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.
Rachel was the Director of Music and the conductor of the adult choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church in East Lansing from 1995-2010. 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), The Bench (an eclectic multi-instrumental band), and most recently Carmea (kar-MAY-uh), a folk trio made up of Rachel, Catherine Ellis and Alma Muxlow of Kalamazoo.