Carmen hails from Kansas City, Kansas, where she grew up playing violin and clarinet, and later picked up saxophone during her time in her high school’s marching band. From the age of 11, Carmen participated in the Kansas Youth Symphony, making her way up to their top orchestra under the direction of Illinois State University’s Dr. Glenn Block. After high school, Carmen made her way to Boston University, where she studied Political Science and participated in the school’s symphony orchestra. Soon after graduating from Boston University in 2011, she started her graduate work at the Brandeis University Heller School of Social Policy and Management, where she took a brief break, after one semester playing in the Brandeis-Wellesley orchestra, to focus on her studies and subsequent fellowship in Washington, D.C. at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Upon moving back to Massachusetts in 2015, Carmen joined the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, where she is now in her third season.
Carmen now lives in Cambridgeport with her husband of two years and enjoys weekends in Maine at their farmhouse.