Brittney Balkcom was born and raised in the small, conservative, predominantly low-income town of Humble, Texas. She is continually inspired by the ways in which music can be healing and transformative for individuals and communities in the face of adversity, and it is this belief that fuels her passion for making music. Brittney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Music degree from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her Masters thesis, The Creative Response to Homophobic America: Gay American Composers of the 20th Century, examines how music changed an oppressed community, and how that community changed music. In 2013, Brittney debuted at Carnegie Hall-Weill Recital Hall as a First Prize Winner of the Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition. She also won First Prize in the 2013 Myrna W. Brown Artist Competition, and in that same year, she was named a Miyazawa Emerging Artist. Brittney has appeared as a soloist and guest artist at various colleges and festivals, and she has performed and recorded with many Boston-based ensembles. Her 2014 engagements include a three-concert series at Makeshift Boston entitled Inherently Queer; performances at the Peabody Essex Museum with rising Metropolitan Opera star Anthony Roth Constanzo as a member of the Encounters Ensemble, and the Square Enix release of the soundtrack to Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns, on which she can be heard as the solo flutist. As a Doctoral Candidate at the University of North Texas, she plans to continue pursuing opportunities which combine her passions for performance, research, and LGBTQ activism. For more information about Brittney, please visit her website at www.brittneybalkcom.com.