Trumpeter Rachel Duncan, a native of Plymouth, Minnesota, was born into a musical family of prominent music educators. She began playing trumpet at age 8. 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 with 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.
In 2011, Rachel 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 played in the trumpet sections of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Symphony in C and The New World Symphony.
Devoted to chamber music as well, Rachel is a founding member of the brass ensemble New Chicago Brass. She has performed and recorded with Seraph Brass, a brass quintet comprised of America’s top female brass players. 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 play with MusicNOW, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new music ensemble.
Rachel has performed 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. Rachel is married to jazz trumpeter/composer, Greg Duncan.