John J. Gallagher, Ed.D., serves as the director of music & fine arts for the Longwood Central School District located on Long Island, NY. He supervises forty-one (41) teachers of art, music and theater who serve almost 9,000 students. Dr. Gallagher was the lead administrator and consultant to the superintendent of schools who ensured the safe continuation of an award-winning fine and performing arts program during the COVID-19 era.
For his dedication to Longwood's arts education programs, teachers and students, Dr. Gallagher received the Distinguished Administrator Service Award from the superintendent of schools, and Honorary Lifetime Membership in both the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the district's Council of PTAs. He has also been recognized on the floor of the New York State Assembly, by the council members of the Town of Brookhaven, NY, and was appointed to the Long Island Arts Education Coalition by New York State Regent Roger Tilles.
Under his leadership, the Longwood School District received the Award of Excellence from the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) In 2022. It was recognized for its "outstanding music program [that is] seen as a model for music education programs in New York State as it provides students with a well-rounded music program at all levels." The program has also been honored by Long Island's East End Arts Council, Give a Note Foundation, The Long Island Arts Alliance, The Long Island Music Hall of Fame, Indianapolis, IN-based Music for All, the NAMM Foundation's Best Communities for Music Education in America program, the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force, and the Suffolk County Music Educators Association (SCMEA).
Bands under his direction have been featured in such venues as Walt Disney World, Syracuse University's Carrier Dome, the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the Empire State Plaza and Madison Square Garden. They have received high ratings in concert performance and his marching band earned a 2002 State Championship.
Working in tandem with visual art and theater educators, Dr. Gallagher coordinates student art work placements at local libraries, art galleries and businesses; and has had students recognized by the Long Island Arts Alliance, the Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts, the Heckscher Museum and the United States Capitol Congressional Art program. Partnering with Long Island's East End Arts Council has produced recognition awards for Longwood's theater students including Best Lead Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Student Choreographer, Best Technical Work, and Best Musical Production.
Outside of his duties to Longwood, John served a two-year term as president of the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education (NYSCAME), and has, since 2002, held the role of state-wide chairperson for public relations and information for NYSSMA. He has served as director of professional development and president of the Suffolk County chapter of NYSCAME, and in many capacities for SCMEA.
A dedicated advocate for arts education, Dr. Gallagher spearheaded the creation of the Long Island Scholar Artist program. This initiative provides media coverage to students who are successful academically and artistically. He teamed with leaders on the state and local levels, the Long Island Arts Alliance, Newsday, and local college presidents; and introduced the first class of students in September, 2007.
John is on the faculty of Music for All, an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer, an Ambassador to the Give a Note Foundation, and is one of The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation's Holland's Heroes where he brings his expertise in music education and school arts administration to a team of advocates from across America.
He performs in the trombone section of the the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra, a 60-piece ensemble that has been featured with The Brooklyn Bridge, Television's Tony Danza, Broadway's Linda Eder, comedian Joe Piscopo and his Evening with Sinatra, songwriter Jimmy Webb, The Cast of BeatleMania, Led Zepplin Goes Symphonic, Let's Hang On (Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons Tribute), and The New York Bee Gees. Since the summer of 1986, he has performed with the 70-piece Northport Community Band in a summer concert series drawing over 1,000 people at each outdoor, harbor-side performance.
He has performed in – or conducted – pit orchestras for Anything Goes, Bye Bye Birdie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Pajama Game, and The Will Rogers Follies, and has even performed in a 1940's-style swing band playing a professional wrestler to the ring!
Before turning to a career in Music Education, John was employed in the field of public relations and marketing communications holding positions in corporate and brand marketing, health care communications, and freelance journalism.
He is a sought-after public speaker who has presented clinics on music education advocacy, the marketing and promotions of school music programs, school district arts administration, and student leadership to various arts education associations, educational institutions, and high school & college students from many states including Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin; and Canada. He has presented twice at The Midwest Clinic, at NYSSMA and CMEA All State Conferences, several NAfME Eastern Division Conferences, and BOA Grand National Championships. His writings on the subjects have been published in The Instrumentalist, NAfME's Teaching Music and NYSSMA’s School Music News.
Along with being a clinician and a member of the Executive Councils of NYSCAME, NYSSMA, and SCMEA, he holds membership in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), The National Art Education Association (NAEA), The New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA), the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association (SCALA), The Empire State Supervisors & Administrators Association (ESSAA), and The Council of Administrators and Supervisors (CAS).
Dr. Gallagher earned the Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Long Island's Dowling College. His research studied the role of music administrators and music educators as advocates for their school music programs. He also holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate in School District Administration from Stony Brook University, an M.S. in Music Education from Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus (LIU - Post), and a B.S. in Communication Arts from St. John’s University.
Dr. Gallagher and his wife live on Long Island, NY. Their daughter is a music educator in New York. Their eldest son is studying musical theater, and their younger son is studying music education - each at different universities.