Office of Advancement

Danika Felty ’15E – Lifting Spirits With Music

Danika Felty ’15E goes through every day with the works of Debussy, Strauss, and many other composers playing in her head. And as an aspiring opera singer, that is frequently accompanied by singing. Her passion in these areas is the reason she, a native Canadian, chose to attend the Eastman School of Music—something she couldn’t have done without scholarships.

Danika received support from resources like the Andrew Stalder Collegiate Scholarship Fund. The Fund, created by Andrew Stalder ’48, provides scholarship support for Eastman students, with a preference given to undergraduates. Danika knows that without donors like Andrew, she and other students would not be able to benefit from a world-class music education.

“These scholarships are so amazing. My heart breaks knowing there are fabulously talented students who can’t afford to pursue an education here. I hope to one day be in a position where I can give back to Eastman and change a student’s life like my scholarship’s changed mine.”

In her first year, Danika found herself surrounded by exceptionally talented students and faculty members in an environment that would help her develop her talent and grow as an artist. Her first challenge, however, had nothing to do with music. Her father, back in Calgary, Alberta, suffered a stroke.

“It was hard. It was really hard to try to be at school while my mind was at home,” said Danika. “I was fortunate to be at Eastman and have professors who let me know it was okay to be at home as much as possible. In any other environment, I don’t think I would have been able to stay at school.”

During her father’s therapy, doctors noted that music is often used to supplement medical treatment to relieve pain. The healing power of music struck a chord with Danika and inspired her to help others who have been afflicted by stroke and other illnesses. She is currently planning recitals that will benefit the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta.

Danika is proving that music, and scholarships, can make a difference. Help set the stage for exceptional students like her by supporting scholarships at the Eastman School of Music.