From Fairfield’s two high schools, 88 students have been accepted into the Connecticut Music Educators Association’s Western Regional Festival.

Each year, students have the opportunity to audition for the festival where they are offered professional evaluation of their performance skills and receive scores based on their performances. Based on their scored evaluations, students are selected to participate in the festival where they combine with other students throughout the region to perform with a guest conductor. Participation in the festival requires excellent performance skills, as well as high level music literacy capabilities.

This year, the following students from Fairfield Warde High School were accepted:

Band: Sean Byington, Jacob Colao, Mei Mei Dittrich, Henry Friedman, Zoe Gupta, Justin Harris, Niam Kothari, Sami Omaish, Maria Rodriguez and Molly Scatenato.

Jazz Band: Mike Chapin and Kevin Tzanetis

Choir: Jessica Becker, Dana Calamari, Mallory Elliott, Marie Fulda, Halley Goodrich, Julia Haas, Katie Harris, Emily Hoffman, Julia Johnson, Maggie Kruse, Daniel McAleese, Nicole Park, Sam Peterson, Claire Regan, Olivia Seymour, Paige Socol, Benjamin Sullivan, Kaylie Vigeant and Elizabeth Winter.

Orchestra: Meghai Choudhury, Harry Graney-Green, Aaron Kiley, Kang Min Nam and Jordan Pistilli.

The following students from Fairfield Ludlowe High School were accepted:

Band: Brennen Alves, Lily Aston, Kieran Barker, Michelle Bookas, Sophia Bookas, Alex Bow, Jingyi Dai, Harrison Elliot, Max Ephron, Nathaniel Epstein, Nick Fech, Michael Garbarino, Aidan Kilgallon, Christian Kinne, Samuel Koeck, Jack McCarthy, Sarah McKinnis, Tess Noonan, Alexa Perillo, Aaron Pleasure-Kranowitz, Thomas Roberts, Liam Rosengren, Patrick Ryan, Bennett Spencer, Jaiman Vyas, Aiden Walters, Carolyn Nesbitt, and Lila Nulf.

Jazz Band: Lauren DeWitt.

Choir: Kieran Brown, Blaise Carter, Logan Ciuci, Caitlyn Golynker, Maddie McDermott, Jack Owens, Eden Pleasure-Kranowitz, Norah Procopio, Alexandra Therriault, and Nicole Varvaras.

Orchestra: Emmett Adams, Nicole Campbell, Xenia Efimov, Gerald Kim, Michael Kutsch, Thomas Longo, Leila Mishalani, Sofia Nangle, Jeremy Page and Lily Solz.

Bankwell invites the community to help spread some extra holiday cheer this season through three collections in Bankwell’s Fairfield County branches.

For Person-to-Person’s “Keeping Warm” annual coat drive, Bankwell is collecting new and gently used winter outerwear for all ages and sizes through Dec. 31.

Through Dec. 6, the bank is also collecting new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls of all ages. All donations will be distributed to kids and families throughout Fairfield County as part of Inspirica’s holiday gift collection.

Drop-off locations:

Bankwell in Norwalk: 370 Westport Ave.

Bankwell in New Canaan: 208 Elm St.

Bankwell in Wilton: 47 Old Ridgefield

Bankwell in Fairfield: One Sasco Hill Road and 2220 Black Rock Turnpike

Bankwell in Stamford: 612 Bedford St.

Finally, Bankwell is helping Kids Helping Kids and its annual “Gift of Giving” collection.

Through Dec. 7, Bankwell is collecting gently used and new toys, sports equipment, games, crafts, puzzles for kids, and jewelry, frames, household items, wallets, like-new clothing, accessories for adults. Label all bags and boxes “KHK Gift of Giving Event.” Kids Helping Kids creates a pop-up store on Dec. 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Boys and Girls Club in Stamford.

Drop-off locations:

Bankwell in New Canaan: 208 Elm St.

Bankwell in Stamford: 612 Bedford St.

The Fairfield Museum invites professional, serious amateur and student photographers from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to participate in the IMAGES 2018 Juried Photography Show.

Submissions will be accepted from Dec. 1 through Jan. 22. IMAGES 2018 provides an opportunity for artists to connect with prominent collectors, gallery owners, fellow photographers, and the public.

A jury of artists, photographers, and curators selects approximately 40 submitted photographs for exhibition in the show, which will be on display at the Fairfield Museum and History Center from March 1 to April 15.

For rules and details,

The City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery is inviting submissions from artists 18 and over for a new exhibit at the Maritime Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words.”

The exhibit will run from Jan. 29 to May 11 at the gallery, located in the Maritime Parking Garage exhibit space in Norwalk.

Every picture tells a story — it can communicate to anyone in the world a complex idea with just a single image, no translation needed. The Maritime Garage Gallery is seeking work that captures how the artist would communicate their stories, emotions, concerns, memories, and ideas about life, nature, hope, world events, humanity, etc. into works of art. The exhibit will be curated by Nadia Martinez.

For online guidelines and submissions, go Please email with any questions. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 16.

How did government-sponsored messages about World War I affect those who lived through it? See how the federal government used posters, publicity campaigns, and censorship of critical viewpoints to inspire support and sacrifice — on the home and military fronts — at the Fairfield Museum’s newest exhibition, “Fairfield and the Great War.”

This exhibition explores these messages and how they influenced people in the Fairfield and Bridgeport area, where wartime manufacturing made the city a boomtown. Also on view are uniforms, memorabilia, letters from locals serving in WWI and more.

The exhibition runs through Jan. 21 in the Spaght Gallery.

The Fairfield Museum, at 370 Beach Road, is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Do you drive on the Merritt Parkway late at night or early in the morning between Fairfield and Westport? Then be prepared for some delays because of a $56.7 million project that won’t be finished until August 2019.

The project will focus on a five-mile stretch of the parkway between the Congress Street bridge in Fairfield to the Newtown Turnpike overpass in Westport.

The project will include new pavement in both the northbound lanes and work on 11 structures related to the historic bridges, built nearly 80 years ago.

There’s also upgrades planned for guiderails, drainage and restoration of the historic bridges. With all this work, lane closures are needed.

Northbound lane closures are planned from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Saturday to Wednesday and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Southbound lane closures are from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday; from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.