Alison Deane

Alison Deane, P ’13

Parent of Zachary O’Farrill, City College, Jazz Instrumental Performance

Macaulay: Can you share with us some biographical background?

We’re native New Yorkers and musicians-my husband, myself and my two sons. Arturo O’Farrill (Zachary’s father) is a jazz pianist and composer and an alumnus of Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. I’m a classical pianist (Manhattan School of Music) and I’ve been an Associate Professor of Music at City College since 1988. Both Zack and his younger brother Adam are products of the New York City public schools. They attended Brooklyn New School, Mark Twain Middle School for the Gifted and Talented, and Laguardia High School, where Adam is currently a senior.

M: What was your hope for your son when he started Macaulay Honors College?

Our hope when Zack started Macaulay was that he would get a superior education with the best faculty CUNY has to offer that would then pave the way for an exciting future.

M: What has been the biggest surprise?

We were surprised and thrilled with the opportunity for Zack to study abroad in Cuba. He had a fantastic experience studying not only about music but other forms of art and culture in Cuba including film, architecture, religion, dance, etc.  This was an enriching experience that was beautifully planned and executed by the Baruch College study abroad staff and faculty.

M: For parents with students just starting college, what would you say, from your experience, is the most important thing to keep in mind?

College, especially for Macaulay Honors students, is an eye-opening experience and sometimes the workload of honors courses, in addition to demanding major courses, can be challenging to balance. Zack also switched his major from classical percussion to jazz after his first year, so be ready for anything.

To hear Arturo O’Farrill’s Grammy-winning music visit

To hear Zachary O’Farrill’s music visit