See stories and progress from The CENTENNIAL Campaign for
Provide critical financial support to recruit and sustain the top music students and scholars nationwide and in Los Angeles.
When it came time to select a college, India Carney faced an incredibly difficult decision. As far back as she could remember, India loved music. Classical piano and flute lessons, singing in local choirs, participating in community theater – India devoured it all. At age nine, India starred as Annie in a local production of “Annie Jr.,” which fueled her passion for singing and performing. India studied voice in middle school then became a vocal major at La Guardia High School. At the same time, she studied voice in the Manhattan School of Music’s pre-college program. India lived and breathed music, but she also loved academics, excelling in school and exploring other interests, including tennis and golf. What kind of college could offer her the top-tier music program she desired along with excellent academics and a well-rounded education? The experience she longed for, India says, included “going to a college football game, meeting new and interesting people from many walks of life, learning music from world renowned artists, studying liberal arts subjects, traveling to different parts of the world if possible and excelling academically.” India wasn’t sure if any of the music programs she’d been considering would truly be a good fit.
Enter UCLA. From the moment Professor of Voice Juliana Gondek saw India perform at the National YoungArts Foundation’s final competition, she was determined to have this stellar young talent at UCLA. In January 2011, Gondek invited India to L.A. to audition. India fell in love with UCLA, which had everything she’d envisioned and more. Even though it was far from home, India’s gut told her that UCLA was where she belonged. She knew, however, that the costs involved with going to school across the country would be unwieldy for her family and would limit her ability to accomplish as much as she wanted. The support of scholarship donors enabled Gondek to make India’s dream school a reality. “As an out-of-state student,” India says, “the help was critical.”
Thanks to scholarship support, India was able to maintain her focus of pursuing a dual academic and artistic course load of studies. While earning a 3.5 and above GPA, she performed with the Voice and Opera Program, created the India Carney Band and performed at various high-profile events, including opening for legendary neo-soul band The Roots at the 26th Annual Jazz Reggae Festival. In her senior year, India garnered national attention when she reached the top five on Season 8 of NBC’s “The Voice” with Christina Aguilera as her coach. India continues to make herself, her parents and her UCLA family proud and she is forever grateful to the scholarship donors who believed in her along the way and helped turn possibilities into realities.
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