Rachel Abbott (Soprano) began singing at an early age, joining Bolsover Parish Church Choir at eight years old. She gained a Bishops Chorister award in 2000, and was awarded a young achievers award for musical talent in 2001. She began singing lessons with Frank Holmes, and entered the Chesterfield Music Festival, taking first place on numerous occasions. Rachel studied music at Sheffield University, where she achieved a BMus (hons). Her singing teacher was Carol Smith.
Rachel went on to complete a Master’s degree at Huddersfield University, where Paul Wade was her singing teacher. Rachel also achieved a PGCE at Nottingham Trent University. She has worked as a primary teacher and a secondary music teacher over the past few years and still teaches supply when she can.
Rachel has a wide ranging musical background, and plays a number of instruments as well as singing.
She was lead vocalist and saxophonist for the Derby County Jazz Orchestra, and vocalist and Saxophonist for NEDMC big band. In 2012 Rachel won second place in the International Eisteddfod competition, a very proud moment, and a fantastic experience. She also was part of the chorus for Otello and Tosca with Dorset Opera, which gave her some valuable stage experience.
Rachel has performed a number of solo recitals and concerts, appearing in four Lunchtime concerts at Chesterfield Library. She has sung recitals in Bolsover and Ault Hucknall Churches, Elder Yard Chapel, Huddersfield and Sheffield Universities. She has performed solos in many places, including Nottingham and Derby Cathedrals, Derby Assembly rooms, Chatsworth House, The Pomegranate Theatre, The Winding Wheel and County Hall Matlock amongst others.
Rachel was a member of Chesterfield Philharmonic choir, and has performed as a soloist with the choir, including lead roles in Trial by Jury and My Fair Lady. She also sang the soprano solo role in Mozart’s coronation Mass twice with the choir in 2012. Last year, Rachel sung the soprano solo role in MASSive by Paul Barker at the Philharmonics 17th annual choral day. This was the UK premiere of this work, and was a very special event. Rachel was also the guest soloist for the Northern hand bell orchestra on the same day at Newbold School. In 2012 she sung with Baslow choir in Andrew Carters Horizons and sang the soprano solo for Carmina Burana. In 2013 year she performed the solo roles
for Mozart’s Requiem Mass and Part one of the Creation, a fantastic experience. She has sung the solo soprano role for a number of Masses and also Handel’s Messiah. This year she has performed the soprano in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with Baslow Choir. She has performed with organ, orchestra, bands and piano accompaniment. Rachel has performed solo for a number of local choirs, something that she really enjoys.
Rachel is currently studying for a PGDIP AS at the Royal Northern College of Music with Sarah Rhodes as her singing teacher. This will be a step closer to achieving her dream to be an opera singer. Rachel was lucky enough to be given a several grants that will help to fund her studies. These are from The Derbyshire Community Foundation, The Seary Charitable Trust, The D’oyly Carte Foundation and The Chesterfield Philharmonic choir.
Rachel continues to perform on a regular basis. She played the role of Praskovia in the RNCM opera The Merry Widow in December and has recently played Lady Billows (Albert Herring) and Elettra (Idomeneo) in the RNCM opera scenes. She is looking forward to continuing her studies at the RNCM next year.