Staples music department adjusts Pops concert, follows pandemic regulations


Julia Herlyn ’23

The Staples Pops concert is the only live music performance of the 2020-2021 school year, taking place at the Levitt Pavilion on June 4 and 5.

The annual Staples Pops concert kicked off the beginning of summer, marking the end of the academic year and served as the finale of a year of music at Staples. Held at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Westport, Staples music ensembles performed modern music–spanning from jazz to movie soundtracks to pop melodies–celebrating Staples musicians in a family-friendly and entertaining manner. This year, the Pops concert took place on June 4 and 5, featuring notable changes from previous years and abiding by COVID-19 regulations.

“In a normal year I would be preparing the symphonic full orchestra combined with the sophomore string students to play some epic movie music score for the concert,” orchestra director Carrie Mascaro said. “Due to the social distancing, we have not been able to rehearse as a full orchestra this year, so we had to make some program changes.”

Along with these program changes was the inclusion of all Staples music ensembles, rather than a select few like in past years. 

“The Pops concert has historically involved our older students,” band director Philip Giampietro said. “But with outdoor concerts being our only viable option for a live concert with an audience to end the year, it seemed like a good idea to include all of our band, choir and orchestra ensembles.”

On June 4, the Freshman Orchestra, Sophomore Orchestra, Amati Chamber Orchestra, Freshman Band, Anima Cantorum and Treble Chorus performed and on June 5, the Symphonic Orchestra, Stradivarius Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Choralaires and Orphenians performed.

Live music is literally what we do. All year we have hoped that the Pops concert might be a possibility simply because it is outdoors and much safer according to the CDC and other health officials.

— Luke Rosenberg

Tickets were not open to the public and a maximum of four tickets was set to each performing student, limiting the number of attendees in accordance with social distancing measures. Audience members were not required to wear masks while in their seats, and fully vaccinated students and teachers did not have to wear their masks when performing, as the venue was outdoors. The concert was not live-streamed, unlike previous performances this year.

“Live music is literally what we do,” chorus director Luke Rosenberg said. “All year we have hoped that the Pops concert might be a possibility simply because it is outdoors and much safer according to the CDC and other health officials.”

The Pops concert was the only live musical performance this year, contrasting with the recorded  Staples music ensembles for performances like Candlelight.

“I’m glad we are able to perform live because the only other concert we had this year was pre-recorded,” Sarah Thomas ’22 said. “It’s been a tough year preparing in class, but I’m excited to finally play with everyone in person.”