Rachel Epperly

Composer, 2015

Rachel Epperly is a composer-performer who is passionate about composing across genres, making music about gender, and exploring the bodily vulnerability of the voice. In addition to being a composer, Rachel is a pianist, experimental vocalist, and accordionist. Though classically trained, she takes inspiration from a variety of genres including experimental pop music and the Korean traditional vocal genre pansori. Rachel recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelors in composition and currently resides in Seoul, South Korea on a Fulbright research fellowship training in pansori and composing a staged song cycle informed by pansori.

Her current musical interest is exploring themes of gender and sexuality via theatric personas. Two examples include “Girly!,”a performance art piece in which she plays a Barbie undergoing an identity crisis in a TV commercial, and “Savior,”a piece for accordion and voice about a woman who progresses from shame to empowerment upon being accused of being impure.

Rachel has been a participant at various fellowships and programs including the Silk Road Global Musician Workshop, the So Percussion Summer Institute, the Atlantic Music Festival, New Music on the Point, and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. In 2014, she was the youngest composer to be commissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony.