By: Kristin Conrad
It was during her time playing clarinet in band at Haltom High School in Haltom City, Texas that Lucy Pascasio began to see her leadership potential.
“Band started helping me be able to tap into my emotions,” Pascasio said. “Through my musical experiences, especially in high school, there were people who noticed the leadership side in me, which I didn’t know existed.”
After high school, Pascasio continued her musical studies at Stephen F. Austin State University, earning her Bachelor of Music Education degree. Pascasio is now in her 21st year of teaching but her first year as Head Band Director at Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield Independent School District, Texas. She previously taught for seven years at Kennemer Middle School/STEAM Academy in Duncanville Independent School District, where she was the 2019-2020 Duncanville ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year, Campus Teacher of the Year, and a Music & Arts Educator of the Year Finalist. During the summers, she works independently as a drum major instructor and leadership coordinator.
Throughout her career, Pascasio’s bands have consistently earned superior ratings at University Interscholastic League contests and festivals, but what she really prides herself on is connecting with her students.
“It’s a gift to be able to build and keep relationships with my students,” Pascasio said. “I think it’s important, and I think that has been, generally speaking, the most important thing or the best part of what I do – creating, building, and keeping those relationships with my kids.”
Pascasio stated the importance of teaching music when it comes to social emotional learning.
“What’s great about music is that we have built in SEL. Whether it’s directly through music or just the conversations we have about life and being good people. Because it’s not about just being a good musician – you need to be a good person. How to treat each other and what you do outside of the band hall, it’s connected to what you do here. It’s all those life skills that we want to teach our kids, and that side of it is sometimes more important than what’s coming out of their instruments. And if you establish all of that first, if you establish that culture, you will get so much from those kids. And that’s the best thing.”
Pascasio’s professional affiliations include Women Band Directors International (WBDI), Phi Beta Mu, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and Texas Bandmasters Association. She currently serves as Middle School Editor and Texas Chapter President for WBDI.
In addition to her work in the band room, Pascasio is also passionate about mentorship and empowering the next generation of young female music educators to confidently stand up for themselves.
“I think the biggest thing I would say to women in music is don’t stay quiet. Just know the best way and the proper way to stand your ground. Because when we do that, when we stand our ground and stand up for ourselves? We are standing up for all the other women. And we are standing up maybe for the women who aren’t quite confident enough to stand on their own. It’s okay to stand strong and do it in a professional way. We need all women to be there for each other, because who else better to have your back than each other.”