I'm Paul Hennessee
"Paul is a gifted and soulful arranger. Under an extreme deadline with Disney, I called on Paul to help with choral arrangement at the last minute and not only did he come through in a pinch, but he put magic on the page. Brilliant, brilliant arranger."
BILLY MANN, CEO, MANNCOM CREATIVE PARTNERS
Paul Hennessee is a music educator, composer, and multi-instrumentalist from New York City.
He has been teaching at the Spence School in Manhattan since 2000. Prior to that, Paul was the Principal Hornist (and frequently bassist) with the Air Force Band of the Golden West and has played in numerous orchestras, bands, and other ensembles over the years.
Toward the beginning of his tenure at Spence, Paul developed the ukulele afterschool program along with one of his colleagues. The class was extremely popular and always had a waiting list. Because of this and other factors, Paul decided to make the ukulele an integral part of the Grade 3 and 4 music curriculum. Because of his strong support for and contribution to the ukulele community across social media platforms, Paul was recently named “Ambassador” for Ohana Ukuleles. (For a more detailed look at Paul’s thoughts on the ukulele, click here).
In addition to teaching music, Paul has composed and arranged numerous choral and instrumental works for a variety of ensembles. These include published original children’s songs, settings of famous poems by the likes of William Blake and Robert Frost, and scores for multiple Shakespeare plays, including Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and The Tempest.
In 2013, Paul won the prestigious Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize sponsored by the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE) and was commission to write a piece for the Children's Honor Choir. Paul’s setting of Robert Louis Stevenson’s, The Land of Nod (SSA), was premiered at the OAKE National Conference in March, 2014 at Atlanta Symphony Hall. More recently, Paul was invited to the Berlin International Music Project (BIMP), as honorary composer. While in Berlin, two of his compositions were premiered by the festival choirs and orchestras under the batons of the renowned Australian conductor, Vladimir Fanshil, and festival creator and choral conductor, Anna “Panni” Kovacs. Paul is currently in talks with Ms. Kovacs regarding a commission for a new piece and another visit to the festival in Berlin in the near future.
Paul received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from Cameron University and
his Master of Arts from Stephen F. Austin State University. Once he relocated to New York City, he studied the Kodály Methodology at NYU and remains active in KONY (Kodaly Organization of New York).
Paul lives in East Harlem with his wife, Dr. Rebecca Weis, youngest daughter, Audrey, two orange tabby cats, and numerous fish. His eldest daughter, Chloe, is an award-winning singer-songwriter and Ohana Artist and currently attends NYU.
Paul also created a house concert series called Musicians of New York that brings together local musicians and music lovers for monthly concerts. Finally, check out Paul’s Instagram page for lots of great covers (and some originals) on one of his several Ohana ukuleles.