GFS students perform a stick dance during an audience participation piece at the
2019 Westport Youth Concert,
"Music of India"
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 four 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, WestPAC and PTA Cultural Arts.
Top: View the 2019 YC Classroom Guide "Music of India." Left: A poster announcing the 2020 Westport Youth Concert, "Music of China." Bottom Left: In collaboration with the Westport Music Dept., WestPAC installed traveling pop-up Learning Galleries in Westport schools where famous Chinese themed art & photography was displayed. View the presentation here. Bottom Middle: Elementary students work on Ming Dynasty Vase art in preparation for the 2020 concert. Bottom Right: Chinese lanterns to be displayed at the concert created by elementary students.