Student Spotlight: Ronda de Paola

Ronda de Paola

Ronda de Paola
Major: Music

Ronda de Paola has an ear for music and also heard that College of DuPage had an exceptional music department.

“I already knew what my major would be,” she said. “Convenience, location and excellence helped me decide on College of DuPage.”

It helped that de Paola received several scholarships during her time at COD: the Tandaric Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship, the COD Returning Adult Scholarship and the Naperville Rotary Scholarship. After earning her Associate in Fine Arts degree in Music, de Paola transferred to Columbia College in Chicago to study film and music.

Since graduating from Columbia College, de Paola has kept busy. She’s worked on several feature scripts, including “Liszt,” a bio-pic of composer Franz Liszt, highlighting his time spent as a “rock star”; “A Whisper in the Night,” a Civil War tale involving a southern belle who falls in love with a slave; “The Soul Project,” a futuristic tale of a young widow who wants to bring her husband back from the dead; and “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” a dark drama about alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

“I also intend on composing the score for these films, using many experimental music techniques which I learned from the great Ken Paoli at COD,” she said.

She’s also readying several short films for production, while her documentary “Love the Second Time Around,” about senior citizens finding love again, is ready to hit the film festivals. Also, her short film “Cut Time” premiered at the Naperville Independent Film Festival. It’s a film she wrote, directed and starred in.

She is most passionate about “Shadows in the Moonlight” and a television series she developed called “Seaside,” which is an homage to the original “Dark Shadows” soap opera.

In terms of education, de Paola finished her MFA in Film from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a Master of Music in Music Education from Boston University, which allows her to teach music at a college level.

Looking back on her education at College of DuPage, she thinks very highly of the music staff.

“I still keep in contact with many of the professors there and continue to study with Svetlana Popova, whom I adore to this day,” she said. “All of the music staff and faculty have been especially helpful and supportive in every area. Special thanks go to Steven Havens, Lee Kesselman and Ken Paoli.”

More about the Music program

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