Photo by Will Matar ’21-band director Nicholas Mariconda stands outside, watching his marching band practice
Whether he’s conducting the jazz band in the auditorium, walking outside with the marching band or conducting his full concert-band, Band Director Nicholas Mariconda always comes into school with a smile that shows his passion for his profession. Mariconda has been teaching at Westport Public Schools since he graduated from college. Now, he thinks it’s time to move onto other things.
“It’s with mixed emotions that I retire, I’ve been doing this a long time,” Mariconda said. “I’ve really enjoyed all the years, but I believe now it’s time to look forward to other things. I will always have my music, and I’m looking forward to getting to do things that maybe I had to cut short because I didn’t have the time to do it.”
Photo by Will Matar ’21-Mariconda corrects the band on a mistake in the piece they’re playing
Throughout his time at Staples, Mariconda has worked with many groups of kids. Mariconda’s first job was a practice teaching job here in Westport. He worked at both the elementary level and also the high school level.
Soon, however, a new opportunity came up. In the fall following his student teaching he was offered a part time position. “I was very fortunate to get a job right from college,” Mariconda said. “I enjoyed what I had to do. It wasn’t a full time job for the first two years. Then, things opened up and I was able to come to Westport five days a week.”
Mariconda has experienced an extremely full career after working in music his entire career. However, there’s always certain moments that stands out to him.
After teaching for many years in Westport, Mariconda has certainly had a very full career. However,
“The highlight of my career being in performing arts is to take a group and have them start out a little rough,” Mariconda said. “As the months go by to refine them and to a point where everyone has gained better experience and they’re able to do that by performing for an audience. You can hear their growth.”
Photo by Will Matar ’21-Mariconda gives directions to the marching band by whistling
Mariconda’s intern, Daniel Boccardo ’19, has been helping out with all the bands, fixing anything that needs to be fixed as well as organizing folders. Boccardo, who had Mariconda has a teacher, is sad to see him go.
“It’s a big loss for the Westport music department,” Boccardo said. “I think it’s his time though, he wants to do other things [...] I’m really happy for him.”
Photo by Will Matar ’21-Mariconda assigns the band their formation for the Memorial Day Parade
Lucas Lieberman ’21, a current student of Mariconda, wishes he could have had him for all four years of band.
Liberman recognized Mariconda’s passion for music when he started watching him conduct in middle school.
“It’s sad of course that he’s leaving,” said Lieberman. “He loves what he does, music is such a big part of his life. Although I wish I could have him for the rest of my high school career, he’s told us on multiple occasions that it’s his time to retire. Everyone is going to miss him.”
The feeling is mutual. Mariconda loves the energy of his students the most.
“They’ve kept me young all these years,” said Mariconda. “I’ve been doing this for so long. I enjoy their enthusiasm and i'll also miss the interaction with my colleagues. They’re just great people.”
Though Mariconda will be finishing his time out here in June, he will pursue music. He is going to keep playing the trumpet. With his extra time he is going to practice more, and even try some different types of music, from church work to classical music. “My passion is and always has been jazz. Some years back I was in a small jazz band, and I hope to get into something like that again and devote more time to pursue that.”
Photo by Will Matar ’21-Mariconda poses for the camera during a rehearsal