Credit: photo illustration / GOOD Morning Wilton

FIRST UP on GMW is an occasional column that highlights shorter announcements or updates, and helps you get a quick start to the Wilton news of the day. Have a news tip, item or something you know people are chatting about? Email us at

WHS State Debate Champs

This past weekend, the Wilton High School debate team attended the CT Debate Association State Championship, bringing home the Varsity Championship title.

There were 112 debaters from 18 schools who competed at the State Championship level in varsity and novice, hosted by Stamford High School. The topic was “This House supports a policy of containment with respect to China.

The varsity team duo of Sid Suneja and Shawn Gregory was chosen as the top team in the finals, winning by a 2-1 decision over Ridgewood High School.

According to WHS debate team advisor/coach Anthony Presta, Wilton was awarded 25% of the honors granted. 

  • In the novice division, Courtney Allen earned the second-place speaker award
  • The novice teams of Varish Duriseti and Ahaan Sharma, and Diya Nair and Lilah Gettler both placed in the top five. 
  • In the varsity division, Suneja received the third-place speaker award, and Gregory received the fifth-place speaker award.

Along with the state champion title, the team brought back a trophy for its win.

Middlebrook School Festival Celebrates the Arts

The First Annual Wilton Middlebrook Arts Festival will be held on Wednesday, March 29, in honor of Arts in the Schools Month.

The festival will celebrate the fabulous work of Wilton’s middle school artists, culinary students, I-STEM students and the collection of student music ensembles.

This show will highlight a self-selected piece of artwork from each student artist at Middlebrook. This will give families the opportunity to celebrate the arts and to get an insight into the art curriculum. In addition, families will be able to enjoy light snacks prepared by the culinary department, listen to live musical ensembles and interact with engineering projects.

This event celebrating creativity was spearheaded by Middlebrook art teachers Sue LaBarbera, Karen Golder, and Joanna Lepore, and funded by the Middlebrook PTA. The public is invited to celebrate Wilton’s talented students at Middlebrook School (131 School Rd.) on Wednesday, March 29 from 6-7:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to park in the rear lot and enter through the covered walkway entrance.

(The Middlebrook Arts Festival logo featuring the four Stride courses — art, music, culinary, and I-STEM — was created by student artist Tristian Ramnath.)

Formerly Known as Grateful Dead Tribute Band Terrapin, the Rebranded Wilton Band “Red Matter” Releases First Original Single Ahead of Album Release

Longtime Wilton resident Geoff Schneider formed the Grateful Dead tribute band Terrapin in 2013 with other local talented musicians. The band was very successful but during COVID the members decided to move on from the tribute band scene and start performing their own material.

With the change in direction came a new name, Red Matter. After signing with the Mighty Quinn Records label in 2022, the group recorded Northbound Train, its first original studio album late last year and just released the first single, “Light of the Moon.” The album is being released May 5.

The Red Matter website describes the band as “[one] with a hard driving touring ethos — performing nearly 250 shows across the east coast over the past several years — an appreciation for contemporaries such as Gov’t Mule, Dawes, Goose and Tedeschi Trucks Band, and a nod to the O.G.’s of the genre like Grateful Dead, Phish, Jefferson Airplane and Santana.” Musically, the band “fus[es] elements of rock n roll, blues, americana, and psychedelia creating a truly versatile, eclectic style.”

Schneider is Red Matter’s self-taught lead guitarist and vocalist who has been playing guitar for over 30 years inspired by Jerry Garcia, Dicky Betts, Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend.

The single is now available on Spotify and the video is out on YouTube.

YouTube video