Photo by Jeff Saxman
As a music major at Virginia Commonwealth University, Hannah Rumsey had hoped to work as an orchestral trumpet player one day. But two years ago she had to abandon that dream, when her hours of daily rehearsal began to cause fatigue and pain in her face, neck and upper back muscles. There was an unsettling pressure behind her eyes as well. Happily, she found a silver lining: Rumsey then recruited three other students in biomedical engineering and pre-medical tracks to launch a grant-funded study of the relationship between performance anxiety and repetitive muscle stress in horn players like herself. Rumsey and her team hope to yield some results from the data later this year.