• Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

2023 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker Forges Dual Path in Music and Science


May 26, 2023

Emma Breen is finishing her master’s in trumpet efficiency and preparing to continue her research at UCLA this fall as a doctoral student. She has also staked out terrain in the globe 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,” stated Breen, reflecting on her choices to pursue various paths. “And UCLA is a excellent spot to prepare for a profession in the twenty-very first century.” 

The 2023 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker came to UCLA quite consciously. She chose UCLA more than the Royal Academy of Music, each for the reason that she wanted to function with trumpet professor Jens Lindemann, and for the reason that UCLA presented a various sort of education.

“The Royal Academy is considerably far more conventional in their strategy,” stated Breen. “I felt like UCLA would give me possibilities to do other intriguing points, and that was excellent. I was also fortunate to acquire a Mimi Alpert Foundation Scholarship, which seriously created it probable to come to LA.”

Breen has amassed really the record even though undertaking 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,” stated Breen. “You have to maintain your eyes open and be active. It can be a excellent spot to function.”

Prepping for a gig this Could at The Catalina Jazz Club

Breen has jumped with each feet into the life of a specialist musician. In addition to recitals and performances with ensembles at UCLA, her most current session function involves 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 time. And all of this came on top rated of getting in a position of leadership with American Youth Symphony (AYS).

“It’s so considerably function,” stated 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, hunting at the material, I believed to myself, ‘This is as well considerably. I’m going to have to quit trumpet.’” 

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

“Most of the other musicians are a small older than I am, and they have far more knowledge,” stated Breen. “But they welcomed me proper in and they’ve been so supportive. It is seriously created 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 given that higher college. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University, she was element of the university’s famed Pinkett Lab as effectively as the SONIC/ATLAS lab, collaborating with NASA’s lengthy-variety space missions by conducting cognitive study 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 prior to, and worth reading. But it was not just an undergraduate job. Breen presently conducts stem-cell study at the Zamudio Lab within UCLA’s Division of Molecular Cell Developmental Biology.

“Science is critical to me,” stated Breen. “It feeds a element of me that music does not. And I do not see a want to make a decision involving the two. I know that occasionally men and women assume if you are not laser-focused on one particular point you can not do it effectively. But I disagree.”

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