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CCU student earns Sony Music Group Global Scholars award

November 29, 2022
CCU music student Alondra Johnson, is one of 50 scholarship recipients selected by the Sony Music Group Global Scholars program.

Alondra Johnson, a freshman music student at Coastal Carolina University, is one of 50 scholarship recipients selected by the Sony Music Group (SMG) Global Scholars program. The new initiative is designed to help educate the next generation of music leaders.

SMG received applications from more than 70 countries. The Global Scholars program expands the company’s dedication to recruit and advance underrepresented talent through educational partnerships, internships, and career advancement opportunities.

Johnson learned about the scholarship opportunity from one of her professors, Emilio Terranova, who teaches in the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. He said, “I first met Alondra when she auditioned last spring. She struck me as an extremely intelligent and skilled musician. This, combined with her unparalleled work ethic, made it an easy decision to recruit her for our program.”

Johnson said she began her musical studies playing the piano but has since discovered her passion for the guitar, which she began playing when she was around 12 years old. One of the artists whose music she enjoys playing is Jimi Hendrix. Johnson plans to major in music with a commercial music and jazz concentration. Her future plans include earning a law degree so she can work on music-related issues such as copyright infringements.

While at a friend’s house listening to a Queens of the Stone Age vinyl, Johnson received an email from SMG announcing the scholarship selection.

“When I found out I was selected I was shocked, mostly because a billion-dollar company saw something in me, and that they wanted to support my passion,” said Johnson, a native of Charleston, W.Va. “Growing up, I was bullied about my race, gender, even musical capabilities; additionally, I was even told by one of my ‘mentors’ I shouldn’t dare to consider pursuing a music career. But people’s doubts pushed me to pursue what I want to do. The fact Sony saw something in me, a Latinx Appalachian woman who came from nothing, made me feel that I am choosing the right path.”

Towalame Austin, executive vice president of philanthropy and social impact at SMG, said in a company news release announcing scholarship recipients, “We were moved by the stories and submissions we received from the grant recipients and are honored to be a part of the students’ journey to express their creativity freely and fearlessly. Some of the beneficiaries are first-generation college students, so it’s a privilege to give them a more accessible path to develop their own careers and create opportunities for young music visionaries with limited resources.”

As a commitment through SMG’s Global Social Justice Fund, the Sony Music Group Global Scholars Program provides student monetary support and a wide range of enrichment programs to support core academic development. In addition to leadership development opportunities, students can explore skill-building mentorships and internships across disciplines of their respective interests and strengths. Scholarships may be renewed for up to three additional years or until degree completion, whichever occurs first.