Jay Kennedy holds the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice Provost at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He received the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston College, and the Master of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Northwestern University.
Jay’s involvement in marching arts activities spans more than 30 years and has encompassed numerous aspects. He is an active adjudicator for Drum Corps International, Bands of America, and World Guard International percussion competitions, and has also served as percussion caption chair and judge administrator for Drum Corps International. From 2002-2011, he served as brass arranger for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps and also as program coordinator for the last four of those years. In his early drum corps days, he was a brass and percussion instructor for the Cavaliers.
For many years, he has been an active arranger for marching bands and drum corps, including US Army All-American Marching Band, University of Tennessee-Martin, Santa Clara Vanguard, Spirit of Atlanta, Jones Jr. College (TX), and Aliso Niguel High School (CA). He composed the main title themes used on the DVDs of the Drum Corps International world championship contests. For his longtime contributions as an adjudicator, judge administrator, educator, arranger, and composer, Jay was elected to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame in 2007.
Prior to his start at Berklee College, Jay composed, arranged, and produced music for hundreds of television and radio commercials, including Pontiac, McDonald's, Levi's, Coca Cola, Nissan, Coors Light, Prudential Insurance, and Nike. His work was honored with five Clio Awards and 37 Clio Finalists, three Belding Awards, the Radio-Mercury Awards Grand Prize, two Bronze medals from the International Film & Television Festival of New York, and two first-place awards from the Chicago Film Festival.
Jay’s music has also been heard in feature films, including Wayne’s World, Electric Horseman, Fast Break, and Lethal Weapon 2. A veteran of the recording industry, Jay has written and produced music for Little Richard, Sheryl Crow, Siedah Garrett, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Stanley Clarke, Brenda Russell, and Dave Grusin. He was a Grammy Award finalist in 2002 for arrangements on the recording, Virtuosi, by Gary Burton and Makoto Ozone.
In early stages of his career, Jay held the positions of Assistant Director of the Marching Band and Director of the Jazz Ensemble at Northwestern University. As a percussionist, he performed on numerous television and radio commercials, television and motion picture soundtracks, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and for several years, was the house drummer for the Wisconsin State Fair back-up band. He arranged music for musical revues at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and for various artists performing in Las Vegas and on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Jay remains an active composer and arranger and his works include published compositions for concert band, percussion ensemble, and marching band. He has been awarded the ASCAPLU$ Award each year since 1995 for regular performances of his compositions by high school and college ensembles.