Mrs. Cassidy Joins Music Department as New High School Chorus Teacher


Photo by Juliet Watstein

Juliet Watstein, Editor in Chief

We have a brand new addition to the musical faculty. Mrs. Cassidy has replaced Mrs. Alessi as the new high school choral teacher. Mrs. Alessi moved over to Mandalay Elementary school to teach the K-5th graders and she takes on some classes in the middle school. Although it’s sad not to have Mrs. Alessi in the music room, since so many students had her as a teacher throughout high school, it is wonderful to have a sparkling individual like Mrs. Cassidy.

Mrs. Cassidy moved to Wantagh from Clarence, Buffalo, New York last summer with her husband and nine-month-old son. She was in the area looking for a job and was very happy to get a call for the H.S. position. Growing up, she wanted to be a marine biologist, however in the back of her mind she wanted to entertain her musical side.

 As her college process started, she looked into colleges with musical programs. At that stage in her life, she wanted to follow her passion. She took on  AP Music Theory and three choral classes. “Half of my schedule was music oriented,” she says. 

After graduating from Buffalo State with a BA in Music Education in 2016 and an MA in 2018, she taught K-8 for three years in Buffalo. Mrs. Cassidy is a mezzo soprano and became a music teacher because she saw something really special about the content, and that’s why she spent so much time dedicating herself to music in high school. 

“My goal as a music teacher is to inspire that same love for my students,” said Mrs. Cassidy. She elaborates on the fact that she wants to take musicality up a notch and work on expression within her classroom: “We often get hung up on singing the correct notes and forget that what we are singing is music.

 As the year goes on, Mrs. Cassidy is looking forward to getting to know each student one-on-one during their lesson periods. I asked her if she feels becoming a music teacher is competitive. Her sound advice includes, “If you were to take the music education route, it is best to not compare yourself to others because you are the musician that you are and someone else is a musician that they are, and it’s comparing two things that really shouldn’t be compared. Feel free to go into it and don’t feel that you have to outbeat everyone else.”

This year, Mrs. Cassidy is undertaking the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which is an after school jazz club. Auditions will be held on September 26 at 2:20 after school in room 119. She says, “We may even turn it into an acapella group because being able to sing without any instruments is one of the greatest things you can do.” Furthermore, Mrs. Cassidy shares with me that it is very interesting having a broad range of grades in each of her classes. In Choral Ensemble, (audition-based), and Concert Choir, are two groups with students ranging in grades 9-12. She feels it is a great sense of community and special for building friendships. 

As of now, Chorus and Orchestra will be travelling to Nashville, Tennessee in early March of 2020. She wholeheartedly thanks the gracious Mrs. Langer for planning the entire trip with the travel agency. 

She cannot spill too many details, but Mrs. Cassidy says, “It will be a great time for performance opportunities and we will be driving all the way to Nashville…14 hours!”