From playing Bach in the middle of Stonehenge to performing for the Dalai Llama, San Diego native Rachel Woolf's musical reach extends beyond the confines of any one genre or boundary. Through her innate musical fearlessness, Rachel consistently captivates audiences at esteemed competitions and improvisational performances alike.
Accomplished as a soloist and chamber musician, Rachel won the National Flute Association Masterclass Performer's Competition, was a prizewinner at the San Diego Flute Guild Young Artist Competition and the Coeur d'Alene Young Artist Competition, was a finalist in the Myrna Brown Competition, and a semi-finalist at the 2017 National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition. Additionally, her performances with The Fawn Trio earned a spot in the semi-finals at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and special recognition at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition. Equally comfortable in orchestral settings, Rachel spent two summers performing at the Brevard Music Center, and has played with the Dallas Winds, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony, and the Firelands Symphony. She has performed under the baton of such luminaries as Keith Lockhart, Leonard Slatkin, Peter Oundjian, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jeff Tyzik, Marin Alsop, Mattias Barnert, and JoAnn Falletta.
An avid champion of contemporary music, Rachel has been a founding member of multiple new music groups in Ann Arbor and Los Angeles, and has premiered a countless number of new works for flute and piccolo, including Paul Schoenfield's Psychobird (A Sonatina for Piccolo and Piano). She can be heard premiering works by William Bolcom and Jennifer Higdon on the widely released Classical Collaborations with the University of Michigan Symphony Band on Equilibrium Records. Rachel can also be heard playing principal and bass flute on the GIA Windworks label, Canvasesand Offerings, with the UNT Wind Symphony.
Rachel has successfully established herself in rock/pop endeavors onstage and in the recording studio. She recently completed her first USA/Canada tour with the Dallas based symphonic pop rock band, The Polyphonic Spree as the newest member, and has recorded on experimental rock band, Swans newest record. Rachel has performed with multi-platinum, operatic-pop superstars Il Divo, and is a founding member of a new multi-media, rock-chamber orchestra, Anaphase. While performing with GLEE star Darren Criss’ band, Rachel appeared at famed Los Angeles rock venues The Roxy and The Mint. Not one to be boxed in by notes on a page, Rachel has sought out an array of opportunities to improvise- from freeform to jazz to Indian ragas. Notably, Rachel was selected to perform traditional Hindustani North Indian flute during the Dalai Llama’s visit to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Beyond her performances across the United States, Rachel has performed in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Italy, Luxembourg, Germany, France, and England. She received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Michigan (where she was the recipient of the Presser Award for excellence in music and academics), and obtained her Master of Music at Bowling Green State University where she was the Flute Teaching Assistant. Currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of North Texas (UNT) as a Teaching Fellow, Rachel maintains a busy freelance schedule in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including performances with her flute and harp duo, Zephyr Strand, and teaches a full studio and weekly masterclasses. She also directed/conducted the UNT Flute Choir in the 2016-17 academic year. She has studied under the tutelage of Amy Porter, Dr. Conor Nelson, Terri Sundberg, Dr. James Scott, and Karen Reynolds, among others.
Rachel’s ability to channel her vast, multi-cultural inspirations into a cohesive output has established her as an exciting entity for the future of flute playing and musical possibilities.