Lauren Rudzinskas is a second year master’s student studying Trombone Performance and Literature as a Performer’s Certificate recipient at the Eastman School of Music. Lauren serves as a Teaching Assistant for the Eastman trombone studio and trombone choir, and as an Eastman Institute for Music Leadership Assistant. She earned her bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from Youngstown State University, where she was selected for the Dean’s Award in the College of Creative Arts and Communication as well as the university-wide Senior Academic Award for Outstanding Student Scholarship. Recent competition awards include the 2015 Youngstown Music Teachers Association Solo Competition, the 2015 Wright State Festival Solo Competition, the 2014 Dana Young Artist Competition, first trombone placement in the JECO Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble, and the Dorothy Schwers Honorary Scholarship Solo Competition. Lauren’s performance credits include playing with the Diva Jazz Orchestra in the Cleveland Playhouse production of Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life. She held positions as principal trombonist with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and Youngstown Scoring Stage, and performed as lead trombonist in the First Class Big Band. Lauren has performed in master classes with Joseph Alessi, Eric Ewazen, David Murray, Rebecca Cherian, Shachar Israel, Bruce Saunders, Dan Wilson, and Jim Snidero. She remains an active freelance musician in the Rochester, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland areas. After receiving a research grant from Youngstown State University, Lauren produced and performed in Aspire, a recording of original music including several of her own compositions. As a strong advocate for music education, Lauren was the 2016 recipient for the Jack L. Frank Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2016 Frank Faculty Development Research Grant. Lauren is also involved in the Eastman Community Music School as an intern and acts as Assistant Director for the ECMS Trombone Choir. She teaches privately and provides part-time brass instruction for the North Allegheny School District. She currently studies trombone with Larry Zalkind and previously studied with Mike Crist, Jeff Bush, John Olsson, and Sam Blakeslee.