By M.V. Moorhead
Graduating from the University of Rochester would be an impressive accomplishment by itself. But Dana May Brink didn’t just graduate from the prestigious New York college. No, the Corona del Sol alumnus graduated with a B.A. in political science and a Bachelor of Music degree.
But the achievement doesn’t even stop there. She graduated magna cum laude in political science, and with distinction in music. So what can she do to top all this? Well, how about Yale for grad school?
“I was very fortunate to be accepted into a master’s degree program at Yale University, in music.”
Along with all her honors, Brink leaves Rochester with fond memories of campus life.
“It was wonderful” she says.
“The program I was in there, the Eastman School of Music, is a separate campus, a ten-minute bus ride from the main campus. I was in the dorm at Eastman, which is a whole school where everybody was doing music. It was very influential.”
So influential, she says, that her musical studies ultimately took precedence over her political science studies. “The goal is my music career,” she admits, “since I chose it when it came to graduate school. But history and political science will always be important to me.”
Brink can easily trace the start of her musical passion back to her days Corona, she says. “I play the bassoon. My band director [at Corona], David DuPlessis, introduced me to it. I was playing the clarinet, didn’t really care about it. He wanted to program a piece for the band to play, and he said that it had a bassoon part. So I thought, why not? And I fell in love with it. Now, all these years later, here I am.”
Where “here” will be in the long run, of course, Brink doesn’t know. “That’s the hardest thing about being a musician, especially a classical musician,” she notes. “Of course I’d love to be back in Tempe, but the jobs are where the jobs are.”
Anyway, in the short term, “here” is Yale, where Brink starts this fall. In addition to a new city, a new school and new set of musical challenges, there may be new culinary treats to explore. Told that Louis’ Lunch in New Haven is considered the birthplace of the hamburger, Brink also notes that “I’ve heard that New Haven is the number one city in the country for pizza. So I should eat very well there.”