Conquering the Candlelight Catastrophe


Photo by So

Featured in the photo is the Bingham Symphony performing at their Candlelight Concert in December of 2020.

A hush falls over the crowd. Music begins to softly surround the auditorium as students holding flickering candles make their procession to the stage. They take their places, and the concert is about to begin. The Candlelight Concert has been a tradition at Bingham for over 50 years. Unfortunately, this year Candlelight is homeless because the auditorium will not have seats for the audience. The missing seats are due to the nationwide shipping delays due to  the pandemic. After considering options from the media center to the cafeteria, West Jordan High School and Copper Hills High School have offered to host the Bingham Candlelight Concerts of 2021.  

The auditorium delay directly impacted the performing arts department for the first quarter of the year as they traveled to auditoriums generously provided by neighboring schools. The choirs performed their opening fall concert at West Jordan Middle School on Oct. 12, and the orchestras and bands performed at Elk Ridge Middle School on Oct. 26. For the Candlelight Concerts, the music department thought borrowing a venue would be impossible due to high demand during the busy holiday season. However, thanks to West Jordan for the choir and Copper Hills for the band and orchestra, Candlelight will continue in a traditional auditorium setting. 

These holiday hosts come as a relief to the Bingham music department because Candlelight exemplifies the importance of upholding traditions. If you have not attended this festive celebration in years past, you may have missed the candlelight procession that inspires the concert’s name. Before they perform, musicians walk down the aisles of the dimly lit auditorium with electronic candles. Students set down their candles, and music leaders light grand candelabras as they enter the stage. 

Moving this deeply rooted Bingham tradition to different schools will be an adjustment, but the music department hopes for continued support from Bingham students and families. In a year focused on preserving the legacy of Bingham, Candlelight is a tradition worth celebrating and attending. It is also a great way to welcome the holiday season with songs such as ¨The Hallelujah Chorus¨ from Handel’s Messiah performed by the Bingham Symphony and ¨O Holy Night¨ performed by the Bingham choirs.

“Candlelight helps me feel the holiday spirit,” says junior violist and orchestra officer Kate Sorenson, “I love the Christmas music because we have heard it since we were children, and the candles look so cool.” 

The choir Candlelight Concert will be on Dec. 14 at West Jordan High School, while the orchestra and band Candlelight Concert will be on Dec. 16 at Copper Hills High School. All students are encouraged to attend to support their fellow miners, even if the venue is unconventional. Although the construction delays are unfortunate, Bingham students have learned their location does not define their music.