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A Best Communities for Music Education recipient

since 2013


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Staples High School, Westport CT
The finale of the 2022
Candllelight Concert

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

NOV 11  HS Western Region Auditions

9:00am-5:00pm, Westhill HS

NOV 13  ASBDA Band Festival

All Day, Maloney HS

DEC 15  Candlelight Concert

8:00pm, SHS Auditorium

DEC 16  Candlelight Concert

3:00pm & 8:00pm, SHS Auditorium


Get Tickets HERE

to 83rd Candlelight
& SHS Music Program


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83rd Candlelight Concert Features World Premiere of I Found the Light!

The 83rd Annual Candlelight Concert will be presented at Staples High School Auditorium on Friday, December 15 at 8:00pm and Saturday, December 16 at 3:00pm and 8:00pm. This annual gift to the Westport community showcases the talents of Staples’ nationally recognized musicians and performers. 

For 2023, Staples Music proudly announces the premiere of I Found the Light, a commissioned work marking a significant first for the program. This piece, a collaborative creation by Staples alumni, composer Jake Landau (Class of 2000) and poet Emily Garber (Class of 2000), represents a milestone in our commitment to fostering artistic excellence. Upon its release, I Found the Light will be shared worldwide, carrying the distinguished official stamp, “Commissioned by Staples High School, Westport, CT." 

The Staples Symphonic Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Choral Ensembles will also perform traditional Candlelight favorites such as Sing We Noel and Hallelujah Chorus. In addition the program will include Vaughan William’s Greensleeves FantasiaOse Shalom by John Leavitt and Leroy Anderson’s classic, A Christmas Festival.

A Slice of Staples Music: Candlelight 2022

SHS Music Welcomes Lauren Pine as New Choral Director

We welcome incoming Staples Choral Director, Mrs. Lauren Pine. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance with a minor in Musical Theater from Northwestern University followed by a Master of Arts in Music Education from Hunter College. For many years she sang with Thunk a cappella (Northwestern), The New York Choral Society and Tapestry (NYC) and is currently the Section leader, soloist, and board member of The Stamford Chorale (CT). Lauren also studied abroad in Italy with the International Vocal Arts Institute and in Disney World with VoicExperience.  

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During her tenure at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, Mrs. Pine demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, commitment to excellence, and created a supportive and inclusive musical community. 


Westport Public Schools Receives Best Community for Music Education Recognition, AGAIN!

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 2023. 

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.


Musicians, Grade 12: Jason Capozucca, Jaime Paul, Ana Jahnel, Delaney McGee, Henry Nowak, Jet Tober, Witt Lindau; Grade 11: Freddie Aldridge, Zach Abramowitz, Deneil Betfarhad, Spencer Greiss, Ethan Walkmark, Matt Weiner; Grade 10: Sam Rondon, Tommy Linn, Cooper Paul; Grade 9: Charlie Beckwith; and Director Phil Giampietro

Jazz Ensemble Takes Second Place at National Jazz Festival with Drummer Witt Lindau Receiving Outstanding Musician Award

Staples High School's music department is proud to announce that its Jazz Ensemble, directed by Mr. Phil Giampietro, took second place in the top division at the National Jazz Festival held in Philadelphia on Saturday, April 22nd. The ensemble's drummer, Witt Lindau, was also recognized with one of three Outstanding Musician medals.
The impressive showing at the festival is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and their instructors, including Bedford Middle School Band Director and Staples' Assistant Jazz Band Director, Gregg Winters, who played a critical part in the ensemble's development.
The Jazz Ensemble's performance at the festival included a repertoire of outstanding pieces including "Cubauza" by Michael Philip Mossman, "Movin’ Uptown" by Benny Carter, edited by David Berger, "Groove Merchant" by Jerome Richardson, arr. Thad Jones, and "Shades On, Roof Down" by Eric Richards.
This marks the second time that the jazz program at Staples has been recognized nationally in recent years. The Staples High School Jazz Combo received first place in Small Ensemble Division 1 Live Performance at the 2021 National Jazz Festival.
Director Giampietro stated, "the Staples music faculty and I are so proud of our students and their hard work. This incredible achievement is a testament to their perseverance during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am inspired by their continued commitment to making great music."

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, Mrs. Brima,

Mrs. Pine, Mrs. Serpliss, Mr. Winters

National Association for Music Education Statement

Equity and Access in Music Education

Inclusivity and Diversity in Music Education

83rd Annual
Dec 15 & 16

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