EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 26, 2014

Windham teacher advances in Grammy contest

Windham band director in running for Grammy award

WINDHAM — High school concert band director Jared Cassedy is the only New Hampshire teacher to advance into the quarterfinals for the 2015 Grammy Music Educator Award.

More than 7,000 teachers from across the country were nominated by students and community members, and teachers sent in applications.

Only 222 of those nominees made it to the quarterfinals, including Cassedy.

“It provides a really great source of pride for the state of New Hampshire and for music education in general,” Cassedy said. “It represents our state and the music education program.”

Semifinalists for the award will be announced in September, then nine finalists will be chosen.

If Cassedy makes it into the top 10 educators, he will receive $1,000 for his efforts. If he wins the award, he will fly to Los Angeles, attend the Grammy Awards ceremony and receive $10,000.

“I didn’t even think I was going to make it to the quarterfinal rounds,” he said. “I’m up against a lot of other amazing music educators.”

The 10 finalists’ schools will receive matching grants.

“It would just be tremendous. Music and the arts is often neglected with the national focus on reading, writing and math,” Windham High principal Ryan Kaplan said. “We at the Windham school district provide a comprehensive education. We know the significance of the arts and music.”

The Grammy Music Educator Award recognizes teachers in kindergarten through college, in public and private schools, “who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools” according to the award’s website.

“It’s certainly appropriate for Jared Cassedy,” Kaplan said. “Jared is an amazing teacher, an amazing educator, he’s done amazing work. I’d expect nothing less.”

One of Cassedy’s concert band students, Jillian DiPersio, said it is a “well-deserved” nomination because of Cassedy’s work with the concert band since its inception in 2009.

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