A Best Communities for Music Education recipient

since 2013


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Staples High School, Westport CT
A choral ensemble performs at the 2021 Westport Pops Concert.

In accordance with safety protocols, Staples Music is working hard to maintain a safe

learning environment and is following best practices based upon ongoing research. For the latest updates please refer to this websites COVID-19 page. 

District policy currently sets audience capacity at 50% maximum occupancy.

Please refer to this website throughout the school year for updated information about events & performances. 

MAY 6  Spring Choral Concert

7:30pm, SHS Auditorium

MAY 25  SHS/MS Chamber Concert

7:00pm, SHS Auditorium

MAY 30  Memorial Day Parade: SHS/MS Bands

8:00am, Westport

JUNE 10  Westport Pops

7:00pm, Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, Westport



Westport Public Schools Music Program Receives Best Community for Music Education Recognition

The Westport Public Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for the 10th year in a row. Recognized for its outstanding commitment to music education,  Westport joins 623 districts across the country in receiving this prestigious award for 2022. 

The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to elevate their own music education programs. 

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Westport answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. The Music Department has been fortunate to forge partnerships with community organizations such as the Westport Library, the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, PTA Cultural Arts and WestPAC, all who recognize and value the importance of the arts in education.

This award also recognizes that Westport is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA recommends music and the Arts as important elements in a well-rounded education for all children.

Maskoff and Alcyone Named CAS Recipients for 2022

Staples High School students Sophie Alcyone and Sasha Maskoff, two of approximately 300 top Connecticut seniors who excel in the arts, were honored at the 27th Annual High School Arts Awards. The Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) honored the top seniors with plaques for excellence and distinguished service at a banquet on April 5 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, CT. The CAS annually recognizes two seniors in each member high school for their outstanding ability in the performing or visual arts. Selected by Staples staff to receive this honor, Alcyone was recognized for visual art and Maskoff for music.

 The Connecticut Association of Schools serves Connecticut's K-12 public and parochial schools in all areas of inter-school activity. The association represents over 1,100 schools in the state. The Connecticut Association of Schools is a non-profit organization located in Cheshire, Connecticut.

SHS Students Shine at All-State Festival in Hartford

Staples musicians took the stage at this year's CMEA All-State Festival in Hartford March 31 and April 1.  Students who earned a performing spot at the Festival were Deneil Betfarhad (10), Zachary Bishop (12), Jason Capozucca (11), Kendra Cheng (9), Tanvi Gorre (11), Anastacia Jahnel (11), Witt Lindau (11), Delaney McGee (11) and Izabela Pauliny (11).

Also performing on April 1, by invitation, was the Staples Jazz Ensemble. Staples shared the stage with Hall-West Hartford, one of the most revered jazz programs in the country. The group played a range of music from ranging from Duke Ellington, Thad Jones and Craig Skeffington.

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SHS Jazz Ensemble: Front row, pictured left to right; Annam Olasewere, Ana Jahnel, Jaime Paul, Jason Capozucca, Peter Moody, Freddie Aldridge, Mr. Giampietro. Second row, left to right; Jet Tober, Matt Weiner, Zach Abramowitz, Oliver D’Anna, Gustav Zauls. Third row, left to right; Amy Ginzburg, Witt Lindau, Henry Nowak, Delaney McGee, Eamon Brannigan, Spencer Greiss, Tommy Linn


Present at the dedication of the Karp plaque are (L to R) Mark Soboslai, Rafe Klein, Walter Panek, Bruce Carter, Brian Keane and Bonnie Erickson


Former Staples Music Student, Charlie Karp, Immortalized with Plaque at SHS

Charlie Karp was a musician and award-winning documentarian whose career spanned almost 50 years. Karp, who played guitar with the likes of Buddy Miles, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and many more, was a member of the 1971 Staples High School class.

Earlier this year, the Charlie Karp Foundation made a generous donation to enhance the SHS Music program. As a thank you and in honor of Charlie's accomplishments and his work to inspire young aspiring musicians, a memorial plaque was installed in the SHS Music trophy showcase Nov. 18.


Staples Jazz Combo Takes Top Prize at 2021 National Jazz Festival

The Staples High School Jazz Combo received First Place honors in the Small Ensemble Division at the 2021 National Jazz Festival, a premier competition that took place in a virtual format in Philadelphia, PA on May 22. 2021. The five accomplished members of the instrumental music department recorded a live performance that adjudicator Oscar Perez described as being very enjoyable and cohesive. The competition drew both live and studio recorded performances from across the country.

Pianist Lucas Lieberman was recognized as the Superior Musician for the entire caption, while trumpeter Delaney McGee and drummer Witt Lindau were named two of the three Outstanding Musicians in the caption. The other members of the combo are Noah Jahnel on tenor saxophone, and Abe Rubin on bass.

The Staples High School Jazz Ensemble also participated in the Large Ensemble caption among a fiercely competitive group of the best high school jazz programs in the United States. Adjudicator Wilbur Wittemann described the group as a “swingin’ band” that was “one of the better bands that we’ve heard, in a tough division.” Wittemann highlighted the stylistic soloing of Lieberman, Rubin, and Jahnel, calling them “stars.”

Staples Band Director Phil Giampietro described the results for both ensembles as “a huge testament to the spirit of our music department students. They have worked so hard from the start of September and they continue to push forward in the face of adversity. In particular the five students of the combo should be commended for the chemistry that is present in their playing, which creates a strong nucleus for the full jazz ensemble and pushes all of us to do our best.”

Performances from the National Jazz Festival are available for viewing on the organization’s YouTube page. A link for their channel can be found at their website, www.nationaljazzfestival.org.

The Westport Music Department’s Vision is to develop our students’ artistic literacy and global awareness by growing their ability to create, perform and respond to diverse music at the highest level in a safe and nurturing environment.


Music has been a timeless way of communication when there were no other words to be said. It can have the power to heal, unify, and transcend all boundaries. It is now more than ever that we need to stay connected in order to listen and learn from each other.

Black Lives Matter.

We stand by our mission to prepare all students to reach their full potential as life-long learners and socially responsible contributors to our global community, yet we remain teachable ourselves in our efforts in order to fully promote that mission through and beyond the current and ongoing racial injustices.

We are proud to be a part of a national association that promotes equity and we stand united with you as the Staples Music community accepting of all of our differences in the hope for a better future. 

We Are Listening. 

Mr. Giampietro, Ms. Mascaro, Ms. Hockensmith,

Mr. Rosenberg, Mrs. Serpliss, Mr. Winters

National Association for Music Education Statement

Equity and Access in Music Education

Inclusivity and Diversity in Music Education

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