In the winter of 1990, in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, Gwynne Kuhner Brown ’95 popped a cassette of her piano music into an envelope and sent it to several music schools in the Pacific Northwest. She had no idea what lay ahead.

Over the next four years, she studied under a world-class pianist, Duane Hulbert, at the University of Puget Sound. As a first-year student she was “badgered into excellence” by a senior who convinced her to practice for five hours a day, and she graduated feeling burned out.