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 excited to join the faculty of Kean University in Union, NJ as Director of Choral Activities starting this fall! Since 2016, she has served as the Director of Choral Activities at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, conducting the Shepherd University Chamber Singers, Camerata Soprano/Alto choir, and Masterworks Chorale and teaching choral methods, conducting, and voice. She founded Six Degree Singers, a community choir based in Silver Spring, MD, in 2009 and currently serves as President of the MD/DC chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Dr. Carlson presents workshops and masterclasses in schools throughout the region and is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, presenter, and guest conductor. She has been invited to lead honor choirs as a guest conductor in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware. In 2014, she was nominated for a Wammie (Washington Area Music Award) for best Classical Conductor/Director. Dr. Carlson has been published twice in the Choral Journal and has been invited to present her research at state, regional, and national ACDA conferences as well as national NCCO conferences.

Dr. Carlson has toured the country and the world as a freelance professional choral singer and soprano soloist with many of the nation’s top professional ensembles, including the Oregon Bach Festival, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Vox Humana, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Washington Master Chorale, Washington Bach Consort, Conspirare, Manhattan Chorale, Washington Revels, and Germany’s Bach Ensemble Helmuth Rilling.

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.