PSU graduate wins 2015 GRAMMY Music Educator Award

PLYMOUTH —  When music's brightest stars gathered February 8 in Hollywood for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards, a Plymouth State University graduate student was among them.

Jared Cassedy, a Windham, N.H., high school music teacher, was honored as the 2015 GRAMMY Music Educator Award. He was chosen out of more than 7,000 nominations and received a $10,000 honorarium to benefit Windham school district music programs.

Cassedy is a student in PSU's Master of Education in Instrumental Music Education degree program, which he credits with honing his classroom skills.

"My PSU education has been very helpful in my career," Cassedy said. "Aside from providing me wonderful learning experiences from great faculty members, I've been able to utilize what I've learned in a way that positively impacts my students and their music education. What I love most about this program is that it's so practical, hands-on, and specific. Working with the professors and with my supervisor, I'm given the guidance and support necessary to really apply what I'm learning directly to my work with my students every day."

Cassedy's advisor, PSU Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands Mark Stickney, said he was not surprised Cassedy won a prestigious award.

"Honestly, it didn't surprise me, he deserved it," said Stickney. "He's a great teacher. I know that because when I work with his students, they're always well-prepared; you can tell that they really enjoy having him as a teacher. The energy he brings to what he does, his dedication, it's clear he loves his job."

The award, now in its second year, recognizes music teachers who are making a difference. Cassedy was recognized during the televised GRAMMY Awards program.

Established in 1957, the Grammy Awards are bestowed by The Recording Academy, an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that are dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers.

Belmont snow sculpture party postponed due to cold

BELMONT — Dry snow conditions and bitterly cold temperatures predicted for this weekend have forced the postponement of the Snow Sculpture Kickoff Party that was scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 14.

The event has been rescheduled for Feb. 28.

Organizers hope that the weather will warm up in the meantime, and make the snow a bit stickier for sculpture building.

The Kickoff Party will start on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. near the Belmont Library. Anyone interested in making a sculpture can review the guidelines on the Town of Belmont's website at under News & Events/Community Events.

Those who want additional information can contact Gretta Olson-Wilder, Town of Belmont Special Events Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 603.998.3525.

Central NH VNA & Hospice volunteer info sessions

LACONIA — Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice will be holding Four Information Sessions for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer. The information sessions will outline the expectations of volunteers who choose to work in this rewarding area and the training curriculum requirements.

The dates of the training sessions are: Wednesday, March 4 at the Cook Memorial Library, in Tamworth from 10:30-11:30 a.m.; March 10 at the Belmont Public Library, in Belmont from 1-2 p.m.; March 17 at the Central New Hampshire VNA in Wolfeboro from 1:30-2:30 p.m.; and March 19 at the Moultonborough Library, in Moultonborough from 2-3 p.m.

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice relies on community volunteers to provide administrative support, family visits for respite care, bereavement support and companionship to hospice clients throughout the Belknap County and Southern Carroll County vicinity. Volunteers can help provide life-enhancing support for only a few hours a week and share in the incredible hospice experience. No medical training is required.

To sigh up for the dates mentioned or for more information contact Martha Horton, Volunteer Coordinator at 569-2729 x3263 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Exercise group forming at Ashland Baptist Church

ASHLAND — The Ashland Baptist Church is inviting people to join a kettlebell exercise group.

To accommodate people's different schedules, sessions are being planned for 7 a.m. and 5:15 p.m., and will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Debbie Madden will lead the morning group, and Ernie Madden, the church's pastor, will lead the 5:15 group.

There is no charge to join the group, but organizers are hoping that participants will be able to pay for their own kettlebells and exercise mats, with costs running from $20 to $30.

Kettlebell exercises incorporate the use of 15-, 20-, or 25-pound weights in a series of exercises designed to build strength and endurance.

The exercise sessions are part of a faith-based program -- called the Daniel Plan -- designed to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Those who want more information about the exercises sessions can contact the church at 603-968-7770 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.