Queensborough Alumna Says “Yes You Can” to Women Who Want a Career in Music Production

Published: October 11, 2023

Queensborough alum Patricia Cornejo singing

“This is full circle for me,” said Queensborough alum Patricia Cornejo, a thirty-seven-year-old Bolivian singer who will present a concert of contemporary vocal music, sung in English and Spanish, on October 25 at QPAC (Queensborough Performing Arts Center). “My passion for music, for singing, for song writing was shaped here—Queensborough inspired me to take my passion further. And it was Ernie Jackson who showed me how to inspire others through song stories.”

Jackson, a tenured professor, teaches guitar, music production and audio engineering recording techniques, sound design, and basic orchestration for electronic music.

He said, “I am incredibly pleased to welcome Patricia back. Her success and dedication to her craft will empower our students. We need to hold more concerts like this that represent the College’s diverse student body. Performers that represent their own experience will resonate with students.”

Cornejo, who lives in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, shares life experiences with students as well. She (and her husband) must balance a demanding work schedule while caring for their five-year-old son. Often performance dates take her out of town.

And she understands personal hardships too.

“My parents divorced when I was young, and my mom had begun working full-time so I had to look after myself. During the long after school hours before she got home, I practiced my singing and songwriting. This joy in creating something for myself, something I was good at, consumed my free time and kept me grounded.”

Cornejo enrolled at Queensborough as a Liberal Arts major in 2015 and soon after became a member of the Music club and studied music production under the direction of Jackson. “Ernie pushed students to go further, to believe in themselves. To perform with him.”

Cornejo also noted that there were few women in the program.

“In fact, there were just two women,” said Jackson. “But Music Production has changed a lot over time through the women's initiative Perkins grant. In 2017, the Music Production program received its first Perkins funding, used to acquire and upgrade much of the music production equipment.

The Perkins grant has a focus on supporting students who are enrolled in nontraditional majors for their gender, the music production program used this opportunity to empower female students by providing opportunities to set up, install, and work with the new equipment.

Since then, the Perkins grant has continued to focus on empowering female music students by hiring them as tutors, hiring a female music production alum as a Student Success Advocate in 2020, and increasing representation of females in music production presentations and communication.

After obtaining her associate degree, Cornejo started working in a band as a singer. Not long after she went in a different direction and started to create her own music with her soon-to-be husband, also a musician.

Well into her five-year professional career, Cornejo has several singles and one album. She has recently released a single, Heaven Only Knows. She and her husband are currently working on their next album.

Isolated on a mild night
Everything around me looks so hazy
Lately, nothing ever feels right
I’ve been looking for a way to see but

My eyes are open, and my heart is closed
I fake my emotions, but they start to show
All this time been searching high and low
I just wanna know…

Where do we go when
When the shows over
Heaven only knows it
Dime a donde
Va mi corazon
I guess I’ll never know

Luna llena
En mi ventana
Una promesa
Que tu me guardas
De cada lágrima nace una flor


Now my heart is open, and my eyes are closed
I’m levitating underneath your glow
All this time been searching high and low
I just wanna know…

Jackson added, “In the upcoming year, we intend to further support women’s initiatives by conducting outreach and facilitating workshops for women in music. We have positioned ourselves as the foremost CUNY community college in music production.”

“It is fantastic that young women can access to a lot of tools they did not have before,” said Cornejo. “This has really ramped up possibilities for them here at QCC and in the music industry which is also changing and becoming more receptive to female talent in front of and behind the scenes.”


Contact:  Alice Doyle

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