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Penelope Smetters-Jacono

Penelope earned her degree in Music Education from New York University, and her Masters in Music Education from Ithaca College in 2004. Prior to earning her Masters Degree, Penny was the Band Director at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where she ran the band program, including the marching band. Penny then went on to work on the planning team for the first ever High School of Music in the Bronx. Then “The Bronx High School of Music,” Penny began the band program by recruiting students, and opened the school.

Now the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, Penny serves as the department chairperson, as well as the Band Director. Her bands hold some of the highest awards from the state, including NYSSMA level 6 GOLD awards for the past three years consecutively, as well as NYSSMA level 6 GOLD with Distinction. Penny directs the Freshman Band, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band, along with the Saxophone Quartet, Woodwind Quintet, and many others! Mrs. Jacono’s bands have traveled the United States, winning various awards including Superior ratings at the National Music Showcase Festivals.

When not directing her award winning bands, Mrs. Jacono continues to visit middle schools around the city, and recruit students who are passionate about music, and will make great candidates for the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. She also performs with the Lehman College Community band, where she plays along side some of her most talented students who are invited to play in the band as well, and the Westchester Community Band, where some of her students are also invited to spend the summer playing!

2008 Symphonic Band playing the Overture to Candide: