Scott J. Casagrande was Director of Bands at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, IL and retired in June, 2021 after completing 33 years of teaching in Illinois Public Schools. He taught high school, middle school and elementary students in suburban, urban and rural settings over the course of his teaching career.
In addition, Jazz Ensembles under Mr. Casagrande’s direction were Grand Champions at the Purdue Jazz Festival and the Jazz in the Meadows Festival several times (the two largest jazz competitions in the Midwest). In addition, the Hersey Marching Huskies were consistent state finalists and Class 4A Champions (2017-2020) during Mr. Casagrande’s tenure,. The Symphonic Band performed at Carnegie Hall twice, Chicago’s Symphony Center three times, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and several other world-class venues. Bands under Mr. Casagrande’s direction have performed to large audiences in two tours of Italy (7 concerts) and one tour of the French Riviera (4 concerts) as well as England, Wales, Germany, Austria, Belgium and other areas of France.
Mr. Casagrande and his wife, Janice, have two daughters, Mary and Julia.
Mr. Casagrande has received 22 Citation of Excellence Awards from the National Band Association and he has been recognized for excellence by former President Barack Obama, the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the Illinois Senate, School District 214, Plainfield HS and Stephen Decatur HS. He has been published many times in The Instrumentalist, the National Band Association Journal, InTune Magazine and School and Band Orchestra Magazine. He has presented at many state and national conferences, including the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In 2021 he was presented with the Chicagoland John Paynter Lifetime Achievement Award by Quinlan and Fabish Music, which was voted upon by Chicagoland band directors.
Ensembles under Mr. Casagrande’s direction have performed as a featured ensemble in the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic (Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble). They were selected to perform in 23 Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festivals, two Illinois Music Educators Association Conventions and four Music for All National Concert Band Festivals. The Hersey Symphonic Band was named the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival Honor Band four times and the band program was awarded the Sudler Flag of Honor by the Sousa Foundation, which is an international award “Recognizing High School Concert Bands of Outstanding Musical Excellence”.