Rachel Epperly is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who is passionate about composing across genres, making music and performance art about gender, and exploring themes of the body through vocal music. In addition to being a composer, Rachel is an experimental vocalist, pianist, and accordionist. As an artist, she prioritizes rawness and vulnerability and strives to make each piece more vulnerable than the last.
Rachel recently completed a Fulbright Grant in Seoul, South Korea during which she trained intensively in the traditional Korean vocal genre pansori with singer Park In Hye and composed the first act of her one-woman chamber opera, Spider Lily, which follows an empress who pursues a sensual awakening by sailing to a mysterious island that has been calling to her in dream. The chamber opera combines elements from classical music, experimental pop, and pansori.
In 2018, Rachel graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan with a bachelors in composition. She studied with composition Evan Chambers, Kristen Kuster, Bright Sheng and Erik Santos and piano with Amy Cheng and Matthew Bengtson. She has participated in fellowships and programs including the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, Silk Road Global Musician Workshop, So Percussion Summer Institute, and New Music on the Point. In 2014, she was the youngest composer to be commissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony. Her improvisation trio Glitter Glam released their first EP, Yee, in 2018.
Photo by Jenelle Rolfe