Cassie Blanchette concert.jpg

Cassie Blanchette remembers her first few years as a young military spouse, after marrying her high school sweetheart as soon as she graduated. Her husband joined the military and they moved onto a base in Georgia. It was a huge change, leaving her family and setting up her first home. She loved it. 

Six months later, they had to move.

“I was so emotional,” she said. “We were leaving wonderful people who took care of me. And it never got any easier.”

Cassie’s husband served 10 years in the Marine Corps during the Iraqi Freedom War. She was pregnant with their first child when he deployed the first time.

“Each time you say goodbye doesn’t get easier either,” she said. “The emotions! I was sad, of course, because he was leaving. But I’ve since figured out I also was angry, which I didn’t have a lot of experience with. And there’s rejection … you’re leaving me again? It’s not family first, it’s military first.

“But I wouldn’t change a thing.”

While her husband was serving, Cassie, a singer, kept the proverbial home fires burning, putting her performance career on pause. Happily for us, she is back to performing and will perform a benefit concert for the Brookfield Institute. “I Dreamed a Dream: A Benefit Concert for Veterans” is Saturday, Oct. 30, 2-4 p.m. at The Stone Church, 283 Main St., Gilbertville 01031. Tickets are $15, available here.

And while Cassie wouldn’t change a thing about her decade as a military spouse, she thinks more education about what military families go through would be useful, especially to civilians. She said military families support each other tremendously, but they’re typically young families. “You really develop these close-knit relationships when you lean on each other,” she said. But she also realizes they didn’t understand their emotions at the time they were experiencing them – and their spouses who were serving also had their own struggles. “It’s after that it hits you.”

After her break from performing, Cassie made plans for a New York concert series; she performed once before being thwarted by COVID. Much of that same show will be performed at The Stone Church. The concert is being produced by Jeremy Stolle of StolleHouse Productions. He starred as the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway and was scheduled to be part of the NYC concert. Other singers performing with Cassie on Oct. 30 are Julie Bouchard of Athol and Taylor Lawton of Worcester. The accompanist is Steph Parker.

Cassie plans on performing some songs from Broadway, which she loves, including numbers from “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables,” as well as some pop songs and a few comedic songs as well.