Student wins music industry opportunity


Photo provided by CCU

Alondra Johnson showcasing her guitar and vocal skills during a concert.

Freshman commercial music and jazz major Alondra Johnson was one of 50 students to be accepted into the Sony Music Group Global Scholars Program.

The program provides Johnson with different job and internship opportunities, which she plans to utilize in the summer of 2023. She will also receive $5,000 annually until she graduates, and exposure to professionals in the music industry.

Johnson was recruited by Emilio Terranova, visiting assistant professor and the director of Jazz Big Band, in spring of 2022.

“We knew she would be an asset to this program,” Terranova said.

After being introduced to the program and its opportunities by Terranova, Johnson said she pulled a few all-nighters to meet the deadline and submitted several letters of recommendation from her mentors. After a few months, she checked her email while at a friends house listening to vinyls and saw the words, “Sony Music Group” followed by a “Congratulations!”

“I thought it was spam,” Johnson said, “I saw it and thought, ‘is this real?’”

Johnson said she immediately called her mom to tell her the news after she read the email.

She said she looks forward to being a voice for women in the male dominated business, where only 4% of sound engineers are women. She grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, where she said her background and upbringing makes this opportunity particularly special.

“Being Appalachian and Latina and having little to no resources for music gave me more drive to create a place or opportunity for music,” she said. “I want to be the person I wish I had.”

Aside from the program, Johnson is making an impact at CCU through her participation in two ensembles, Acoustic Songbook and Pop 101. Acoustic Songbook will perform on April 21 in the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the pop ensemble will be on April 25 in Wheelwright Auditorium.

She and a few other students have also turned their official ensemble into a rock band called “Red Volt Raven,” and they plan to play regional gigs in the summer. She said she is looking forward to furthering her career here at CCU and beyond.