Explore Our History
The Morrissey Era
JOHN MORRISSEY was the Band Director at Tulane from 1938 to 1968. During his tenure the band program was highly regarded and all ensembles under his guidance flourished. “Chief”, as he was known, composed and published more than fifty original works for concert band and led performances in McAlister Auditorium to packed audiences each spring. He left a legacy that still resonates today, throughout the region. His students are among the most loyal of all Tulane alumni.
The contemporary Tulane Band Program presented an historic all-Morrissey concert on Sunday, March 26, 2006 in McAlister Auditorium. It was the first Tulane music ensemble concert to take place on campus following Hurricane Katrina. The stage was shared by the New Orleans Concert Band, whose membership includes musicians who studied under Morrissey at Tulane. Also in attendance for that concert was the Chief’s widow, Mrs. Rosemary Morrissey.
An audio CD of the1940’s-1950’s Tulane Bands playing Morrissey's music was compiled by Don Mackenroth. Don was a percussionist with the band during those years, and he collected and donated original recordings from that era for digital transfer. (A CD from those recordings is available for purchase, contact the TUMB at (504) 314-2263 for details.)