Theatre Organist: Juan Cardona, Jr.

Juan Cardona, Jr.

Juan Cardona, Jr. of Newtown, Connecticut, began studying piano and organ at the age of seven, and continued his musical training through college. He studied with Angela Salcedo at the University of Connecticut, and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts, majoring in classical organ. In addition to his classical studies he trained and refined his Theatre Organ skills with Jelani Eddington.

Juan has been the staff organist at the Thomaston Opera House in Connecticut for fifteen years. For the past ten years he has also been the staff organist at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, NY. In 1994 and 1995 Juan was awarded first place in the American Theatre Organ Society’s Hobbyist Division Competition. As a concert artist, he has performed theatre organ concerts in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Alabama, Georgia and Missouri.

Juan was introduced to silent film work, when he accompanied silent cartoons at a stage production of “School House Rock” at the Thomaston Opera House. The Academy Award winning film “Wings” was his first full length feature film as a silent accompanist. Other films he has scored include: “Phantom of the Opera,” “Robin Hood,” “The Beloved Rogue,” “Tell it to the Marines,” “Speedy,” “The General,” and silent short comedies: “The Great Race,” “Big Business,” and “One Week.” He has been the featured artist for 5 years for the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of ATOS “Silents in the House” Film series. The list of films he has accompanied has grown to over 30 silents including short comedies and full length features.

In July of 2003, Juan was a featured artist for the American Guild of Organists Regional Convention in Cape Cod and New Bedford, MA and received a standing ovation for his original score for the Harold Lloyd film “Speedy.” He was also a featured performer at the 2005 “Meet Me in St. Louis” Theatre Organ Event and received rave reviews from the audience members with his three performances.

Some of his other hobbies include building and flying radio control model airplanes and N scale model railroading. He is currently working as a Network/Systems Engineer in the Information Technology field.