Tier Two

Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District

Briarcliff Intern Hopes to instill a Love of Music

She plays the trombone, the baritone horn, the tuba and the trumpet. And she’s teaching herself how to play the saxophone. Is there an instrument Briarcliff High School Senior Jessica Casper can’t play?

Luckily for Todd and Briarcliff Middle School band students, Jessica will be sharing her knowledge of band instruments and her passion for music with them as part of her senior internship with music teacher Gwynne Whitman.

Jessica’s love of band music began when she was a fourth-grader at Todd.

“I started band in fourth grade and I really liked it, so I started taking private lessons,” she said. “My first instrument was the baritone horn, but I have played the trombone, the trumpet and the tuba. I did All-County band and Area All-State, and I’m the president of the Music Honor Society at the high school.”

When she is not playing the baritone horn at the high school band, Jessica plays the trumpet or bass trombone in jazz band.

“I also play for a band called Youth Wind Ensemble of Westchester, where I play the baritone horn,” she said. “And I’m teaching myself how to play the saxophone with one I borrowed from the school.”

On her first day of internship, Jessica rolled up her sleeves and began helping fourth-graders who were rehearsing for their spring concert in the Todd gymnasium. She stood in the back and helped students playing the percussion to count beats.

“My goal in this internship is to work with students, understand how to help them develop musically and help them find a passion for music,” she said. “I like band and I like working with kids, so it’s a perfect mix.”

Although Jessica’s passion for band music is apparent, she plans on majoring in computer science at Lehigh University, where she will attend in the fall.

“I am hoping to combine my love of working with young kids and computer science. Maybe be computer science teacher, I’m not sure,” she said. “But I am definitely going to keep band and music in my life in some aspect.”