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Program Profile: Five Towns College, Jazz/Commercial Music Program

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Founded in 1972, Five Towns College of Long Island has a comprehensive jazz program with a prestigious Jazz Guitar Ensemble.

Students in this vigorous program have the opportunity to perform in several ensembles, ranging from big band, combos, popular music lab, jazz lab, American songbook, songwriting workshops, as well as the college’s hallmark guitar ensembles, which range from developing to professional level. One current undergraduate student was the guitar sub for the Broadway show “Donna Summer the Musical”, and several others get frequently recommended for work by members of the guitar faculty. Several graduates have gone on to become consummate professional guitarists around the country. .”. 

Performance solo

Five Towns College is proud to announce that their Jazz Guitar Ensemble has been selected to perform at the prestigious Jazz Education Network Conference, which will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from January 7-10, 2020.  “A considerable number of college ensembles from around the world submitted audio recordings to audition for a limited number of performance slots, and although the odds were very slim, we received the invitation—we are both thrilled and honored”, states Steve Briody, Director of Instrumental Music. This outstanding group of young guitarists is led by the direction of John Kelly (Head of Guitar Studies), performing arrangements by Briody. 

Five Towns College at JEN

The “JEN” Conference annually hosts thousands of musicians from around the globe, and consists of performances, workshops from prominent performers, research presentations, and industry symposiums. 

Although this particular group will be performing arrangements based on the recordings of Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow, Tony Mottola, and Wes Montgomery, the college also places a great deal of importance on students acquiring the skill sets necessary to be comfortable playing in other real world situations —- Jazz from many time periods, as well as other styles such as pop, rock, country, R&B, and orchestra-pit work

Previously led for several decades by legendary educator Peter Rogine, the guitar program at Five Towns College emphasizes the essentials of strong music reading skills, as well as superior musicality and versatility for the college’s guitar students. The guitar faculty consists of world-class NY-based Jazz Guitarists Tony Romano and Bill Farrish, Grammy-nominated virtuoso Tom Guarna, recognized guitarist/composer Briody, and John Kelly, who is a first-call guitarist.

Educator Peter Rogine with student

Students in this vigorous program have the opportunity to perform in several ensembles, ranging from big band, combos, popular music lab, jazz lab, American songbook, songwriting workshops, as well as the college’s hallmark guitar ensembles, which range from developing to professional level. One current undergraduate student was the guitar sub for the Broadway show “Donna Summer the Musical”, and several others get frequently recommended for work by members of the guitar faculty. Several graduates have gone on to become consummate professional guitarists around the country.

States Professor Bill Farrish: We’re essentially a fairly small program in which students get the attention and guidance they need. I like to think of us a “sleeper” school – not many know what we really do here, but we have a strong reputation for consistently putting out solid musicians. We put our students through a program that covers the history of Jazz/Commercial guitar. You can often hear Prof. John Kelly telling students: “Whenever you take out that guitar, make sure people remember you were there

Music Degrees Offered:

Associate
• Jazz/Commercial Music, A.A.S.
Bachelor
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Audio Recording and Technology Concentration, Mus.B.
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Composition/Songwriting Concentration, Mus.B.
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Music and Entertainment Industry Studies Concentration, Mus.B.
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Music Performance Concentration, Mus.B.
Master
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Composition/Arranging Concentration, M.M.
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Music History Concentration, M.M.
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Music Performance Concentration, M.M.
• Jazz/Commercial Music, Music Technology Concentration, M.M.
Doctoral
• Composition/Arranging, D.M.A.
• Music History and Literature, D.M.A.
• Music Performance, D.M.

For more information, visit ftc.edu.

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