Brenda Casey grew up in Kansas in a family where everyone played the piano. Her mother’s aunt and her mother’s sister played “by ear,” and were her earliest role models. Piano lessons began for Brenda at age four in Mrs. Flory’s Musical Nursery School in Emporia, and continued through college. A double major in Music and French at the University of Kansas, followed by a Masters at the University of Illinois and a PhD at Northwestern, resulted in a career of teaching college French. But music — and especially the piano — has remained the center of her life.
Brenda has done extensive work as an accompanist for local theater groups, and was house pianist for several different Connecticut restaurants on the Long Island Sound shoreline. In 2000 Brenda was recorded live at the piano at Penguins Restaurant in Branford with vocals in French, backed by accordion and bass. The performance was later released as a CD entitled Americans in Paris. The theme was the influence of Paris in the 1920’s on the music of George Gershwin and Cole Porter among others. She continues to play for private parties and clubs with bassist Jeff Fuller, billed as the Brenda Casey Duo.
Ten years ago Brenda joined Tuxedo Junction: The Sounds of Swing, a professional eighteen piece swing band directed by Pat Todd. Based in Westbrook, CT, the band is hired year-round for weddings, parties and corporate events throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and as far away as Philadelphia. In the fall of 2014 they played for a wedding reception held on the banks of the St. Lawrence Seaway in Ogdensburg, NY. Shortly after that, they released their third CD Live at the Castle.
Joining Pat Todd as part of a two piano team led to giving concerts that began in 1998. These concerts are ongoing — now as fundraisers for Action to Cure Kidney Cancer.