New Zealand-born Rachel starred in a number of television series including Children of Fire Mountain during her childhood. She trained as a classical singer and while still a student was a finalist in NZ’s prestigious Mobil Song Quest. After graduating with a degree in music, Rachel worked as a singer/pianist and as a presenter of arts and music television programmes on TVNZ.
Selected to represent New Zealand in the World Chorus at the Calgary Winter Olympics, Rachel was then chosen to sing David Foster’s theme song at the Opening Ceremony to a live audience of 40,000 and a TV audience of 2 billion people. Invitations to record programmes of pop songs for Radio New Zealand followed, one of them earning Rachel a Mobil Radio Award.
After moving to London Rachel performed in The Phantom of the Opera before joining a cappella vocal octet the Swingle Singers, whose albums she’d collected since childhood. She travelled with the group for four years, giving concerts in 25 countries and working as their Musical Director for two years.
Following her Swingle Singers years Rachel gave her own cabaret recitals in London and New York, and appeared with Rambert Dance Company for two seasons as the singer in their Cole Porter ballet Elsa Canasta. Alongside her singing engagements, Rachel was as a freelance newsreader and continuity announcer for BBC World Service for 4 years.
Rachel’s work as a soloist with orchestra has seen her perform with the Hallé Orchestra (Manchester), Lahti Symphony Orchestra (Lahti, Finland), BBC Concert Orchestra (London), Ulster Orchestra (Belfast), and the RTE Concert Orchestra (Dublin), with conductors including John Wilson and Benjamin Pope. Programmes have included music from the Great American Songbook, musical theatre, pop and film, songs associated with Fred Astaire (in concerts featuring Fred’s daughter Ava), and the music of Julie Andrews.
Rachel tours internationally with specialist ensemble Synergy Vocals (as she has done since they began in 1996 as a 4-member ensemble singing music by Steve Reich), collaborating with leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic, and conductors including Boulez, Robertson, Saraste and Harding. Together they perform in major venues throughout Europe and the United States including London’s Royal Festival Hall and Barbican, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Philharmonie Paris, Disney Hall Los Angeles and Carnegie Hall New York.
In the recording studio, Rachel has sung on the soundtracks of more than 120 movies including Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Shrek, Moulin Rouge, Transformers, Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Nanny McPhee and Black Widow. She has also contributed to more than 50 studio albums, made by a diverse range of artists and bands including Bjork, Missy Elliott, Nightwish, Mika, Keith Urban, Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton.
A solo album by Rachel – gentle rain – featuring standards by Gershwin, Porter and Berlin as well as ballads by Michel Legrand, Billy Joel and others – is now available to buy, or to download from iTunes and other digital sites.