Ernie Jackson, a gifted guitarist and professor in the Department of Music at QCC, is the recipient of an Alumni Fellow Award from Wagner College for his distinguished career in music and education. Professor Jackson graduated from Wagner College in 1987.
“I’m extremely honored to be recognized in this special way by my colleagues,” said Professor Jackson, a tenured professor at QCC who teaches guitar, music production and audio engineering, and leads the jazz ensemble and chairs the Performance and Lecture Series Committee.
“We are extremely proud of Ernie,” said Dr. Kip Montgomery, Department of Music, Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Academy. “The College is very fortunate to have him among our faculty.”
“Young people—all people—have dreams,” said Professor Jackson, “My challenge is to balance the fine line between artistic aspirations and the pursuit of practical careers in the arts industry.”
There are several popular programs of study in the Department of Music including Music Education, Music Therapy, Sound Engineering and Digital Music Technology. Professor Jackson complements the work in the classroom with regular guest lectures by successful artists and producers, as well as scheduling trips off campus to professional sound studios.
He explained that he has few rules but insists that students reward their hard work by clapping for themselves after each practice, and he keeps the classrooms open so that his musicians always have an audience.
In addition—and whether it’s jazz, salsa or classical–Professor Jackson encourages students to celebrate QCC’s diverse student body by weaving the rich tapestry of their own cultural heritage into the sounds of their music.
Professor Jackson’s many artistic and scholarly accolades include a recent invitation from The Metropolitan Museum of Art to perform on a rare (1860s era) 6-string guitar made by Christian Frederick Martin. He performed “Rochester Schottische”, by W. H. Ruliston and arranged by Justin Holland, a prominent African American classical guitarist of the 19th century as well as an early champion of C.F. Martin and Company guitars. Professor Jackson, a Justin Holland scholar, published The Music of Justin Holland in 1995 for the American Guitar Series.
Pamela Summey, Department of Musical Instruments at The Met said, “You have done the music world a great service by educating a new generation about Justin Holland. We were thrilled to include you in our video project.”
Professor Jackson is the author of several additional books including The Only Guitar Book You’ll Ever Need: From Tuning Your Instrument and Learning Chords to Reading Music and Writing Songs, Everything You Need to Play like the Best (Adams Media Corporation, 2014).