Dandenong Youth Brass Musical Director
Rachael began learning cornet in 1987 as a 7 year old in Gippsland with the Sale City Band. Rachael and her two older sisters walked past the band hall on a daily basis on their way to primary school. The girls grew curious about the local brass band and asked their Mum Liz whether they could commence learning a brass instrument. As lessons were only $1 per week, having all three sisters learn together on a Monday night was a ‘bargain!’ How could their Mum refuse?
Rachael progressed quickly on the cornet under the direction of Hugh Davies and enjoyed performing on a regular basis with the Sale City Junior Band. She also looked forward to attending the annual Gippsland Band Groups ‘Woorabinda’ Music Camp with her sisters in Yallourn North, under the direction of the infamous Bruce Armstrong.
It wasn’t long before Rachael was promoted to the ranks of the Senior Band. In her final year of Primary School, Hugh Davies recommended due to her height, length of arms and musicality, that Rachael take up the trombone. After only 6 months, she sat her 4th Grade AMEB exam on Trombone and received Honours.
Rachael went on to win countless competitions all over Gippsland and her love of the trombone flourished! Before heading down to Melbourne for University studies Rachael was also awarded the VBL Merit Badge and a Youth Service Badge for her service/commitment to the Sale City Band.
At the age of 16 Rachael was invited to audition for the famous Moomba Youth Band. She performed as principal Trombone with the band for the next 5 years. The highlight of her time with the Moomba Youth Band was travelling to Yokohama, Japan in 1998 where the band was awarded 3rd place in the World Marching Band Championships!
Rachael also performed on Trombone in the 2000 piece marching band for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at Stadium Australia, Homebush.
In 1999 Rachael commenced a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree at The Victorian College of The Arts. Whilst at the VCA she enjoyed studying Trombone under Roger Davies (MSO Principal Trombone) and Eric Klay (MSO Principal Bass Trombone). In 2000, Rachael successfully auditioned for the Melbourne Youth Orchestra and performed as the orchestra’s Principal Bass Trombone for the next 3 years. Whilst in MYO, Rachael enjoyed performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at the Melbourne Town Hall alongside the famous David Helfcott. A full performance of Swan Lake Ballet and a tour of Tasmania were also highlights.
After successfully completing her Bachelor of Music Performance at VCA in 2002, Rachael went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma of Education at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. She has worked as a Classroom Music Teacher at Sacred Heart Girls’ College in Oakleigh for the past 15 years.
Rachael joined the ranks of the trombone section of Melbourne’s Kew Band in 1999, where she played under the baton of Mark Ford and Leif Sundstrup. During her time with Kew, the Band won the Open A Grade section at the Australian National Band Championships in Launceston,Tasmania. Rachael played with the Kew Band for 5 years and then went on to join the Footscray Yarraville City Band in 2005 where she performed under the fine leadership of Phillipa Edwards for 15 years.
Rachael also performed with The Itchy Feet Pep Band who toured to Hong Kong in 2008 for the Chinese New Year Festival. She is also a member of the Skunkworks Production orchestra and enjoys freelance work with the company on trombone.
In 2018, Rachael performed on trombone as part of the Footscray Yarraville Band’s Armistice Centenary Tour to France, Belgium and the UK
Rachael is happily married and has two young daughters. She loves spending time with her family, cooking, entertaining, travelling and long distance swimming. In 2020 Rachael undertook a change in career as she commenced studying a Masters in Nursing Practice at Monash University.
In 2021 Rachael was appointed as Co-Musical Director of Dandenong Youth Brass along with Jenny Corcoran. Rachael and Jenny are really looking forward to leading this fantastic new ensemble!