Connecticut Is Home To One Of The Country’s Top Organists…Go See Him!

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Renown Theatre Organist, Juan Cardona, Jr. receives Volunteer Spotlight Award from the historic Thomaston Opera House.

Landmark Community Theatre 2015 season final spotlight volunteer, Juan Cardona Jr., a renowned theatre organist who has played in numerous venues across the country,  is the recipient of a special award bestowed upon him from the Thomaston Opera House.


Cardona played his first concert at the historic Thomaston Opera House more than 20 years ago. In the years that followed, prior to the establishment of Landmark Community Theatre, he 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 theatre patrons. Many refer to the resident 1926 Marr-Colton Theatre Pipe Organ as a gem. Cardona is a 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.