Class of 2021: In hopes of becoming a music teacher, Asaro from Shenendehowa will attend Crane School of Music in Potsdam

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When we last chatted with Shenendehowa High School senior Casey Asaro last May about how he was dealing with pandemic lockdowns, he replied that he was planning to become a music teacher. It hasn’t changed.

“Absolutely,” said Asaro, adding that he had recently been accepted to the Crane School of Music (Potsdam) as a double major in music education and composition and a minor in jazz. “I have already contacted other Crane students to continue to share my musical passion with others.

Unlike many other music students who head to a conservatory in hopes of becoming a great performer, music education is all about learning all other orchestral instruments, how to teach them, conducting music groups and most importantly. Inspire.

“Music education gives me a purpose to share this passion with young students,” Asaro said. “I had great teachers and it’s a pay-it-forward way so the next generation has the opportunity I had. And that will give me more freedom as a teacher to perform outside. It’s a great career in my opinion.

Asaro is a trumpeter and started his lessons in fifth grade. It was one of five instruments available at the time for which his band manager said he had openings in the band.

“I chose the trumpet because it was more exciting. It was always something that accentuated my outgoing personality, ”he said. “I can project the sound and make sure I’m heard. The trumpet really clicked with me.

Promotion 2021: profiles of the best graduates in the region

Although no one in his family is a musician, Asaro prospered and in college also started piano lessons for two years, learned guitar, and currently teaches alto saxophone and flute himself. He also discovered classic rock and Led Zeppelin, which prompted him to learn the mandolin.

“On some of their tracks they used a mandolin and the parts were so well written, so beautiful,” he said.

In 3rd, a conductor introduced him to jazz and the art of improvisation. He took theoretical courses and did a lot of study on his own.

“Improvisation is not planned, it’s more freedom in the moment,” he said, adding that Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis were his favorite trumpeters.

Learning to improvise leads him to try his hand at composition.

“I haven’t figured out my style yet, so I write brass quintets and brass quartets or for some jazz bands,” he said.

In high school, Asaro performed in all of the school’s jazz and concert orchestral ensembles, as well as in the All-State Jazz Band and the All-County Jazz Band. But he had never played in an orchestra until he played in the pit orchestra of the school’s production “Guys and Dolls”.

“It was so much fun, but there was so much to count,” he said with a laugh.

Unlike groups where trumpets play most of the time, in orchestras, trumpets count many bars of silence until they need to be played.

“I really want to play in an orchestra and I hope to do so in college,” he said.

Despite a busy schedule in which he performs in a musical ensemble every school day, Asaro said he still manages to train for at least an hour a day. And he’s part of the school’s mentoring program in which he gives short lessons to young trumpeters.

But Asaro isn’t all about work and not play.

“I’m walking and about to do the 46 High Peaks. I’ve done fourteen so far, ”he said.

However, Crane and the trumpet are not lost on him.

“I had an example lesson with one of the trumpet teachers I will be studying with at Crane and it was an amazing experience,” said Asaro.

Promotion 2021: profiles of the best graduates in the region

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Categories: Class of 2021, Life & Arts


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