About Rachael Stockton

Rachael Stockton grew up in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois in a family of professional musicians. Her father and grandfather, as well as an uncle and numerous cousins, were violinists and violin teachers, and her mother a pianist and piano teacher. Rachael and her siblings were expected to study and play not one, but two, instruments each. To that end, Rachael began studying piano with her mother at age 6, and violin with her father at age 10.

Though not overly disciplined about practicing as a youngster, by the start of high school, it was apparent that music was the itch that Rachael loved to scratch most. Whenever the choice between homework or practice on the violin or piano presented itself, practice, always came out on top. During her high school years, Rachael auditioned for and joined the violin sections in the
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (an ensemble in which both of her parents had played decades earlier) and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.. Experiencing and taking part in the synergy that is a stage full of musicians collaborating for a unified creative purpose solidified her decision to make music her profession, and violin her primary instrument.

Rachael earned a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music in 1992, and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in 1994, studying with Linda Cerone and Herbert Greenberg respectively. Since finishing her formal schooling, Rachael has been free-lance teaching and performing in and around the greater Baltimore region for more than two decades. She is a member of The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, PA and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, in Annapolis, MD. She has also performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The National Philharmonic, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Baltimore Opera Orchestra, and The Delaware Symphony. Rachael also spent one summer in Graz, Austria as a member of the Festival Orchestra for the American Institute of Musical Studies.

An advocate and champion of new and contemporary music, Rachael played in the Peabody Camerata while studying for her Master's Degree. As a member of this ensemble, she traveled to Évian-les-Bains, France to premiere an American chamber opera at the The Rencontres Musicales d'Évian, conducted by the legendary late Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Rachael was also a long-time member of the former New Horizons Chamber Ensemble, a local ensemble in Baltimore dedicated solely to the performance of contemporary classical chamber music.

For the last 25+ years, Rachael has also enjoyed developing an extensive private teaching and performance coaching practice. Prior to establishing her home studio in Baltimore, Rachael was a member of the private teaching faculties for Roland Park Country School and The Park School of Baltimore. She was the violin coach/instructor for the Gifted and Talented program of the Baltimore County Public Schools, and a sectional coach for the former Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra (now the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra). She is an adjunct faculty member and violin teacher at The Community College of Baltimore County, teaching both majors and non-majors in music. Rachael is also a frequent participant in the Annapolis Symphony's 'Music Van' program, which introduces elementary school students to instrumental music through in-school performances and hands-on demonstrations. Recently also, Rachael has joined the teaching and coaching faculty of the Annapolis Symphony Academy, www.tunedtoyouth.org an arm on the Annapolis Symphony that provides musical education to students of all cultural and economic backgrounds, while addressing the under-representation of minority musicians in the classical music field. Having studied piano also in conservatory, Rachael is conveniently and comfortably able to wear multiple hats in the studio, serving as both teacher and accompanist at the same time.

Rachael finds that her demanding teaching and performing obligations create a healthy combination in which each pursuit helps the other. Her regular practice and performing keep her in touch with the challenges and rigors of her students. Simultaneously, the careful observation and constant analysis required by teaching helps Rachael with her own self-awareness and critical ear when practicing and rehearsing.

Rachael has the privilege and good fortune to play on a rare violin made over 200 years ago in Naples, Italy, an instrument she inherited from her father. When not playing or teaching violin, she spends time with her husband, three sons, dog and cat, and enjoys running, hiking, and other exercise, as well as doing community service, and gardening.

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