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A Best Communities for Music Education recipient

since 2013


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Staples High School, Westport CT
Ms Hockensmith conducts an ensembles at the 2022 Westport Pops Concert in June.
Photo by Allison Ginsberg.

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

APR 27  Spring Orchestra Concert

7:30pm, SHS Auditorium

MAY 12  Spring Choral Concert

7:30pm, SHS Auditorium

MAY 25  SHS/MS Chamber Concert

7:00pm, SHS Cafeteria

MAY 29  Memorial Day Parade

8:00am, Westport

JUN 9  Westport Pops Concert

7:00pm, Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts (Lawn open 5:30pm)


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Westport Pops Returns to the Levitt June 9!

The Westport Pops Concert at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts returns this year on Friday, June 9. The sell-out event features the nationally recognized Staples High School Symphonic Orchestra and Band, Jazz Ensemble, Choralaires and other small group ensembles. This musical tradition, hosted by David Pogue, was established in 2016 and is a highly anticipated highlight of the Levitt Pavilion’s Spring programming. 

The lawn opens for concert goers at 6:00pm (NEW TIME!) and BYO chair as the concert begins at 7:00pm. It promises to be a memorable event with great music, great fun and great food on the premises from area food trucks. (In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be performed in the Staples High School auditorium at 70 North Avenue, where tickets will be honored.)

Tickets are free and can be acquired by using the button below beginning Wednesday, May 31 at 9:00am on a first-come, first-served basis. Although tickets are free, a suggested donation of $15 per ticket is requested to help offset the concert’s production costs.

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*Link becomes active May 31, 9:00am


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."

2022 Candlelight Highlights


SHS Musicians Receive National Honors!

Two music department students have received All-National honors! In November, Delaney McGee (trumpet) and Witt Lindau (drums) will both be participating in the National Association for Music Education honors orchestra and "modern band" (rock band) respectively. In order to be eligible, both students needed to have already earned All State honors, and then were selected by video audition from the top student musicians across the country.

Additionally, Jason Capozucca (bassoon), Ana Jahnel (tenor saxophone) and Kendra Cheng (violin) were selected as alternates.

SHS Tri-M New Website

The SHS Tri-M Music Honor Society, an honor society of student musicians, is ready for new challenges this year and launches a new website to keep students informed of the latest happenings. President Julia Herlyn and Advisor Ms Mascaro are excited for what this year has in store. Check out the new SHS Tri-M website at

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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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