Carols at the Spinet: A Reflection on Ludlowe Choir’s Musical Madness of the Holiday Season

From The Perspective of Ludlowe’s Singers
Carols at the Spinet: A Reflection on Ludlowe Choir’s Musical Madness of the Holiday Season

The Fairfield Ludlowe choir department’s wonderful winter season of music came to an end, ringing in the new year! The Treble and Concert choirs had a beautiful winter concert with the band and orchestra, the A Cappella groups caroled downtown for the holidays, and the music department came together to execute a phenomenal Candlelight experience. Furthermore, the department was beyond grateful to have been invited to perform at Radio City Music Hall for a third year. Home of the Rockettes, Radio City is most famous for its annual holiday production of the Christmas Spectacular. On November 30, Ludlowe’s Chamber and Bel Canto choirs had the privilege of opening for one of the productions.

The choirs got to sing two songs on the “Great Stage” as an opener to the Rockettes. It was a diligent collaboration between our choirs and the staff at Radio City, providing an incredible, once in a lifetime experience for us as singers. By performing at such a world renowned venue, we were able to grow as performers, exercising our professionalism and representing our school. The trip also served as a fantastic bonding experience for all of us, especially between the two choirs, who usually rehearse and perform separately.           


This trip was not only a learning experience for the students, but also an integral member of our school staff; FLHS has welcomed a new choir director, Kimberly Sadler, this year. Previously the choir teacher at Middlesex Middle School, Mrs. Sadler was introduced at the beginning of this year, and had very little time to adjust before being thrown into preparation for various performances with all four choir ensembles. She’s regarded her transition as “both daunting and exciting thus far,” recognizing how “rewarding [it has been] so far to be challenged in the classroom and musically, and has been a lot of fun getting to know the talented and dedicated choir students, as well as the faculty and staff at FLHS so far.  Everyone has been so warm, welcoming, and helpful- especially the music department who has done everything they can to help me settle into this big new position after working in a different district for 17 years!” Despite the massive change for everyone involved, both Mrs. Sadler and students have learned to quickly adjust to each other.

 “Change can be really hard,” Mrs. Sadler said, “but [it] always offers opportunities for growth as a person and a musician.” This has perfectly reflected the way this school year has taught us all the ability and importance of being flexible and able to cooperate with many different people in order to make music.

FLHS “Men of Note” performing at Candlelight’s evening performances

Candlelight, Fairfield Ludlowe High School’s annual holiday showcase, shows off all strands of the music department both separately and collaboratively. The captivating performances never cease to be magical and inspirational, especially for the elementary and middle school students that come and watch. During the grueling week of Candlelight rehearsals, Mrs Sadler stated that she couldn’t “wait to see Candlelight come together! It shows that teamwork, practice, camaraderie, and dedication to your craft can produce some of the most amazing musical experiences for students.” However, behind-the-scenes, it was harder than it looked. Coming back to school the next week after singing at Radio City, Chamber Choir and Bel Canto had just three weeks to polish the four additional choral and combined pieces that were performed for Candlelight. Timing entrances, queues and quick changes were also integral to maintaining the fluidity of the performance. This process was stressful and tiring, but ended up paying off. 

FLHS Combined Choirs performing in Candlelight

Collectively, the entire music department worked incredibly hard to put together a combined 16 pieces to perform for six Candlelight audiences! Mrs. Sadler, with the help of the rest of the department,  learned and delivered all she needed to with near to no prior knowledge or experience of how Candlelight was run. According to her, Candlelight is “The culmination of the hard work of six dedicated music teachers and over one hundred talented students from all three music strands … It is wonderful to see how much the school and community embrace and anticipate this event.”

 The performances, especially the two sold-out evening shows for the public, were truly magical and beautiful combinations of Ludlowe’s music strands in time for the holidays and a well-deserved break after the thrilling chaos that Candlelight brings each year.

Mrs. Sadler (center) surrounded by FLHS Choir’s senior class

As singers, we have reflected on and cherished the last few months, learning to be flexible from the adjustments we have had to make this year. Despite the ups and downs  faced, we are lucky and grateful to have such a hard-working and optimistic teacher as Mrs. Sadler welcomed into the music department. We are eager to continue learning and growing together for the remainder of the year, and our time at Ludlowe.

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