A Best Communities for Music Education recipient

since 2013


Staples High School, Westport CT
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The Choralaires choral ensemble performs live at the 2021 Westport Pops Concert at the Levitt Pavilion on June 5. Photo by Jerri Graham

In accordance with state guidelines regarding the performing arts and to ensure a safe learning environment, we are not posting concert dates in advance at this time. 

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


Westport Pops LIVE!

It was a wonderful two nights of live performances for Staples music students June 4 & 5! Thank you to the multitude that helped make the 2021 Pops Concert possible. We would especially like to thank our program ad sponsors and the support of our generous donors:

Becker Family

Family of Zachary Berman

Chiang Family

Family of Lucy Dockter

Fording Family

Family of Colin Morgeson

Family of Caroline Russell

Sales Family

Schwartz Famiy

Siegel Famiy

Tobben Family

Tober Family

Trock Family

Music Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to our musicians who received 2021 music scholarships!

The Zimmerman: Samantha Taylor

Westport Woman's Club Eweson: Witt Lindau, Henry Nowak, Christiane Betfarhad, Camilla Vitola-Franchi, Zachary Abramowitz, Spencer Greiss

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.


Westport Public Schools Music Program Does it Again

The Westport Public Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for the ninth 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 2021. 

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.

Ten Staples Musicians Selected for All-State

Ten students from Staples Music were selected based on a multi-tier audition process to participate in the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) All-State Festival April 23-25.


Each school year, CMEA hosts regional festivals that highlight students’ advanced achievements in music performance. Although a virtual process this year, students were selected and placed in ensembles as a result of a rigorous audition process. This April, students in each ensemble will participate in master classes and workshops with world renown artists and culminate in a virtual ensemble festival performance. 

Musicians who were selected to participate are: 

  • All-State Orchestra: Zachary Bishop Viola; Janna Moore, Double Bass; Izabela Pauliny, Oboe; Samantha Taylor, Trombone; Sarah Thomas, Viola

  • All-State Concert Band: Jason Capozucca, Bassoon; Alexandra Hermus, Euphonium; Nina Lauterbach, mallet percussion 

  • All-State Jazz Ensemble: Witt Lindau, Drums

  • All-State Treble Choir: Maya Vogelmann, Alto 


Of special note are Janna Moore and Witt Lindau who were the highest scoring students in Connecticut on their instrument as well as Zachary Bishop and Izabella Pauliny who both scored 3rd in their instrument categories as well. 

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, Mrs. Innaco, Ms. Mascaro, Mrs. Muehleise, Mr. Rosenberg

National Association for Music Education Statement

Equity and Access in Music Education

Inclusivity and Diversity in Music Education