Ken Adessa: Wind Symphony Conductor

Ken Adessa

Mr. Adessa’s teaching responsibilities at Mount Olive Middle School have included sixth through eighth grade bands, instrumental lessons, jazz band, wind ensemble, and pit orchestra. At Mount Olive High School, his responsibilities have included marching band, percussion ensemble, and big band. Under his direction, the ensembles at both schools have all received high awards at festivals and competitions. Many of Mr. Adessa’s students have gone on to take high positions in ensembles in New Jersey such as North Jersey Area Band, North Jersey Region Band, North Jersey Region Jazz Band, and New Jersey All-State Band.

Mr. Adessa has been nominated and selected to be the conductor for the North Jersey Jr. Area Band Percussion Ensemble four times and has been selected to direct the North Jersey Junior Area Band and the NJSMA Elementary Region Band.  Mr. Adessa is now honored to be directing the Lakeland Youth Symphony Wind Band and assist with the LYS Wind Symphony.

An active performer, he has shared stages with legends such as The Three Irish Tenors, Bettye Lavette, Al Chez, The Miracles, Eddie Holman, The Clovers, Bobby Brooks, The Stylistics, and many others. Mr. Adessa has performed as the drum set player for North Jersey Junior Region Chorus and worked with such renowned choral directors as Dr. Donald Dumpson and Dr. Brandon Williams. In 2020, Mr. Adessa was selected as the worldwide winner of the Tommy Igoe Groove Essentials 15-year Celebration Competition.

 Mr. Adessa has been participating in Montclair State University Wind Band Conducting Symposiums for the past several years. Clinicians have included Dr. Craig Kierchoff, Dr. Emily Threinen, Jeffrey Grogan, Dr. Gillian Mackay, Dr. Tom McCauley, and Dr. Shelley Axelson. As a mentor, Mr. Adessa has taken student teachers from Montclair State University and Rutgers University and has served as an advisor for master’s degree students at Berklee School of Music. Mr. Adessa earned a Master of Arts in Music Education from Boston University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Montclair State University. Mr. Adessa’s professional affiliations past and present include NHBDA, NAfME, NJMEA, NJEA, NEA, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.