Music & Performing Arts

Photo of Angela Griffin

Welcome to the Simsbury Public School's Music and Performing Arts Department Webpage. Through this page you will be able to find the most up to date information about our music and performing arts programs. This includes an updated calendar indicating rehearsal and performance schedules and additional information about specific programs and performing arts organizations.

We encourage you to use this site as your source of information about in-school programs, co-curricular school and district-based after school activities, and inter-district programs. There is also a link to our district-wide parent support group the Simsbury Friends for Music and Performing Arts. Over time, individual teachers plan to develop web pages that will support teaching and learning in the classroom.

As a department, we are committed to providing all students with a quality education in music and performing arts. We believe the arts are a rigorous and engaging subject that provides students with a wide variety of 20th century work skills and understandings that are valuable in their own right, and provide a vehicle for learning in other disciplines. We believe the arts will play an ever increasing role in our students' lives as they face new challenges in an ever changing world.

Angela Griffin, Director

NAMM Foundation logo

Simsbury designated one of “Best Communities for Music Education” by NAMM

Watch SCTV interview with Angela Griffin

Our Mission

SIMSBURY MUSIC DEPARTMENT MUSIC-MAKING AND LEARNING: Active engagement is at the core of musical instruction in the Simsbury Public Schools. Whether active engagement takes the form of creating, performing, or responding, it is our belief that students construct personal knowledge through the process of discovery and reflection as active participants. Such engagement transcends the many varied courses of studies within the department.


Month, Week, or Day view selectors
December 2019
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Sun, Dec 1
Mon, Dec 2
Tri-M Meeting
Musical Rehearsals
Tue, Dec 3
Musical Rehearsals
Wed, Dec 4
Evening Band rehearsal
Musical Rehearsals
Tariffville Choral Concert
Thu, Dec 5
Gospel Choir Rehearsal
Musical Rehearsals
SHS Jazz Concert
Fri, Dec 6
Holiday Cabaret Rehearsal
Sun, Dec 8
Mon, Dec 9
Tri-M Meeting
SHS Band Concert
Tue, Dec 10
Afternoon Orchestra Rehearsal
Musical Rehearsals
BOE Meeting
Board Conference Room
Wed, Dec 11
SHS/HJMS Orchestra Rehearsal
HJMS In school concert
Musical Rehearsals
HJMS Band concert
Thu, Dec 12
Gospel Choir Rehearsal
HJMS Orchestra Concert
SHS Auditorium
SHS Orchestra Concert
Sun, Dec 22
Mon, Dec 23
Tue, Dec 24
Wed, Dec 25
Thu, Dec 26
Fri, Dec 27
Sat, Dec 28
Sun, Dec 29
Mon, Dec 30
Tue, Dec 31
Wed, Jan 1
Thu, Jan 2
Fri, Jan 3
Sat, Jan 4

Calendar & Category Legend:

  • BOE Calendar
  • Central School Music Calendar
  • HJMS Music Calendar
  • Latimer Music Calendar
  • Music & Performing Arts Calendar
  • SHS Music Calendar
  • SQL Music Calendar
  • Tariffville Music Calendar
  • Tootin' Hills Music Calendar

Upcoming Performances

 This year's winter musical will be Hairspray. Please visit the Winter Musical website for show times and online ticket ordering information.

Department & Student Recognitions

SHS senior Emily Steele has been selected to attend the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019 High School Opera Singers Intensive Program in New York City. Emily was selected as one of only ten talented singers from across the United States and Canada to participate in this prestigious program. She had to audition for the program (with two vocal pieces--an aria and an art song) and she also had to submit a letter of recommendation, a resume, and an essay.

Emily will spend five days in February at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, working with professional artists and teachers. She will participate in daily master classes, song interpretation, opera tips and technique, a backstage tour of the Met Opera house and work with a Met artist. Emily will also attend an opera at the Met and will perform in a recital on the final day.

The Hartford Bushnell captured these exciting student interviews and performance of the Black Violin concert (December 2018). The SHS and HJMS students who appear in the interview segments:

  • Ben Knight – SHS double bass
  • Nandini Ramanathon – HJMS violin

Remaining Simsbury students who participated in the Black Violin performance at The Bushnell:

  • Oscar Wong – HJMS violin
  • Hannah Granger – HJMS violin
  • Jameson Bodenburg – HJMS violin
  • Gwen Hardee – HJMS viola
  • Amanda Witt – HJMS viola
  • Jenna Lee – HJMS cello

Music in Our Schools Month (March)


Music In Our Schools Month

March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the observance of Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM®), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. MIOSM began as a single statewide celebration in 1973, and has grown over the decades to encompass a day, then a week, and then in 1985 to become a month long celebration of school music. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community and to display the benefits school music brings to students of all ages.

The celebration continues to grow each year, reaching more and more students, teachers, musicians, and music supporters. Schools and communities throughout the country and overseas celebrate MIOSM with concerts and other activities based on the year’s theme. Classrooms, concert halls, civic buildings, clubs, parks, libraries, and shopping malls are just some of the arenas in which the public can observe the processes and results of music education.

NAfME, representing more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers and 60,000 honor students and supporters, is the sponsor of MIOSM. In addition to announcing the theme for the year, the organization is responsible for communicating ideas to support state and local MIOSM celebrations, providing awareness items such as T-shirts, posters, and buttons, and coordinating programs such as The Concert for Music In Our Schools Month.

NAfME’s 52 federated state organizations (representing each state, the District of Columbia, and Europe) play an active role in the observance, securing governors’ proclamations, enlisting the support of chief state school officers, and establishing organizational structures to help reach individual music educators. MIOSM chairpersons with each state organization provide the major thrust for the MIOSM celebrations, with the goal of involving students, administrators, parents, civic groups, and community members. Other national arts and education organizations also lend their endorsements and support to the programs through publications and events.

MIOSM and the events surrounding it are the ideal opportunities for increasing awareness of the benefits of high quality music education programs in our nation’s schools. NAfME hopes that teachers, students, and music supporters alike will find ways to join in on the celebration through creative activities and advocacy. Learn more about how NAfME works to support music education, and visit MusicFriends to join other advocates working to insure that music is part of a well-rounded education for all children.

Ovation Newsletter

Latest Issue:



Parent Resources (Music)

We enjoy sharing our knowledge and resources about music with our parent community. Following are some helpful links:


Presentation for incoming freshmen

Schools & Professional Organizations

NAMM Foundation - Music research briefs

National Association for Music Education

The Hartt School, University of Hartford, Undergraduate Admissions

CT State Dept. of Education - Position on Arts Education

Americans for the Arts

Music Research

Long-Term Benefits of Music Lessons New York Time article by Sindya N. Bhanoo (November 11, 2013)

National Association of Music Education answers “Why Music?”: The following special public service announcements explain how music classes benefit students every day. Please click on the link to hear messages from famous professional musicians of all genres.

Why Music Public Service Announcements

Aural Skills: At the Juncture of Research in Early Reading and Music Literacy by Dee Hansen and Sarah A. Milligan Article from: Music Educator’s Journal, December 2012.

Copyright © 2012 by National Association for Music Education Used with permission


Simsbury Arts Academy (SAA)

Simsbury Friends for Music

Simsbury Friends for Music & Performing Arts website

The Simsbury Public Schools is not responsible for the content of any referenced or linked off-site page. By providing links to other websites, the Simsbury Public Schools does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites. The district takes reasonable care in linking websites but has no direct control over the content of the linked sites. You should direct any concerns regarding an external link to

FFM President Honored

CAAA Arts Advocate Award

Simsbury’s 2019 CT Arts Administrators Advocate (CAAA) award went to Department of Continuing Education Dave Krum and Simsbury Friends for Music President Elisabeth Hodson. A breakfast was held on May 9th at the State Capitol in honor of these two individuals’ support for music and the visual and performing arts.

We're Proud of Our Alumni!


Geoffrey Saunders, Class of 2005, performed during the 59th GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony on February 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. Geoff, a two-time Grammy-nominated bassist, performed with the O'Connor Band, with Mark O'Connor, performing "Ruby, Are You Mad At Your Man?" Check out this clip from the Grammys! Photo: Mark O'Connor Band (Geoff appears at top right).

Will Conard-Malley is in his senior year of college, in fact, he spent his winter term on the other side of the world! Read all about his experience in Bali. Also, each year the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) selects one graduate and one undergraduate paper for presentation at the annual SETC Convention. We are proud to announce that Will's undergraduate paper was selected for this honor. See article on SETC website.

Emily Bautista heads to Broadway! Class of 2015 graduate Emily Bautista is an ensemble cast member in the Broadway Revival of Miss Saigon. Bautista will be the understudy for Eva Noblezada, who will play the lead role of a “young bar girl named Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with Chris, an American GI—but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.”

SHS and UConn alumnus Dan Campolieta recently accepted a position to play piano for the US Army Band in Washington, DC.

Class of 2010 Ethan Kyzivat performs George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at Yale in February 2015. Watch the video.

Class of 2002 grad, Jen Silverman has written a play "The Moors" which is getting an off-Broadway production at the Duke on 42nd Street Theater. Jen is a member of New Dramatists, a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, and has developed work with the O’Neill, Williamstown, New York Theatre Workshop, Playpenn, and the Royal Court in London among other places. She’s a two-time MacDowell fellow, recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, the Helen Merrill Fund Award for emerging playwrights, and the Yale Drama Series Award for STILL. She is the 2016-2017 Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellow at the Lark. She currently has a two-book deal with Random House for a collection of stories and a novel.

The movie re Parts premiered on January 16, 2015, with its screenplay written by Elissa Matsueda, a 1994 graduate of SHS. The film is about a high school robotics team and stars George Lopez and Jamie Lee Curtis. Elissa is the daughter-in-law of SHS Cafeteria Manager Caterina Carbone. Caterina's son, Anthony Carbone, also an SHS graduate, co-produces Wake Up Call, a series that airs Friday nights on TNT. Anthony also has received an Emmy for his work on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. The couple resides in California. Check out the clip on!

An article about the Class of 2013's Dan Campolieta appeared in The Hartford Courant on January 3, 2015 and is available online. The article, written by Kristin Stoller, includes a positive quote about Simsbury Public Schools by Simsbury's director of administrative services Tom Cooke, who is also a member of the Hartford-based classical choral group Voce, which sang Dan's first published piece, "Will There Really Be a Morning?" Read the article now!

John Mundy, Class of 2010, is playing trombone in the band "West End Blend," and they're doing really well; in fact, the band was just nominated for two awards. Read the article on the NBC Connecticut website.

Class of 2008 graduate Richard Saunders and his vocal group have a video on You Tube. See their cover of Sam Smith song

Sarah Primmer, Class of 2005, will be performing in the national tour of "Nice Work If You Can Get It," which will be at The Bushnell February 4-8.

Sam Petitti, Class of 2004, is a member of the band Glass Elephant, which produced a music video. Check out the video.

Class of 2000 Melissa Mylchreest published her first book of poetry, entitled Waking the Bones, in September 2014. Melissa Mylchreest was born in Simsbury but moved to Montana in 2006. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry and nonfiction) from the University of Montana, as well as an MS in Environmental Studies. In addition to the Brunsman prize, she has received the 2012 Merriam-Frontier Award for writing, a 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize for Poetry, the Obsidian Prize for Poetry in both 2011 and 2012 from High Desert Journal, and a residency at the Hall Farm Arts Center. She lives in Missoula.

Greg Ludovici, Class of 2000, is a founder of the Sea Tree Improv Company in Hartford. (Students from SHS have participated in the company's student classes and performances.) They recently performed at First Night in Hartford.

SHS alum Brad Alexander wrote a musical that received a Drama Desk award in 2011 and is now premiering in the UK and is possibly headed for Broadway! His brother Jed is also an actor who can be seen on various shows on TV. Visit Brad's music website.

Ed Goldschneider, Class of 1989, conducted the Radio City Music Hall orchestra for their Christmas Spectacular shows in 2014. He is currently music director for the off-Broadway show NEWsical. Broadway article.

Class of 1985 Michael Stamstag founded and directs The Scruffy City Film and Music Festival in Knoxville, TN. The purpose of the festival is to promote independent films and musicians. 

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