Rory Dara loves music. He really does. He enjoys it so much, he wants to make it a career. So the Huntington High School senior plans to study the music industry at SUNY Oneonta.
“It seemed to have the most fitting program for what I wish to pursue,” Mr. Dara said. “Ideally I wish to be a studio producer, but Oneonta’s program teaches all aspects of the music industry so I may find that I gravitate towards a different part of the industry as I study it.”
Huntington senior Rory Dara is headed to SUNY Oneonta
Mr. Dara’s closest friends at Huntington are sophomore Axel Cattano and fellow senior Christopher Bavaro. “The three of us bond over our love for guitar and music,” he said.
The teenager said that his favorite teacher is chorus director Victoria Garbarino. “She taught me that anyone can sing and everyone should,” Mr. Dara said. “She’s also one of the most personable teachers I’ve ever met period.”
Mr. Dara has earned varsity athletic letters on the Blue Devil cross country and track and field teams. He’s been in the drama club/stage crew and has performed with the a cappella chorus. He’s worked toward the Boy Scouts rank of Eagle Scout.
The teenager’s advice to incoming Huntington High School freshmen? “Honestly, just be patient,” Mr. Dara said. “Yes, it’s going to feel tedious and you’re going to want to go home. But if you focus on the negative too much, the next chapter of your life will begin and you won’t be able to see it and you’ll be lost.”
Mr. Dara periodically travels to Ireland to visit his mother’s family. “I have more family there than I do here, believe it or not,” he said.
SUNY Oneonta’s music industry degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. “It will prepare you for careers in a variety of fields in the music, media and entertainment industries, including management, marketing, promotion, merchandising, publishing, production and performance,” according to the college. “The curriculum includes specialized music industry studies in the recording industry, entertainment industry business affairs, intellectual property law, music products, music theory, performance and history/literature.”
The program includes courses in economics and business on topics that include business law, marketing, management and accounting.
SUNY Oneonta is about 200 miles from Huntington. The college’s undergraduate enrollment totals about 6,100. The City of Oneonta has a population of 14,000.
“I think my experience at the high school was beneficial overall,” Mr. Dara said. “It definitely uniquely shaped my life views. Coming from one of the most diverse excepting public schools on Long Island, I would like to think I’ve retained an objective perspective and a tolerant personality.”