Mr. J’s Woodwind Land


Hello~I’m Ellis Jasenovic and I’m very excited to be teaching at Verona High School!

I graduated with a B.A. from Montclair State University in 2008, where I studied music education and played in as many ensembles as I could (one year I was in seven different groups at once!). Upon graduation, I taught at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson NJ, working as an instrumental music teacher, assistant marching band director and woodwind technician, as well as a guest clinician for the New Jersey Youth Orchestra and other groups. I also devoted several years to working with the Hackettstown Community Band, serving as their conductor.

While in college, I found that I had a passion for music theory and composition, and so I set out to learn as much as I could. Since 2006, I have composed and arranged a large number of pieces for a variety of ensembles, ranging from smaller chamber groups such as saxophone and tuba-euphonium quartets to large ensembles such as works for choir and symphonic band.

In addition to my teaching career, I’ve also been fortunate enough to have an exciting performance career. I have performed with the One More Once Big Band, the Garden State Saxophone Quartet and the progressive-rock band Thank You Scientist. While playing with Thank You Scientist, we recorded two full- length albums and played several cross-country tours, often extending into Canada. During these tours, I was able to open for such groups as Coheed and Cambria and Periphery, which allowed me to learn how to play at a high level while at the same time, forced me to find ways to be as productive as possible with my practice and study time.

I’ve definitely had an interesting journey over the years! And being someone who is big on reflection, I find myself quite fortunate to have had these experiences. To me, the great thing about music, whatever the genre or output, is that it’s all related. Having these different experiences of performing or writing different genres of music and teaching in many different situations allows me to impart this information to my students. It’s my philosophy that we all need a well-rounded and diverse education, and I’m very excited to be able to pass on this knowledge to the students at Verona High School.