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Japanese Benefit Concert Serenades Westport

Some of Westport's best young musicians joined forces Wednesday night at Town Hall for a Japan Relief Concert, presented by the Staples High School Music Department.

This special concert featured the Staples Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Adele Cutrali-Valovich; the Orphenians, a select choir under the direction of Justin Miller; and the Jazz Band, conducted by Nick Mariconda.

"This was a huge tragedy for the world," Cutrali-Valovich said of the March earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan. "But no one was more affected than the children. We wanted to raise whatever funds we could ... what better way than through music."

Chops, a student-run jazz group featuring Mike Ljungberg, Brian Hershey, Austin Alianiello, Olivia Kapel and Danny Pravder, also got the crowd dancing in their seats. A number of student soloists were also featured. They included Samuel Weiser and his sister Rayna, Rachael Shapiro, her brother Daniel and their younger sister Ellie.

All proceeds from the concert will be given to Westport-based Save the Children.

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