Thank You For The Music

Colombian senior Vera Ciocca steadfastness in her pursuit of music has led to many memorable experiences, including a big break as the opening act at a Ricky Martin concert.

Name: Vera Ciocca
Country: Colombia
Major: Music

Vera Ciocca, NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2021.

When Ricky Martin needed a Latino opening act for his concert in Dubai, Vera Ciocca, a then first-year Colombian student at NYU Abu Dhabi, did not skip a beat to send through her demo tape to his team. This was an opportunity for a big break for her childhood dreams of being a musician, and her selection to open for the global star was among the most memorable moments attending university.  

Vera Ciocca, an NYUAD Class of 2021 student on stage as the opening act for Ricky Martin in Dubai.
Vera Ciocca, left, an NYUAD Class of 2021 student is the opening act for Ricky Martin, right, in Dubai.

Vera Ciocca had no doubts that she wanted to be a musician. Since she was 12 years old, the Colombian was set on the challenging and unpredictable career choice. She declared music as her major at NYUAD, and began a four year journey that saw her studying courses that will enhance her career options in music.

Her academic journey culminated in a senior-year internship in New York at Drom, a venue known for hosting live music events. The suggestion came from adjunct professor Mehmet Dede at NYU Steinhardt, who had recommended she intern at Drom to gain more experience about managing entertainment events. During the internship Ciocca was involved in helping organize the very involved process of scheduling, promoting, and planning live events in New York City. 

But then the pandemic hit, and concerts ceased. 

“The pandemic definitely had a big hit in the entertainment industry… Drom was no longer able to host live music events. They started having online events,” Ciocca said. Promoting virtual live events is different from the usual way of doing things. Ciocca was out of her comfort zone but said “it was challenging but also very rewarding” as the past year gave her a glimpse of the future of the entertainment business venturing into digital space. 

Graduating from NYUAD is bittersweet for Ciocca. “I’ve become very fond of my professors… they have seen me grow,” Ciocca said. “I felt welcomed by everybody in the faculty. It brought me a lot of joy. When I think of NYUAD, I see it as a family. Now that I am graduating, it’s very nostalgic to me,” she added.   

While Ciocca continues to plan out her path after graduation between applying for graduate schools and seeking job opportunities, one thing is for certain. “My music career is something I'm going to do regardless,” Ciocca said.