A Best Communities for Music Education recipient

since 2013


Staples High School, Westport CT
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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. 


We are Grateful.

We cannot express enough the gratitude we feel to everyone who was an integral part of the 80th Candlelight Concert. From the students and teachers who practiced and performed under extraordinary circumstances, to the production team, to the many volunteers, to the generosity of donors and to the community we are so fortunate to be a part of... thank you.


We look forward in 2021 to more opportunities we can share the talents of our student musicians and ultimately to when they once again perform side by side.

Congratulations to Staples Musicians Selected to CMEA Western Regionals Honors Ensembles

Zach Abramowitz - Trombone

Lucy Belknap - Violin

Christiane Betfarhad - Soprano

Zach Bishop - Viola

Jason Capozucca - Alto Saxophone & Bassoon

Coco Crombie - Flute

Lucy Dockter - Cello

Tanvi Gorre - Flute

Bella Griffin - Flute

Mansha Gupta - Clarinet

Julia Herlyn - Violin

Alex Hermus - Euphonium

Noah Jahnel - Jazz & Classical Tenor Saxophone

Nina Lauterbach - Mallet Percussion

Witt Lindau - Jazz Drums

Ariston Liu - Viola

Alex Markus-Malone - French Horn

Delaney McGee - Jazz Trumpet

Neva Mermagen - Clarinet

Janna Moore - String Bass

Henry Nowak - Jazz Trumpet

Mateo Olea - Violin

Jaime Paul - Oboe

Izabela Pauliny - Oboe

Caroline Russell - Flute

Rebecca Schussheim - Cello

Ella Shi - Violin

Jason Stein - Viola

Samantha Taylor - Trombone

Sarah Thomas - Viola

Maya Vogelmann - Alto

Westport Music Department Once Again Recognized Among Best Communities for Music Education

For the eight straight year, the Westport Public Schools Music Dept. has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation. Recognized for its outstanding commitment to music education, Westport joins 623 districts across the country in receiving this prestigious award for 2019. The recognition is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

Staples Receives Top Prize at Darien Jazz Jamboree

Friday, March 6, the Staples Jazz Ensemble was awarded first place at the seventh annual Darien High School Jazz Jamboree. Ten area jazz ensembles participated in the event, which was adjudicated by UCONN jazz faculty members Earl MacDonald and John Mastroianni. The SJE received consistently high marks in all captions, including perfect scores for Time as well as
Presentation/Programming from both adjudicators. Mastroianni described the rhythm section as “burning” and commended the ensemble for playing
“a difficult program very well. That goes for everyone.” The two adjudicators awarded an Outstanding Musicianship Award to junior drummer Dylan Goodman, who was heavily featured on the band’s closing number.
The ensemble received a total score of 186 out of a possible 200 points split among 8 captions, and while the top three bands were separated by just five points, Staples received minimal deductions. “When we finished our performance, it felt like it was the best we had played all year” expressed Phil Giampietro, who is in his first year as director of bands at Staples. “To me, that feeling is the most important takeaway from this event. I know that performing at such a high level is important to the students as well, and they are incredibly excited to be recognized for all their hard work. Considering the level of musicianship being displayed by the other bands at the festival, our students should feel very proud.”


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

The Stradivarius Chamber Orchestra performs under strict safety protocols at
the recording of the 80th Candlelight Concert.
Photo by Dylan Goodman

© 2020 Staples Music, Staples High School, Westport, CT