Dr. John Gallagher

Dr. John Gallagher

Music & Fine Arts Director
Longwood Central School District, NY


John J. Gallagher, Ed.D., is the director of music & fine arts for the Longwood Central School District located on Long Island, NY. He supervises 39 teachers of art, music and theater who serve almost 9,500 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 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 the Suffolk County Music Educators Association (SCMEA), The Long Island Music Hall of Fame, Indianapolis, IN-based Music for All, Give a Note Foundation, the NAMM Foundation's Best Communities for Music Education in America program, the Long Island Arts Alliance, the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force, and the Grammy Signature Schools program on three occasions.

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 several awards for Longwood's theater students including Best Lead Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Technical Awards, and Best Musical production.

Outside of his duties to Longwood, John serves as president of the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education (NYSCAME), and state-wide chairperson for public relations and information for NYSSMA, a role he has maintained since 2002. 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, and Newsday, and introduced the first class of students in September, 2007.

John is 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.

As a trombonist, he performs with the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra, a 60-piece ensemble that has been featured with 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. He also performs as a member of the 70-piece Northport Community Band in a summer concert series drawing over 1,000 people at each outdoor, dock-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.

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 journalism.

He is a sought-after public speaker presenting 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 students across the country in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and internationally in Canada. 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 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.

With their daughter studying percussion & music education, and their son studying musical theater each at different colleges, Dr. Gallagher and his wife live on Long Island, NY with their son - a twelfth grade NAfME All National & NYSSMA All State bassoonist and NYSCAME/SCMEA All County saxophonist.

  Session Titles

How Students Can Help Lead Their Music Program


Students have a unique view on their music program and participate fully. This session focuses on the leadership skills needed by students to work with their teachers and administrators to promote their school's music program. Topics covered include attitude, writing and public speaking skills, public relations and promotions, marketing and branding.

Practical Public Relations Techniques to Advocate for Your Program


The focus of this session is to introduce public relations and publicity techniques to the arts educator. It will guide them toward successful relationships with today’s media outlets and to establish a foundation in writing for them. Further, it will enable them to take advantage of media opportunities to promote concerts, festivals, award ceremonies, art exhibits and the like.

The Future of School Arts Administration: Why YOU Matter


This session provides the music educator with an overview of the role of the school arts administrator. The session will cover several areas of responsibility including The Business of School Arts Administration, Curriculum in the Arts, Human Resources & Supervision, Communication & Public Relations, and Producing and Managing Arts-related Events.