SUNY Oneonta named in Billboard Magazine’s Top Music Business Colleges

One of only 42 schools worldwide to make list

ONEONTA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – A local college has been named by one of the top publications in the music industry as one of the top music business schools in the nation for 2023.

SUNY Oneonta was named by Billboard Magazine on Tuesday, October 10 to their list of Top Music Business Schools in the nation. They are only one of three Upstate New York Schools – Syracuse University and the University of Rochester are the others — to hold the honor, and one of 42 schools in the world. This is the fourth time SUNY Oneonta has been named to the list, also appearing in 2019, 2020 and 2022.

SUNY Oneonta Music Industry Students speak with members of The Dave Matthews Band during a concert in 2018. (Photo courtesy of SUNY Oneonta)

“We are delighted to again be recognized by Billboard for our efforts to prepare future generations of music industry professionals,” Joseph Pignato, Music Department chair and professor of music at SUNY Oneonta, said in a statement. “The recognition reflects the many curricular and experiential learning opportunities offered by our faculty, staff, and campus community. Students at SUNY Oneonta do remarkable things and that’s evident in the outstanding achievements of our alumni across so many and varied sectors of the music industry.”

Graduates of SUNY Oneonta’s music programs have gone on to star with big-name musical acts, including the Jonas Brothers. Students are also given opportunities to travel to different music industry businesses, including YouTube Music and an annual trip to the National Association of Music Merchants trade show in Los Angeles. Through an on-campus position, students are also allowed to handle booking, planning and other parts of live music events, including the annual OH-Fest in the city of Oneonta.

Thanks to Oneonta graduate Rit Venerus, who is the founder of financial management firm Cal Financial Group, students have also been able to meet with big-name musical acts, including John Mayer and the Dave Matthews Band.

In this video, singer John Mayer is asked to write a “jingle” for the College during a video chat with students during the pandemic. (Video from SUNY Oneonta YouTube page)

In addition to core music industry courses, students are required to complete a sequence of courses in business as well. The curriculum also includes classes in concert production and promotion and legal issues in the music industry. Additionally, students are able to take classes in music creation using non-traditional composition techniques.

“The program for Music Industry is unique at SUNY Oneonta. It is an umbrella of a lot of different avenues of the industry,” Hannah Goldberg, a 2023 Music Industry graduate, said in a statement. “Being at a college that doesn’t just focus on one avenue when they talk about music is important.”

For Billboard’s complete list of Top Music Business Colleges, check out the link here.

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