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Snapshot: Jackie Gaudet



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Family: My parents, my stepdad, my brother, his wife, my stepdad’s family, my boyfriend, his daughters, and their extended family.

Pets: Three cats and a pit bull.

How long have you lived in Newtown? I don’t now, but I grew up here. My mother still lives here, and I have a lot of friends and connections still here.

Career: I own and operate Jackie Gaudet Voice Studio in Sandy Hook, where I teach singing lessons. It has been my life’s work and it brings me great joy. I teach students from age 8 to 80.

What do you like to do with your free time? Gardening, anything outdoors with nature including lake swimming in summer, stand-up paddleboard, and kayaking. I love cross-country and downhill skiing in the winter. And jogging — again, anything outdoors in nature, count me in.

Do you have a favorite author? Doug Tallamy, and I love the poet Mary Oliver, and lyricists. Singing is about telling stories, and there are some amazing lyricists. To me, singing is a healing thing. Singing is telling stories in a way that the person who is listening feels it so much, and there’s a sense of community and a sense of healing. People think singing is this narcissistic thing, but to me it’s a healing thing. Even if you hear somebody sing and it makes you cry, it makes you feel less alone. That person is expressing their sadness, so you can express your sadness, so you feel less alone, and isn’t that the key to everything?

Are you part of any clubs or organizations? I’m a founding member of Protect Our Pollinators, and a proponent of The Homegrown National Park.

Who or what has been the greatest influence on your life? Music, nature, and my mother.

If you could spend the day with one person, living or deceased, who would you pick and why? My grandmother, and for living, Jane Goodall. What a wise, wonderful, chill, Zen woman. I feel like being in her presence would make me go “Ahhhhh” (exhales).

What is the most recent movie you have seen in the theater? I don’t go to movies really, but I think the last one was The Green Book. It was an amazing movie.

Favorite musical genre? Musical theater, jazz, and 70’s rock.

Favorite musical performers? Audra McDonald, Dianne Reeves, Bruce Hornsby, Joni Mitchell.

What was the most recent concert you went to? Dianne Reeves. It was like seeing a living legend.

Where do you find inspiration? I find direction from people that live their lives in such a way that they are an example of integrity and kindness. I also find inspiration from my students. They’re really amazing.

Do you have any pet peeves? People that are unkind. People that don’t have empathy for others.

Favorite colors? Yellow and blue. They’ve been my favorites since I was a little girl.

Do you have a favorite travel destination? I love Wellfleet, Cape Cod; and Saint-Malo and Mont Saint-Michel, in France. I used to be in corporate and private aviation and got to go to some cool places. That’s how I found those last two. Also the Uinta Mountains in Utah, where my father lives.

What is your favorite thing about Newtown? The people and the excellent music department in the schools, of which I am a product.

What would you like to see covered more in The Newtown Bee? Environmental issues.

Do you have a personal credo? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I also feel very strongly that people need to be seen and recognized for who they are.

Jackie Gaudet —Jill Baimel photo
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