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Patrick Hennessey

Professor of Music
Director, Stetson University Jazz Ensemble

Patrick Hennessey possesses a wide breadth of experience as a professional musician, educator and ensemble director. A native of New Orleans with extended residences in Southern California and Hawaii, Hennessey's performance credits include the touring Broadway shows, A Chorus Line, Hello Dolly, Evita, Peter Pan, Grease and Anything Goes. As a freelance musician, he has played for such luminaries as Burt Bacharach, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Natalie Cole, Johnnie Mathis, Bob Hope, Marvin Hamlisch and Rosemary Clooney. Selected big band experiences of note have included the Del Courtney Orchestra, the Tom Kubis Big Band and performances with the Bill Watrous Big Band.

An experienced and versatile educator, Hennessey led the jazz ensemble program at the University of Hawaii to national acclaim, with performances at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, the Reno Jazz Festival, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival and two appearances at the North Texas Jazz Festival in Addison, Texas. During his tenure, he welcomed many renowned clinicians and guest soloists to work with his ensembles, including Jeff Jarvis, Jim Widner, Eric Miyashiro, Wycliffe Gordon, Bunky Green, Bill Cunliff, Kim Richmond, Bobby Sanabria, Emil Richards, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Gabe Baltazar.

He has held adjunct positions at both Chaminade University of Honolulu and Brigham Young University - Hawaii, and served as the education director and co-artistic director of the Manoa Jazz and Heritage Festival. Hennessey also served as the director of bands at Hawaii Pacific University, where he was charged with developing a comprehensive band program. He concluded his career at HPU leading the Wind Symphony on a concert tour, with performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Most recently, he taught music theory at Florida Institute of Technology.

Hennessey earned his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, writing his dissertation on Henry Berger (1844-1929) - the legendary bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band. Die Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung un Förderung der Blasmusik (I.G.E.B.) selected his work for the 2010 Fritz Thelen Prize, given biannually for the outstanding dissertation in the field of wind music research. He also holds a master of arts degree in music education, a bachelor of music in trombone performance, and maintains active membership in numerous professional and musicological organizations.

Hennessey has presented his research both nationally and internationally on topics ranging from Hawaiian music to the jazz avant-garde, and has published in the Journal of Band Research, the New Grove Dictionary of American Music Online, the I.G.E.B. Mitteilungsblatt and Alta Musica. Hennessey is currently the director of the Stetson University Jazz Ensemble and also the director of the Space Coast Jazz Orchestra.


  • Ph.D., musicology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • M.A., music education, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • B.M., trombone performance, California State University, Long Beach

Course Topics

  • Jazz Ensemble

Research Interests

  • Hawaiian music
  • Music of the avant-garde
  • Band history/brass bands of New Orleans
  • Jazz history



  • Henry Berger: From Prussian Army Musician to "Father of Hawaiian Music," the Life and Legacy of Hawaii's Bandmaster. Ed. Bernhard Habla. Tutzing, Germany: Hans Schneider, 2013.


  • "Beyond the Ukulele: Portuguese Influence on the Musical Traditions of Hawaii," in Alta Musica, edited by Bernhard Habla. Tutzing, Germany: Hans Schneider, 2014.

  • "Heinrich Berger: Father of Hawaiian Music," In Militärmusik im Diskurs: Eine Schriftenreiche des Militärmusikdienstes der Bundeswehr, Band 7, edited by Michael Schramm and Manfred Heidler, 343-344. Bonn: Bundesamt für Wehrverwaltung, 2012.

  • "Heinrich Berger: Prussian Son & Father of Hawaiian Music," In Alta Musica, edited by Bernhard Habla, 151-163. Tutzing, Germany: Hans Schneider, 2012.

  • "Henry Berger" in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed., Charles Hiroshi Garrett, ed. (Oxford Music Online, 2010).

  • "Launching a Classic: Aloha 'Oe and the Royal Hawaiian Band Tour of 1883." Journal of Band Research 37/1 (Fall 2001): 29-44.


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