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Three ISU Music Students Go On to Prestigious Graduate Schools

Three Idaho State University music undergraduates, Mal Layne, Joseph Emmanuel, and Shawn McClain, will continue their studies at some of the finest music schools in the country. All three received significant scholarships to these very competitive institutions to attend graduate school.

Layne didn’t start as a music major. She will be attending Julliard in Manhattan to earn a Master’s of Music in Trombone Performance and will be studying with Joe Alessi, the principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic.

“As a freshman, the ISU music faculty saw something in me that I couldn’t see, and helped me find it,” she said. "I would not have survived the audition process or made it into Julliard without the guidance of the ISU music faculty.”

Layne says she is looking forward to “a cutthroat environment with many accomplished and dedicated musicians, plus connections with the New York Philharmonic and the NYC jazz scene.”

McClain is headed to the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University to study trumpet performance.

Emmanuel is looking forward to “more collaborations and being able to push more boundaries as an artist” at New York University Steinhardt where he will pursue a Master’s in Jazz Studies. He credits his undergraduate music education at ISU with providing every possible tool to thrive in the modern music industry.

“The ISU commercial music program prepares its students for a career in music,” he says. “I had a chance to learn varying genres and styles of music, increasing my vocabulary as an entrepreneurial artist. All of these lead to me being ready for my next step in furthering my career and education as an artist.”

"ISU Music is recruiting talented students with professional aspirations, and developing them so that they are competitive to go on with scholarships to some of the finest music schools in the world,” said Professor Jonathan Armstrong. “The quality of the education and opportunities available here prepares young artists to go on and make significant contributions to the field of music. I can't wait to hear what these three graduates end up doing with their lives.”