The finale of the 2020 Westport Youth Concert, "Music of China"
The Mission of the Westport Public Schools is to prepare all students to reach their full potential as life-long learners and socially responsible contributors to our global community. In order for our students to become responsible global citizens, then we must provide them with an understanding of the diversity and uniqueness of global cultures. The Arts serves as an integral component of a comprehensive strategy to assist in the development of a context for a global entrepreneurial initiative.
An example of the Music Department's global initiatives is
The Westport Youth Concert, performed by Staples High School musicians as well as Middle School and Elementary groups. Previous concert themes exploring music and cultures from India and Southern Europe, for example, made connections to curricular threads such as language, literature, art, geography, dance and of course music. In February 2020, the Youth Concert explored the Music & Culture of China. Early in the year a comprehensive Classroom Guide was shared with educators to enable students to immerse themselves in the featured culture of the concert.
Over the last several years, the Westport Youth Concert has evolved into a collaborative, cross-curricular event involving not only music, but visual art, foreign language and outside organizations such as the Westport Library, Westport Arts Advisory Committee, WestPAC and PTA Cultural Arts.
For 2021, the concert went virtual. A video series of
"America's Voices," celebrating the diversity of American
musicians, composers and artists was shown to Westport
students Grades 3-5. Click below to view installments
of the week-long series:
Day 5: America's Voices featuring the Orphenians
Above: View the 2019 YC Classroom Guide "Music of India." Left: A poster announcing the 2020 Westport Youth Concert, "Music of China," along with photos of elementary classroom projects related to China.