All the stars aligned for last night’s Westport Pops — the annual end-of-school- year/kick-off-the-summer spectacular at the Levitt Pavilion.
The weather was superb. COVID has eased. The crowd of parents, siblings, classmates, and folks with kids long out of school was ready for a great show.
They got it.
Staples High School’s Symphonic Band and Orchestra, Choralaires, Orphenians, Jazz Ensemble and small groups — plus the Middle School Percussion Ensemble — put on a professional-worthy show.
Westport has been named a “Best Community for Music Education” by the NAMM Foundation — for 9 years in a row.
Last night’s concert was proof — not that any was needed — that this is a town that supports, nurtures and embraces its young musicians.
To the more than 130 musicians on stage last night: Bravo!
Stafford Thomas calls himself “the proud Pops principal” of Staples High School.
The Middle School Percussion Ensemble warms up the crowd.
Emcee David Pogue (“CBS Sunday Morning”) entertains the crowd with his trademark easy wit. The father of 3 current or former Staples musicians, he graduated from Yale with a music degree — and spent 10 years as a Broadway conductor and arranger.
Luke Rosenberg leads the Orphenians in a stirring version of the national anthem.
The Jazz Ensemble’s numbers range from traditional to Afro-pop.
Orchestra members listen as their classmates perform.
Ryan Porio channels his inner Frank Sinatra on “Come Fly With Me.”
A small portion of the crowd — the largest since COVID first struck.
Vibraphonist Amy Ginzburg solos on “The Nearness of You.”
The view from the sound booth. (Photo/Brandon Malin)
Symphonic Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Choralaiares’ join in selections ranging from “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “This is Me” to a “West Side Story” medley.
Music instructors (from left) Jeri Hockensmith, Luke Rosenberg, Carrie Mascaro, Phil Giampietro, Mary Gardner and Caitlin Serpliss acknowledge applause before the finale.
Staples graduates Christian Melhuish and Samantha Chachra close the show with “Make Our Garden Grow” from “Candide.” (All photos/Dan Woog unless otherwise noted.)
(Last night’s Pops Concert was free. But donations are always welcome, to defray ongoing costs. Click here to contribute.)
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Yes it was beautiful.
Such extraordinary talent
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Covid is alive and well and infecting people daily. I sang the Verdi Requiem with the Norwalk symphony and 15 out of 60 singers got infected. That is only the number that I know about! My daughter, who is vaccinated had it and was pretty sick, and two weeks later cannot taste or smell. Covid is around, and it makes you sick! She got it at an outside gathering!