All-Comers' Choir Director
Rachel Alexander grew up in a musical family, and learned to read music before she learned to read words. She earned an undergraduate degree in cello performance, and much later, a Master's in choral conducting. During the intervening years, she worked as a carpenter and studied piano technology.
In 1986, shortly after moving to Michigan, Rachel founded Sistrum, the Lansing Women's Chorus, which she directed for the next 15½ years. As Sistrum’s artistic director, Rachel conducted 150- to 250-voice festival choruses at six women’s choral festivals. For several summers in the early 1990s she directed or assistant-directed a festival chorus at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.
For the past thirteen and a half years, Rachel has been the Director of Music and the conductor of the adult choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church in East Lansing. She is also a self-employed piano tuner-technician.
Rachel is a prolific choral arranger and has written a number of original songs. She sings and plays cello, fiddle, recorders, Melodica, and various other instruments. She loves to explore and perform in many different musical genres, and has been a member of Women at Play (a Grand Rapids-based world-beat improv band), the Treble Makers (an a cappella women’s quartet), and The Bench (an eclectic multi-instrumental band). Since fall of 2008, Rachel has been delighting in making music with Carmea (kar-MAY-uh), a trio made up of Rachel, Catherine Ellis and Alma Muxlow of Kalamazoo. See Rachel's website for upcoming appearances.
In addition to leading the All-Comer Choir this year, Rachel will join up with Carmea to lead the "Songs of Peace, Protest and Social Justice" workshop on Saturday Afternoon.