John Hersey High School Band Directors
ASSISTANT BAND DIRECTOR
DIRECTOR OF BANDS, Scott Casagrande
Scott J. Casagrande has been Director of Bands at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, IL since 1999. He was previously Director of Bands at Plainfield High School in Plainfield, IL and Stephen Decatur High School in Decatur, IL. A native of Fairfax County, VA, Mr. Casagrande received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
Ensembles under Mr. Casagrande’s direction have been selected to perform at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic (jazz and concert), 17 of the last 18 Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festivals (Honor Band 2008 and 2012) and four National Concert Band Festivals. In 2007, the John Hersey band program was awarded the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Ensembles under his direction have also performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, French Reeds Festival in the French Riviera, at Orchestra Hall in the Chicago Symphony Center (twice), at Carnegie Hall in NYC and throughout Europe (two tours). In addition, ensembles have been Grand Champions at the Jazz in the Meadows Jazz Festival (twice), and Honor Band at the Purdue Jazz Festival (8 times). Marching Bands under his direction have been the Governors Cup winner of the University of Illinois Marching Illini Festival and have won or placed near the top of all competitions entered since 2000.
In 2004, he was one of three conductors in the United States chosen to participate in the NBA International Conducting Symposium in Rome, Italy, conducting the Italian National Army Band. He has received 17 Citation of Excellence Awards from the National Band Association, three School District 214 Special Recognition Awards, the Plainfield HS Stephen Hunt Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award, Mr. Holland’s Opus Award and the Stephen Decatur HS Teacher Excellence in Service Award. Mr. Casagrande was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2009. He conducted the Illinois All-State Jazz Band in 2012.
Active in the National Band Association, he has been elected Second Vice President and has twice served as a High School Representative on the Board of Directors. He served as a member of the Revelli Composition Contest Committee from 2003-2011. He has been the Illinois District VII Jazz Representative since 2009 and recently became an Educational Consultant for Music For All/Bands of America. Mr. Casagrande has been published in the NBA Journal, as well as The Instrumentalist, and he has presented clinics at the Illinois Music Educators Association annual convention. In 2000, Mr. Casagrande and band parents began the Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival, which has hosted the finest Chicagoland and Midwestern high school bands (26-28 bands), college, community and professional bands, as well as nationally recognized adjudicators in a non-competitive, supportive and educational environment. Students in the John Hersey program are very active in IMEA All-District and All-State bands and most Hersey band graduates continue to perform in their college ensembles and beyond.
Mr. Casagrande is an active guest conductor and adjudicator. He is a member of the National Band Association, Illinois Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, Jazz Education Network and Phi Beta Mu. Scott and his wife, Janice, have two daughters, Mary and Julia.
Mr. Beckwith served as Director of Bands at Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Illinois from 1977 until his retirement in 2007. He received his Bachelor’s degree from MacMurray College, his Master’s from the University of Illinois and has done post-graduate work at the University of Illinois and VanderCook College of Music. Under his direction, Warren Bands have performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the National Concert Band Festival, the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, the Monterey Jazz Festival, University of Illinois Superstate Honor Band, and the Illinois Music Educators Association State Conference.
Mr. Beckwith has served as conductor for the Illinois All-State Jazz Band, several All-District Bands, University of Illinois Summer Youth Concert Band, Birch Creek Music Academy, and is in demand throughout the Midwest as a clinician and adjudicator.
Honorary memberships include Phi Beta Mu, ASBDA, Who’s Who In American Education, and nomination for the prestigious “Golden Apple” award for excellence in education. Other honors include selection as the Warren Teacher of the Month, his seventh National Band Association Citation for Excellence, and selection as Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator. In 2003, Mr. Beckwith was one of two high school directors in Illinois selected by the Illinois Music Educators Association to present the symposium “Meet the Masters” at the Illinois All State Music Conference for all the high school band directors in the State of Illinois.
In 2004 he appeared on ABC 7 News honoring his teaching excellence. Mr. Beckwith was nominated for membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2005. He has been selected for “Who’s Who In Education” on four separate occasions. He has served as an Illinois Music Educators Association District and State Chairperson, the Advisory Board of the Illinois Unit of the International Association of Jazz Educators, the Illinois High School Association Music Executive Board. Professional memberships include the Music Educators National Conference, International Association of Jazz Educators and the Illinois Music Educators Association.
Currently, Mr. Beckwith is teaching part time with Hersey High School bands and Northern Illinois University Music Education Department. He resides in Wadsworth, Illinois with his wife Jo and two sons, Andrew and Daniel.