Casserly Corner: How Far We’ve Come [Part 1]

The holidays can put us in a hurry, but here at Lundstrum we like to take a moment during this busy season to look back and reflect on the wonderful year with which we’ve been blessed.

 Longtime Lundstrum student Herbert Johnson III was awarded a 2017 McKnight Fellowship for Dance.

Longtime Lundstrum student Herbert Johnson III was awarded a 2017 McKnight Fellowship for Dance.

It’s been a year of triumphs. Amy Casserly Ellis recalled a favorite moment when longtime Lundstrum student Herbert Johnson III received a McKnight Fellowship for Dance.

Amy still remembers when she met Herbert as a youth. “The Visitation Sisters introduced us, because they saw in him an aptitude for dance,” she recalled. The studio was still being renovated at the time, so Herbert auditioned on a cement floor. He and Lundstrum have both come a long way since.

“To think that [Herbert's] first exposure to dance was here at Lundstrum, I just feel so much pride and joy.”
-Amy Casserly Ellis

“To think that his first exposure to dance was here at Lundstrum,” Amy said beaming, “I just feel so much pride and joy.”

Herbert isn’t the only student who’s flourished. The summer musicals Lundstrum produces are always a whirlwind of high energy and new challenges, which is why they’re Kerry Casserly Carter’s favorite memory from 2017.

“I was amazed at the hundreds of kids, and a lot of new kids, that showed up,” she said, "Each new student offers so much potential. They helped make Mary Poppins a smash hit!"

Kerry was also glad to see returning Lundstrum students Brady German and Audrey Buzza, who were cast as Burt and Mary.  This summer, Brady and Audrey grew into leaders both on- and off-stage, when they interacted with the younger students. Kerry is proud of her students: both the performers they become, and the people they grow into.

It makes her excited for the January announcement of the 2018 summer musicals.
 

"Each new student offers so much potential."
-Kerry Casserly Carter

  Mary Poppins  was one of three musicals Lundstrum produced this past summer.

Mary Poppins was one of three musicals Lundstrum produced this past summer.

Susan Casserly-Kosel enjoyed working with her vocal students. “Watching each student progress is my favorite thing,” Sue cheerfully reflected, “watching the students grasp and implement those techniques that help them so much.”

 Voice student Yolanda performs at the 2016 Vocal Cabaret.

Voice student Yolanda performs at the 2016 Vocal Cabaret.

Singing is tough work, but Sue’s glad to see her students rise to the occasion. “I get to know the students quite well and it’s really fun to see frustration…frustration… lightbulb! That’s really gratifying for me.”

Watching students develop over time is part of the magic of Lundstrum, whether it’s in private lessons or as part of an ensemble.

"It’s really fun to see frustration…frustration… lightbulb!"
-Susan Casserly-Kosel

The ensemble work of her Broadway Arts Conservatory has been Jane McMonagle Casserly’s favorite part of the last year. From week-one to week-twelve, Jane said her student’s dedication to improving was awe-inspiring.

“My most exciting moment would have to be watching the transformation, and all of the skills they learned,” Jane smiled. Their final performance at the fall showcase was the perfect finish to her year.

Looking back on the year shows us how much we’ve all grown, and it makes us excited for the year ahead. Who knows how much further we’ll go? We hope you’ll grow with us.

  Casserly Corner is our monthly blog series drawing on the experience of the five Casserly Sisters, the driving creative force behind Lundstrum. Working as instructors in performing, singing, and dancing, The Sisters offer over 125 years of combined professional experience to draw on.

Casserly Corner is our monthly blog series drawing on the experience of the five Casserly Sisters, the driving creative force behind Lundstrum. Working as instructors in performing, singing, and dancing, The Sisters offer over 125 years of combined professional experience to draw on.

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Emily SchoenbeckComment