Up Close: Five Towns College

Five Towns College


Celebrating 50 Years of Multi-Faceted Music Performance and Education Programs: Originally chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 1972, Five Towns College was originally located in Merrick, NY, and later moved to its sprawling campus in Dix Hills, NY, a vibrant suburb with close proximity to New York City. While the College was first conceived as a business school, music, media and the performing arts quickly became its forte. Over the years, as the small liberal arts school developed its reputation as “Long Island’s College for Creative Students,” its students have pursued coursework and degrees (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate) in the worlds of music (from classical and jazz to pop/rock), media, business, education and the performing arts. The College’s Film/Video and Interactive Media Arts programs are among the most sought-after in the region. In addition, the College will begin offering a graduate program in Sound Recording Technology starting this summer.

Where Everyone Knows Everyone: While explaining that the ultimate goal is to “offer outstanding career prep and make our students hirable” in whatever creative field they choose, Dr. Steve Briody, Chair of Five Towns College Music Division, points out the school’s great advantage is having an average class size of about 15 students as opposed to around 80 to 100 at larger schools, allowing for more interaction between students and instructors and greater one-on-one attention from their professors and advisors. The curriculum also includes an hour-long private lesson on their instrument each week. For students who are pop musicians and aspiring artists, Five Towns has a lab requisite requiring them to create groups as a means of developing skills and securing work with the region’s lucrative corporate parties/weddings circuit and other music venues. The Five Towns College Career Services Center has deep connections with a variety of music establishments, audio companies and local schools to help students secure employment after graduation.

Superstar Former Students, Visitors and Future Movers and Shakers: Five Towns College boasts an array of successful alumni that includes Jon Bellion, Jesse Carmichael, Wyclef Jean, Adam Levine, Chrisette Michelle and Joe Satriani. Many professors have enjoyed successful careers as musicians and artists and have invited influential professionals to the College as visiting performers and lecturers, including Grammy award-winning bassist Victor Wooten, guitarist Mike Stern, legendary Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine and Hall & Oates drummer Brian Dunne. Current Doctoral student Felipe Rondon won two important ASCAP Awards—the Paul McCartney Arranging Competition and the Leonard Bernstein Award for Young Composers. Recent grad Jessica Chertock is a rising indie pop singer/songwriter who has over 11 million streams on Spotify. Other students regularly become Long Island public school teachers and work for renowned music manufacturers with facilities in the region.

Contact Five Towns College, 631-656-2110 

Hall & Oates drummer Brian Dunne (right) Live at the UpBeat at Five Towns College