Devin LaCasce, a senior a Fryeburg Academy, is the daughter if the academy's director of music Brent LaCasce and sister to academy alumnus Jared LaCasce. In a family full of talented, award-winning musicians she has managed to step out on her own and earn her own accolades as a vocalist and flute and saxophone player.
I know you've won all kinds of awards through all kinds of competitions, so what are some of those?
My vocal jazz group has won the past three years and we're going to another competition for the state festival. I won best female vocalist at the state and with my big band we won last year and this year we got second and I've gotten two outstanding awards. I've gotten outstanding awards for combo three times. I got a few judges' choice awards at the Berkley Jazz Festival.
What's it like having Brent LaCasce as your father?
I'm kind of used to it by now because he's been my teacher since I was 5. So, it is not weird anymore.
Was it kind of a predetermined thing that you were going to be into music? Was it ever not an option?
I started piano lessons when I was 5 and ever since then I started playing the flute and saxophone and singing. They didn't force me to do it. I loved music ever since I was little.
What was it like growing up with a house that was full of music?
It is always fun. My brother plays the trumpet and my dad, trumpet, piano and all these other instruments, so it is always very loud at my house definitely.
Did you ever feel like you had to step out from behind the shadow of your brother when you were at the academy?
A little bit. When we graduated people thought our music program wasn't going to do as well. His class had a lot of really talented musicians in it. I think we all really stepped up and did our best and had an amazing year last year and this year so far.
Out of all the things you do, play instruments, sing, I know you do some acting, what do you love most?
That's hard to say. I love to sing. I love to play both flute and saxophone. I like acting as well, but I'm going to college for music performance and music education, so sticking with music.
Where are you going to go for school?
I'm figuring that out now. I've heard back from all my colleges and I'm deciding between McGill, NYU and University of Miami.
Ideally, once you are all done, what would you like to do?
I'm also deciding that. I've applied to some schools for music performance and some schools for music education. Either way I just want to be involved in music.
What would be your absolute dream job be if anything could happen?
Probably performing and just getting to play a lot of music and whatever happens.
Do you have any early memories of performance where you were like “Yeah, this is what I love, this is what I want to do?”
I think all the performances. I can remember performances from when I was in elementary school and everything. I've always loved it. Just playing recorder in fourth grade that probably was it. It was awesome.
Do you have an influences or people you are really drawn to?
Both of my teachers, I have a flute teacher and saxophone teacher and they've really inspired me to keep practicing and play the best that I can. And they are both really talented musicians and I look up to them.
How do you balance school with all this music performance?
I've gotten used to since freshman year. We have, basically, one really busy season, during the winter, when we just have festivals all the time and school work is always important. It is just a lot of late nights staying up doing homework and then going to rehearsals the next day. It is not as hard as people would think.
Do you do any sports as well?
I used to play soccer and I tried lacrosse and track and all sorts of sports, but I've moved towards music in the past few years.
Because doing all this music isn't really any different than doing sports in terms of doing all that late night homework, but I imagine trying to joggle all three things gets kind of insane.
I've never played a winter sport because music festivals and a winter sport and homework would be ridiculous. I tried fall and spring sports and I don't think I was very good at them, but I liked them.
Do you have any final thoughts on music or why you perform or why you love music?
I'm just really glad I have a really great music program at the academy and all my friends are also really great musicians, so it is fun being able to play with people that love it as much as I do.