Zippia ranks Catawba College second in state for music

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

Catawba College News Service

SALISBURY — Catawba College is ranked second among the “Top Colleges for Music Majors in North Carolina” and is the only private college included in the top five list created by Zippia, a website dedicated to helping people find and pursue the right career.

Catawba trails only the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the top N.C. schools for music majors. It is followed by UNC-Wilmington at No. 3, Western Carolina University at No. 4, and Appalachian State at No. 5.

For a list of the rankings, visit

Catawba alumnus Chris Williams — aka YUNG Citizen — who majored in music business and graduated in 2012, credits his undergraduate preparation for his success in the music industry.

“Catawba College was nothing but wonderful to me. I had the best time of my life as a music major, specifically in music business,” Williams said. “The faculty prepared us mentally for the real world when it came to the music industry. The music industry is very cutthroat, and you have to have a ‘hustle mentality.’ Dr. David Fish (the founder of Catawba’s popular music program at the college) was able to teach us that.

“Since then, I’ve had that mentality and I’ve had numerous of performances, performances at SXSW Music Festival, and I’ve had major production placements with major artists. But none of that would have happened if Dr. Fish wouldn’t have taught us that mentality. I’ve learned that success is 80 percent mental and 20 percent talent.

“Dr. Fish taught us that anything is possible as long as you do not give up,” Williams said. “I can’t thank Catawba College enough for their guidance. And I can’t forget the music professors there who taught music theory, music history and aural skills. I am able to find any song in the key it is in. Dr. Chamberlain, Dr. Etters and Dr. McCachren were wonderful.”

Williams will return to his alma mater for a homecoming Friday and Saturday. He will teach an alumni college class, “Popular Music Sessions With YUNG Citizen,” between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Friday. That evening from 8 to 9, he will be the showcase in an artist development concert titled “Live Sessions With YUNG Citizen Featuring High Atis” in Hoke Hall on campus.

Follow Williams as YUNG Citizen at or

When it came to identifying the best music schools, Zippia looked at the data on how schools performed and compared schools to one another. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics and college scorecard data from was reviewed to determine what music departments offer the best career opportunities.

The criteria used to create the music quality index and the final rankings included career results and mean earnings after six years and 10 years; ratio of people working to not working after 10 years; music emphasis and percentage of graduating classes that are music majors; and school performance including admissions rates, graduation rates, average cost of attendance and median amount of debt.

The school with the best score for each of the criteria above or on Zippia’s collective music quality index were named the best college for music majors in each state.