Bio

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Rachel Carlson enjoys a versatile career as a conductor, soloist, chamber ensemble singer, and voice teacher based in the greater Washington, DC area. Dr. Carlson is Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where she conducts the Shepherd University Chamber Singers, Women’s Camerata, and Masterworks Chorale and teaches choral methods and conducting. She founded and serves as Artistic Director of Six Degree Singers, a community choir based in Silver Spring, MD, and serves as Assistant Conductor of the Washington Master Chorale. In 2014, Dr. Carlson was nominated for a Wammie (Washington Area Music Award) for best Classical Conductor/ Director.

Dr. Carlson has appeared as a soprano soloist with the Washington Master Chorale, Washington Bach Consort, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Oregon Bach Festival, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Vox Humana, and Washington Revels and as a professional choral singer with Conspirare and the Manhattan Chorale.  Solo performed works include Bach’s Easter Oratorio, Christmas Oratorio, B minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion, Magnificat in D, Cantata 76, and Jesu, meine Freude, Telemann’s Der Tag des Gerichts and Deutsches Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Little Organ Mass, Fauré’s Requiem, Finzi’s Requiem da Camera, Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Jonathan Willcocks’ Lux Perpetua, Luna Pearl Woolf’s Après Moi, le Déluge, and Kenneth Leighton’s Awake my glory and An Evening Hymn.

She performs extensively as a professional choral singer with the National Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and has sung under the baton of Matthew Halls, Marin Alsop, Masaaki Suzuki, Helmuth Rilling, Simon Carrington, Iván Fischer, and Christoph Eschenbach.  Dr. Carlson performs widely at ACDA and NCCO regional and national conventions around the United States and in 2007 made her first international choral tour.  In Wales, she competed as an alumna with the University of Maryland Chamber Singers at the prestigious International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen and the ensemble was awarded Second Prize in the Mixed Choirs division. In 2011 they won Premier Prix for Mixed Choirs and the Prix Ronsard for Renaissance Singing at the 40th Florilège Vocal de Tours in France. They also appeared by invitation of the International Federation for Choral Music at the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music in South Korea.

Dr. Carlson holds Bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the University of Maryland, a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a DMA in Choral Conducting at the University of Maryland.