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Department Head & Instrumental Director: Steve Zimmerman

Music Instructor: Jim Lesieur

Choral Director/Guitar/Piano: Dylan Pedersen

Adjunct Faculty:

Marching Percussion –  Andrew Thompson

Concert/World Percussion – Jianpeng Feng (Hartt)

Double Bass - Kevin Huhn (Hartt)

Marching - Tom Petrahai

Vocal Music - Sal Cicciarella

Flute – Allison Hughes (Hartt)

Oboe - Charles Huang (Hartt)

Clarinet - Dean Coutsouridis

Saxophone - Perry Roth (Hartt)

Trumpet –  Brandon Dicks

F Horn - Julia Cavagnaro

Trombone - Matt Russo (Uconn)

Tuba/Euph – Dave Winer

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Distance Learning during COVID-19 Closure:

Our department has transitioned from PS Learning to Google Classroom. This allows more secure video communication, easier video-assignment posting for students, and weekly parent reporting.

All performing ensemble students have been provided with free web-based Smartmusic accounts (different from our Classic version). Students in all classes will also be using MusicFirst to access composition, theory, and listening assignments. 

Please contact your teacher with any questions or concerns. 




The High School Music Department is dedicated to providing a vibrant learning environment that fosters intellectual achievement, civic responsibility, and personal growth. Students engage in music through the three artistic processes (Creating, Performing, Responding) to develop cognitive and motor skills, promote knowledge of culturally and historically significant literature, and encourage meaningful participation in society. 

Students learn about human emotions in response to, and in the creation of, diverse combinations of musical sounds. They are also involved in significant development of cognitive (knowledge) and psycho-motor (kinesthetic) skills which, when combined with aesthetic education, allows for keener insights as to how these domains interrelate. Students study significant works of music in order to appreciate the richness and beauty of life.

Special Programs:

  • The Yale School of Music performs 5 live performances in-school each year in order to expose students to world-class music and enrich the lives of our school communities. 
  • The Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford), UConn, professional musicians, and retired teachers partner with Northwestern to provide bi-weekly master classes/chamber ensemble coaches for all instrumental students grades 7-12. See Adjunct Faculty above. 
  • All Northwestern faculty and families are provided with three free tickets to the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival each summer (
  • Each year, ensembles bring in local, regional, and nationally renowned guest conductors to work with each ensemble on campus. This provides students with a variety of perspectives on music as well as giving our teachers vital professional development.  
  • The Music Parents Association helps provide funding for guest composers and the commission of new works for our ensembles. Since 2000, Northwestern has premiered 9 new works by composers including Grammy Award Winner Paul Halley, Robert Sheldon, Brian Balmages, Scott Watson, Andrew Thomson, and more. 

Enrollment & Awards:

Nearly 180 students (25% of the student body) participate in our performing ensembles and our guitar and keyboard classes are filled to capacity each year.  

More than 50 students annually earn inclusion in All-County, Regional, State, New England, All-Eastern, and National festival ensembles. 9 students (5 vocal, 4 band) students were selected for the 2020 All-State Music Festival. In the past 20 years 9 studens have earned NAfME All-Eastern Honors and 8 different students have earned  placement in All-National Honor Ensembles (5 NAfME, 2 Bands of America, 3 FFA).   

Northwestern's students and faculty have earned a number of prestigious awards in recent years.  For the fifth time since 1996, the 2015 Wind Symphony was named a CT Honor Ensemble and performed at the CT Music Educators State Convention, receiving a standing ovation at the end of the performance.  

Steve Zimmerman was one of 50 teachers in the United States to receive the 2013 Yale Distinguished Music Educators Award and was the 2012 CT Music Educators Association Educator of the Year.  


Introduction to Guitar

Guitar Lab

Piano Lab/Songwriting

Music Theory I

Music Theory II

UConn Fundamentals of Music I & II

AP Music Theory



Honors Choir

Select Singers

Concert Band

Advanced Concert Band

Honors Wind Symphony

Senior Band/Recital

Jazz Band