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Love of trombone, poetry drive music student

May 9, 2018

Madeleine Guekguezian

Madeleine Guekguezian
BA in General Music | Fresno, CA 

Madeleine Guekguezian's journey at Pacific offered her not only the opportunity to pursue a degree in music—and to find a new love in the alto trombone—but also to understand what passion and focus combined with the rigors of scholarship can truly offer.

Guekguezian came to Pacific after being accepted to the Conservatory music program, the outcome of an interview with Francois Rose. She described the experience as truly incredible. One of her favorite memories while at Pacific was the opportunity she had to travel, perform and fine-tune her musical abilities as part of the Pacific Wind Ensemble.

Participating in alternative spring break during her Sophomore and Junior year, hosted by the Religious and Spiritual Life program, is also one of Guekguezian's most memorable experiences at Pacific. It allowed her to get involved with the Sierra Service Project, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that organizes mission experiences for high school and middle school students and young adults. She says the project helped fuel her passion for giving back to the community. She plans to work with the organization as a food service coordinator this summer.

"Since my sophomore year at Pacific, I had held the goal of creating a career for myself that would involve service and giving back to the community," Guekguezian said. "Working in nonprofit, like the Sierra Service Project, has been a manifestation of that goal. It allows me to use my abilities and vocation to promote better conditions in different communities."

In addition to discovering her love for playing trombone, Guekguezian's courses rejuvenated her passion for writing. She said the poetry writing seminar she took with Professor Camille Norton was "so transformative. It reconnected me with a love of writing poetry and allowed me to be exposed to different critical frameworks that helped me evaluate how I looked at the world."

Last fall, Guekguezian was the youngest artist showcased in the GLBT Historical Society's 2017 fall exhibition titled, "The Birth of the Queer" in San Francisco. The poetry she contributed to the exhibition encompassed her reflections as an artist and member of the queer community.

"Art, specifically as a form of media, is a way in which we can learn to understand people and a way to be empathic," said Guekguezian, who majored in music with minors in psychology and English. "We can learn about their personal perspective and life experiences through the works that they create."

Whether it's through her musical compositions or her poetry, Guekguezian aspires to use her talents and future vocation to break through the artificial boundaries that people set between themselves in order to help marginalized communities thrive.

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