Volunteer Spotlight ~ Juan Cardona Jr
It is with great honor that I present to you this season’s final spotlight volunteer, Juan Cardona.
Juan’s first organ performance at Thomaston Opera House occurred in the mid nineties. In the years that followed, prior to the establishment of Landmark Community Theatre, Juan entertained audiences playing the organ before several shows. Since the beginning of LCT, Juan has volunteered innumerable hours bringing the sounds of live theatre organ to our patrons. Many refer to our 1926 Marr-Colton Theatre Pipe Organ as a gem. Juan is our master jeweler, turning that gem into a masterpiece by coaxing its beauty out through masterful handling and a musical imagination second to none.
Each show night, Juan begins to play as the doors to the auditorium open. At first, his careful selections begin to set the mood. As show time draws near, the music increases the audience’s excitement and anticipation. His set closes with a powerful ending, leaving the patrons anticipating more great entertainment. When Jeff comes out to make announcements, the audience is primed, much like Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, readied the audience for Johnny Carson.
Theatre organ is an acquired taste. It requires a masterful musician with a personal, deep love of the instrument to act as ambassador, helping others to acquire that taste. Many of our older patrons connected with the organ and Juan immediately. Other members of our theatre family needed more time. Juan reached out from behind the organ console to make connections with younger cast, crew and patrons through personal interactions, social media and musical excellence. Theatre organ is a tradition at Landmark Community Theatre, and Juan is charged with maintaining and growing that tradition as he shares his music across generations. Although Landmark has many valuable volunteers, it is difficult to imagine our ORGANization without Juan. His contribution is unique, and as such, it is irreplaceable.
Chair, Landmark Community Theatre Board of Trustees