Hello! I’m Casey Chapman, and I am very excited to start teaching music at St. Jude’s this week! I look forward to getting to know everyone.
I am mom to Nikolai Chapman-Phipps, who is in Ms. VanVleck’s preschool class here at St. Jude the Apostle School.
I am a graduate of Catholic High in Troy and have fond memories of music ministry, band and choir there. I don’t think I’d have gone into music education without the influence and encouragement of my teachers at CCHS, and, along with my childhood church, it’s where I developed a love of sacred music. I attended college at HVCC and Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, where I had the chance to perform in our orchestra, choir, and festival brass ensemble.
Before becoming a mom I was a performing musician and singer-songwriter for over a decade. I recorded multiple albums with my former duo, solo, and acted as a studio musician for others as well. With my duos, I performed up and down the East coast. I have been involved in a number of projects, especially focusing on folk, bluegrass and gospel music. Starting in 2010 I transitioned into teaching, including at preschools, after school programs, with community groups and private lessons. In Troy I taught at the Taylor school, Troy Music Academy, the Troy Public Library and HVCC. I have also been the music/worship leader at two churches and taught Sunday School to elementary students. In my non-music professional life I have worked on farms, in special education classrooms, in public media, and taught skiing. Being a performing musician leads to a lot of side-gigs over the years! My dad is also a musician and we occasionally perform as a gospel/roots duo called The Chapmans. He is self-taught and in many ways my musical inspiration.
My main instruments are piano, ukulele and guitar, however I also play bass guitar, French horn, trumpet and a little bit of mandolin and banjo. When I used to perform, I was sometimes compared to Emmylou Harris or Allison Kraus as a vocalist, but I think the greatest compliment I’ve received is when my son told me I sound just like Elsa.
I live in Troy with Nikolai and my husband, Jonathan, who is the equity coordinator for the Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union (a group of school districts in the Bennington Area). I have a heart for Catholic social teaching, especially as it relates to women and families, and have been deeply involved with various community groups and social justice movements over the years. All three of us enjoy attending LaSalle sporting events, and in our spare time we like to go camping, hang out by our pool, and check out area cultural festivals, museums, natural areas and historic sites.
At Saint Jude’s I’m excited to help introduce Pre-K and young elementary students to everything music can be: a way to express yourself, a window to the world, a learning tool, an opportunity to connect with community, faith and culture. I believe every child is musical and that exploration and shared curiosity is the key to encouraging creativity and problem solving, two things every musician needs, and which translate to all areas of life. With our older students, I look forward to helping them learn fundamental music skills like interval, instrument families, singing as a group and reading music. I hope to introduce our 3-5th graders to the recorder as a way to prepare for middle school band and to collaborate with the music department at LaSalle.
Most of all, I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach somewhere that already feels like home and where academics, arts, and faith, don’t have to be separated. I can’t wait until our choir can sing at our weekly communion service again! For now, since COVID persists, I’m hoping to teach each grade a different Christmas carol to video and upload to our facebook page this December.
I’m so happy to be here! What a great opportunity and a true blessing. Thanks for allowing me to be part of the community.
Casey Jean Chapman-Phipps