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Emma Breen is finishing her master’s in trumpet overall performance and preparing to continue her research at UCLA this fall as a doctoral student. She has also staked out terrain in the planet of science, a passion she holds equally with music and plans to continue. 

2023 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker Emma Breen

“You have to be versatile,” mentioned Breen, reflecting on her choices to pursue a number of paths. “And UCLA is a good location to prepare for a profession in the twenty-initial century.” 

The 2023 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker came to UCLA extremely consciously. She chose UCLA more than the Royal Academy of Music, each mainly because she wanted to function with trumpet professor Jens Lindemann, and mainly because UCLA provided a diverse sort of education.

“The Royal Academy is a great deal far more conventional in their strategy,” mentioned Breen. “I felt like UCLA would give me possibilities to do other fascinating items, and that was good. I was also fortunate to get a Mimi Alpert Foundation Scholarship, which actually produced it feasible to come to LA.”

Breen has amassed very the record even though performing her graduate function at UCLA. She was chosen to play with the Disney All-American College Band. She won the principal trumpet position in the American Youth Symphony. She is an active session recorder and has performed across the United States. 

“There are a lot of possibilities for musicians in Los Angeles,” mentioned Breen. “You have to maintain your eyes open and be active. It can be a good location to function.”

Prepping for a gig this May well at The Catalina Jazz Club

Breen has jumped with each feet into the life of a experienced musician. In addition to recitals and performances with ensembles at UCLA, her most current session function incorporates recording for Unicorn, a forthcoming animated series on HBO by the director of The PowerPuff Girls. That in turn led to an invitation to play at Comic-Con in San Diego this summer season. And all of this came on best of getting in a position of leadership with American Youth Symphony (AYS).

“It’s so a great deal function,” mentioned Breen. “I got the most current music for AYS when the trumpet studio was in Boulder, Colorado for the national trumpet competitors. And I sat in the hotel space, searching at the material, I believed to myself, ‘This is as well a great deal. I’m going to have to quit trumpet.’” 

But then Breen got to function, discovering that she was capable of studying the music and preserving her demanding schedule. She credits the welcoming culture of the AYS. 

“Most of the other musicians are a tiny older than I am, and they have far more encounter,” mentioned Breen. “But they welcomed me suitable in and they’ve been so supportive. It is actually produced all the distinction.”

Then there’s Breen’s scientific function. Breen does not have an undergraduate background in science, but she has worked in a lab ever because higher college. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University, she was component of the university’s famed Pinkett Lab as properly as the SONIC/ATLAS lab, collaborating with NASA’s lengthy-variety space missions by conducting cognitive investigation in each Russian and English. 

Straight from the Laboratory

How Breen ended up with 4 years of lab experience—without a single undergraduate science class—is a story we’ve covered just before, and worth reading. But it was not just an undergraduate job. Breen at present conducts stem-cell investigation at the Zamudio Lab within UCLA’s Division of Molecular Cell Developmental Biology.

“Science is essential to me,” mentioned Breen. “It feeds a component of me that music does not. And I do not see a will need to make a selection in between the two. I know that often individuals feel if you are not laser-focused on 1 point you can not do it properly. But I disagree.”

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