Cassandra has an original screenplay in development and has plans for a new album in 2019 as well as several other creative projects. She continues to feed her passion for teaching in her home studio in Woodstock. Cassandra performs solo and with drummer Joe Pesz and bassist Jim Seidel as well as collaborates with many area musicians.
She co-hosts a monthly Songwriter Open Mic at the Stage Left Cafe' in Woodstock partnering with Offsquare Music to give original artists a platform to share their work. She also started the Ukulele Superhero Club. Women playing ukuleles!
In 2015 Cassandra founded the Woodstock Community Choir and continues to function as the artistic director. The choir is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and is dedicated to building community through singing! It has recently been recognized as the official city choir of Woodstock.
In 2017, she collaborated with producer John Hegner, of Starbell Hatchery Studio, to record an original song written to help promote the Food Shed CoOp in McHenry County.
Cassandra’s love of singing and the arts came at an early age while growing up on a farm in Woodstock, IL. She is the owner of A Place to Shine Music, where for 25 years she has been teaching, performing, writing and producing music. After receiving a degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois in 1991, Cassandra continued her professional training in opera and acting in Chicago where she performed with the Grant Park Symphony, toured with The New Organization for Vocal Artistry and was an anthem soloist for the Chicago Bulls. She has had the pleasure of working with several amazing coaches and directors including Ollie Watts Davis (University of Illinois), Conductor-Donald Nally, Opera Singer-Kay Sparling and she spent 6 years training with world renowned opera singer/coach Winifred Faix Brown. She has extensive experience both as an actress and musical director and also co-wrote/directed a children's musical entitled "Randolph's Dream." She has been seen performing in Illinois, Wisconsin, Georgia, Florida, Minnesota, Washington, Tennessee, Colorado, New Orleans and Washington D.C, Canada and Ireland.
She was also an extra in the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray filmed in her hometown of Woodstock.
In 1999 Cassandra shifted from opera to contemporary music. She began focusing more on her passion for writing and performing her own original songs. Since then, she has toured the Midwest as a solo performer and has been the lead vocalist for numerous rock bands. Cassandra currently performs with a band, as a solo artist and is asked to collaborate regularly with other talented area musicians. She has performed in Nashville Writer's Rounds, is a member of ASCAP and The Nashville Songwriters Association.
Her CD "Here I Am" was recorded at Starbell Hatchery Studio with friend, collaborator, and producer, John Hegner, and was released on October 23, 2010. She was thrilled to have guitarist Peter Calo play on her CD as well. Peter is a New York based guitarist known for his work with Carly Simon. The CD can be heard on Pandora Radio and is also available on iTunes.
A prolific songwriter, Cassandra's lyrics and extraordinary vocals connect with people straight from the heart. Her original songs deal with love, loss, self-reflection and dreams. “Her dynamic personality, sense of humor and interaction with the audience make the atmosphere so relaxed, it feels like you are sitting in someone’s living room. Once she opens her mouth to sing, it feels like you have been transported to another place.” Three of Cassandra’s songs, Let’s Paint the World, The Teacher and Colors have been used as the backdrops for Pioneer Center for Human Services of McHenry County's 2011 and 2012 mission videos. Her song “Legacy” was used as the backdrop for a video for the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in January 2013. In addition, her song “Celebrate Anyway” has been released as a free download for those dealing with loss and grief during the holidays. In 2015, John Hegner and Cassandra release their original holiday song inspired by growing up in Woodstock titled Heart of the Holidays.
Cassandra's studio is in her home in Woodstock, IL where she lives with her husband Philip and their 2 cats, Blaze and Misty. email@example.com 847-507-1352