Tag Archives: Jeri Hockensmith

Now Let Hosannas Ring …

This weekend’s Candlelight Concert — the 82nd since 1940 — honored both its long and storied tradition, and kept it fresh and new.

The choral symphonic and jazz ensembles awed the full auditorium with their voices and musicianship. The program — from the traditional, lovely “Sing We Noel” through the stunning “Nutcracker Suite,” rousing “Jubilate Deo” and clever production number, to the powerful “Home Alone Suite” and rousing “Hallelujah Chorus” finale — was both proof that our town’s young artists are very alive, quite well (and superbly well-trained), and that even in times of uncertainty and division, all can be right in Westport.

Congratulations and thanks to all who made Candlelight possible: choral director Luke Rosenberg; orchestra directors Carrie Mascaro and Jeri Hockensmith; band director Phil Giampietro; townwide music and visual arts coordinator Steve Zimmerman — and of course all the teenage musicians, who gave us the gift of music.

And of course thanks to Lynn Untermeyer Miller, who captured all the magic of the show.

The stage …

… and the lobby …

… the welcoming musicians …

… the ubiquitous Alice Addicks …

… the “Sing We Noel” processional …

… the orchestra …

… in tune with each other …

… an intense gaze …

… the Jazz Combo plays “Frosty the Red-Nosed Christmas Tree” …

… and the vocal duet “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” …

… and the music …

… and the production number, Don Rickenback’s original “Holiday Greeting Letter” …

… and another production number view …

… while Jeri Hockensmith (rear) introduces her Staples music department staff (from left) Carrie Moscaro, Luke Rosenberg, Nick Giampietro and Don Rickenback. (All photos/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

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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)