conservative Synagogue, 30 Hillspoint Rd. The program also includes The Western Wind, a renowned a cappella sextet, and Jewish choral singers from throughout Fairfield County. For more information, click here.)