In the 608: Celebrating the life and impact of a local choir teacher

DEERFIELD, Wis. – Some local communities are coming together to honor the life of a choir teacher who changed hundreds of lives.

Judy Brandt led the way with perseverance over the years. The Cambridge native spent many decades teaching at Deerfield High School before retiring in 2002, but that never stopped Judy.

She then started and directed several adult and children’s choirs and directed community musicals.

Judy died last year, but through the gift of music she touched the lives of many in the community by developing confidence and passion for music.

“She didn’t care if you could sing. She just wanted you to be on the stage or in front of people because she knew that that would build confidence. And it did,” Judy’s daughter Sara Cerar told News 3 Now. “She was also well known for, if you drove your kid to auditions, and you came in, you best be careful because you’re going to be in the musical, too.”

Judy’s positive spirit still fills the halls of the Deerfield Community School District today. It’s a legacy Superintendent Michelle Jensen says she will always try to strive for in working with students going forward.

“I think what she instilled in them was a confidence to do something that they didn’t think they could do themselves. That she saw more in them than what they really saw,” Jensen explained. “And whenever they were done in whatever they had performed or sang or taken part in, they believed in themselves because Judy believed in them.”

Because Judy passed away during the pandemic, the community was never able to get together to honor her life. That changes this weekend as there will be a celebration of life on Saturday, August 21st for all to attend at Deerfield High School. Organizers are expecting hundreds of people to show up.

Judy’s family and friends hope to keep the legacy of Judy alive, so if you’d like to learn more about this event, click here.