About Our Special School
A Heritage Of Excellence Since 1938
Marguerite Maxwell envisioned a unique method of providing musical training for youngsters in the community. The Westport School of Music opened in 1938 on Hillspoint Road with two teachers and approximately 40 students. When Mrs. Maxwell purchased the present property on Woods Grove in 1946, there were nine faculty and over 100 students. Mrs. Maxwell’s special rapport with children, her organizational skills and administrative ability had all combined to establish the School as an important cultural and educational asset in the community.
Concert pianist Richard Gregor joined the faculty as Artist-Teacher in 1958, and quickly became involved in and committed to the School. His concept of a Scholarship Fund to assist families with tuition led to the first Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert in the spring of 1960. Since that time, more than 500 students have been granted over $140, 000 in aid. Richard Gregor became Associate Director in 1960, and was named Director in 1972 following Mrs. Maxwell’s death. As teacher, administrator, and performer, he left his mark on the School.
Martha Hisey, Instructor of Piano, has recently retired from her position as Director of the Westport School of Music. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hiram College, and her Master of Music degree in piano performance from Indiana University. She joined the WSM faculty in 1971 as a member of the piano faculty, became Associate Director in 1974 and was named Director in 1987. Through her leadership, funds were raised in 1995 from Newman's Own Foundation, Near And Far Aid Organization, The Fairfield County Foundation, and generous parents and donors to begin the WSM MusicWorks! music therapy program for students with special needs. Mrs. Hisey's passion for chamber music as a teaching tool for students led to the initiation of student Chamber Music Concerts which are presented in alternate years. Her pride in the WSM faculty led to a Faculty Chamber Music concert series that began in 2000, and continues with concerts scheduled in the fall of each year.
Sarah Miller became the School's fourth Director in August of 2017. An arts administrator with over 30 years' experience managing nonprofit cultural organizations, Mrs. Miller is continuing the WSM tradition of excellence while working to incorporate new initiatives such as strategic community partnerships and collaborations to showcase WSM faculty and students while building greater public awareness throughout the area.
With outstanding faculty members, professional administration and an active Board Of Trustees dedicated to serving the school and community, The Westport School Of Music continues to serve children, youth and adults of all ages and abilities, from all parts of Fairfield County, CT.