Joshua Jay, medical studentThe Maccabeats, an a cappella group made up of 14 current students and alumni of Yeshiva University, has made a big splash with their Hanukkah song “Candlelight,” a reworking of the Mike Tompkins a cappella version of Taio Cruz's “Dynamite.” With lyrics about making latkes and spinning dreidels, the song is a tongue-in-cheek presentation of the group's earnest celebration of the holiday.
Joshua Jay, a first-year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and a member of the Maccabeats, has been taking his new celebrity in stride.
“It's been a whirlwind,” said Mr. Jay. “It's great that the song has caught on, but it was totally unexpected.” Balancing the demands of medical school with media appearances has been a challenge. “I'm in anatomy class one minute and on 'The Early Show' the next. It's been a bit surreal.”
The Maccabeats, which formed in 2007, had a more modest hit with a cover of Matisyahu's “One Day.” Yeshiva University President Richard Joel appeared in the video and sang on another song on the album. The group also released a CD of 12 songs last March called “Voices from the Heights.” They will continue to write and record music and perform live, including at a concert on December 26 in the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College.
As for Mr. Jay, he’s just relieved Hanukkah is over. “Now I can concentrate on studying for finals.”