Dr. Lauren Rudzinskas has a dynamic career as an accomplished trombonist and pedagogue performing as a chamber musician, soloist, freelancer, clinician, and presenter. Rudzinskas currently serves as the Senior Lecturer of Trombone at the University of Akron. Prior to the University of Akron, Lauren taught trombone and euphonium at Mansfield University. Rudzinskas is a founding member of Calypsus Brass, an innovative ensemble praised for its commitment to performing new works, giving masterclasses, and creating high-level professional recordings for underrepresented composers. An expert arts administrator, Lauren serves as the General Manager of the International Women’s Brass Conference.
Praised for her sound and technique, Rudzinskas has been a featured solo artist with groups including the Ashtabula Brass Band, Mercer Community Band, and YSU Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, she most recently gave a recital tour as part of the Neighbor Tones Project designed to bring music to vulnerable communities. Rudzinskas is an experienced orchestral musician having held the principal trombone chair in the Greenville Symphony, as a regular substitute in Symphoria (formerly the Syracuse Symphony), a substitute with the Akron Symphony, and as principal trombonist of the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic. As a studio musician, Lauren has appeared on motion picture soundtracks as a member of the Youngstown Scoring Stage as well as various CD projects. Rudzinskas is a current member of the Athena Brass Band and the Ohio Trombone Consortium.
A multifaceted musician, Lauren’s jazz performance credits include playing with IWBC’s Holiday Brass and the Diva Jazz Orchestra in the Cleveland Playhouse production of Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life. She is a member of the SPH Jazz Orchestra and recorded the CD "Smash!" with that ensemble. After receiving a research grant in 2015, Lauren produced and performed in Aspire, a recording of original music including several of her own compositions. Solo competition awards include third place in the 2017 International Women’s Brass Conference solo competition, winner of the Youngstown Music Teachers Association Solo Competition, the Wright State Festival Solo Competition, the Dana Young Artist Competition, and the Dorothy Schwers Honorary Scholarship Solo Competition.
As a founding member of the pioneering brass quintet, Calypsus Brass, Lauren regularly tours and records with the ensemble. In 2021, Calypsus Brass was in residency at McNeese State University giving masterclasses, performing a recital, giving pedagogical lectures, and coaching chamber music. Calypsus has also performed a featured recital as the Ensemble in Residence for Rising Tide Music Press as well as a Benefit Concert for the Lift Music Fund. In 2023 Calypsus will be in residency at Eastern Illinois University and the University of Northern Iowa.
An advocate for diversity and inclusion initiatives, Rudzinskas is President of the Board for the Future in Music Program and on the advisory board for the Chromatic Brass Collective. She champions the music of historically marginalized and underrepresented composers, actively commissioning and premiering new works. Rudzinskas served as an editor and recording artist for Diversify the Stand’s Winds of Change Book of Trombone Solos and is also the editor of a book of trombone solos by composer Belinda Reynolds that is currently in production.
Rudzinskas is an active presenter giving lectures on topics such as recruitment, diverse chamber music, arts administration, and pedagogy. In 2021, Rudzinskas was invited to perform as a member of the inaugural International Women’s Trombone Choir at the 2021 International Trombone Festival and give multiple presentations. The following year, Rudzinskas was invited to perform at the 2022 International Women's Brass Conference (IWBC) where she premiered a solo for trombone and performed with Calypsus Brass in addition to chamber music on multiple guest artist recitals. She has given masterclasses across the country and is a mentor in the IWBC Mentorship Program. In 2020, Rudzinskas founded and was the Executive Director of the Virtual Trombone Workshop, an event designed to support musicians during the pandemic which had such immense success that a partnership with the Eastman School of Music created VTW@ESM 2021.
As a strong advocate for music education, Rudzinskas received the Jack L. Frank Award for Excellence in Teaching, won multiple research grants, and published articles. Prior to the University of Akron, Rudzinskas taught trombone and euphonium at Mansfield University and taught at the Eastman Community Music School where she was the Assistant Director for the ECMS Trombone Choir.
Dr. Rudzinskas earned a doctorate of musical arts in Trombone Performance and Literature with a minor in Pedagogy and an Advanced Certificate in College Teaching at the Eastman School of Music studying with Larry Zalkind. She also earned a Performer's Certificate and was nominated for the prestigious Artist's Diploma. She was recognized for academic excellence as a finalist for both Eastman’s Teaching Assistant Prize and Lecture Recital Prizes. Rudzinskas earned a MM in Classical Performance from Eastman and a BM in Jazz Studies at Youngstown State University.
Dr. Rudzinskas is a sponsored artist with music software company, Blackbinder and an AK Artist. Lauren’s primary teachers include Larry Zalkind, Mark Kellogg, Michael Crist, John Olsson, Sam Blakeslee, and Jeff Bush.