Trumpeter Rachel Duncan, a native of Plymouth, Minnesota, is currently on the faculty at the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia as Lecturer in Trumpet, where she also serves as the Principal Trumpet of the Charlottesville Symphony. Born into a musical family of prominent music educators, Rachel began playing trumpet at age 8. In pursuit of a career in music, Rachel was awarded a full tuition scholarship to study at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she earned a bachelor’s of music degree under the tutelage of David Bilger. She then moved to Chicago to study under Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer and Christopher Martin at Northwestern University where she earned a master’s of music degree. Soon after, she was awarded a position with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2011-2013.
Rachel has had an extensive orchestral career. In 2012, she performed and toured Scotland as guest principal trumpet with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and recorded two commercially released recordings for the Dutton Epoch Records label. She has performed as guest principal trumpet of the Charleston Symphony, the Peoria Symphony and the Dubuque Symphony, and has performed with the trumpet sections of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Symphony in C, and The New World Symphony. In 2018 Rachel was appointed to second trumpet of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra.
Devoted to chamber music as well, Rachel is a founding member of the brass ensemble New Chicago Brass. She has also had the privilege of performing alongside Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music concert series, and been invited to perform with MusicNOW, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new music ensemble.
Rachel currently serves on the faculty at the “National Take a Stand Festival,” Supporting Social Change Through Music, affiliated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Rachel has also had the opportunity to perform at numerous prestigious music festivals including The Pacific Music Festival in Japan, The Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, The Aspen Music Festival and The National Repertoire Orchestra. In addition to ensemble playing, she has been recognized for her solo performances, receiving first prize at the Schubert Club Scholarship competition and the National Trumpet Competition.