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Alumnae Spotlight
Sallyanne Hassert '69

Sallyanne Hassert has always loved music so it’s not surprising she has made it her life calling. Her parents encouraged her to sing and listen to music, and she took lessons in piano, organ, flute and voice. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree at Alverno, and later earned Masters of Education degree from Marian University and a Masters of Theological Studies from the St. Francis Seminary School of Pastoral Ministry.

Ms. Hassert taught elementary general music with the Franklin Public Schools, but her dedication to music education and children didn’t end once she retired. Today, Ms. Hassert is the assistant director of the Choristers of St. Francis of Xavier, the Children’s Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. With her involvement with the Choristers Ms. Hassert has found the perfect opportunity to combine her love of liturgy and liturgical music with her love of educating children. “Giving my Choristers an age-appropriate and beautiful way to express their faith is my highest priority,” claims Ms. Hassert.

But the children get so much more out of the Choristers than a musical education, which can best be summed up by a lovely comment Ms. Hassert received from the parents of young man named Jerry she educated:
“Thank you for all you have done for him and the Choristers over the years. WE appreciate the job you  have done and the challenges you faced blending the range of voices from the very young to the high school aged ‘old-timers.” It took a lot of effort and creativity. The program has been a blessing for all of us and has given Jerry a way to express his faith in such a beautiful way.”

Ms. Hassert has no doubt her Alverno education has affected her teaching and her work with the Choristers. Ms. Hassert says she was inspired by Alverno’s commitment to education the music faculty demonstrated in their teaching and working with students. When it comes to her work with the Choristers, Ms. Hassert has nothing but praise for the School Sisters of St. Francis and their collaboration with other religious institutions of the Archdiocese. “It is because I value this tradition in Liturgical music that I continue to direct the Choristers of St. Francis Xavier.” Ms. Hassert claims, “I am a product of this tradition and it is my responsibility to honor this tradition by handing it on to the next generation.”

Ms. Hassert is quite enthusiastic about Alverno celebrating its 125th anniversary. Of this momentous occasion, Ms. Hassert says, “…I go back to the tradition of excellence in teaching music and nursing that has been the long-standing tradition of the School Sisters of St. Francis and Alverno College. It was because that tradition of excellence that I chose to attend Alverno; it is in that tradition of excellence that I have been formed as a musician and as a teacher. And it is in that same tradition that I hope many more generations of women will come to be formed in the future.”

Article by Jennifer Kaufman '04