Charles D. Jennison

Instructor in Music
Charles Jennison


B.Mus.Ed. University System of New Hampshire

M.A. Lesley College


"Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music.  Modern Jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument." – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


For more than 30 years, Charlie worked with Exeter, NH based jazz pianist Tommy Gallant, a teacher at the Berklee School of Music and an alumnus of Woody Herman's band, who heavily influenced Charlie's growth as a musician and music educator. Charlie also studied with such major jazz figures as Jerry Bergonzi, Charlie Mariano, Jerry Coker, and Ted Casher. 

Additionally, Charlie has shared the stage or been in the recording studio with such notable jazz musicians as Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, Alan Dawson, and Marshal Royal as well as backing up live performances for other exceptional musicians such as Rosemary Clooney, Carmen Bradford, Natalie Cole, Andy Williams, Delfeayo Marsalis, jazz violinist Sara Caswell, saxophonist Grace Kelly, and singer/songwriter Jon Bon Jovi.

Over the course of his career, Charlie has taught private music lessons at Dartmouth College, Univ. of New Hampshire and the Univ. of Maine as well as courses in Music History and Jazz Improvisation at UNH and Granite State College. He has also taught at St. Paul's School, the UNH Summer Youth Music School, and the Phillips Exeter Summer Music Program.

A versatile educator, whether presenting jazz performances & workshops for libraries, jazz societies, & schools throughout the New England region or coaching a jazz combo, directing a jazz band, or giving a lecture on the history of jazz in the NH Seacoast, Charlie brings his love for music to all things jazz-related.

In addition to teaching at the Academy, Charlie is also a member of the school's faculty jazz quartet. Charlie also offers private instruction on classical and jazz saxophone for all levels of experience, as well as jazz piano instruction for beginning and intermediate players.