Rachel Lucius, director of Cantabile, also teaches K-5 general music teacher at Rahn Elementary School of Arts & Technology in the Burnsville, Savage, Eagan school district, and has an extensive background in directing children and youth choirs. Rachel’s choirs have shared the stage with musical artists including The American Boychoir, Sowah Mensah, Natalie McMaster, and David Benoit. She has worked on the artistic staff of The Northfield Youth Choirs, in Northfield, MN, Camp Albemarle, the summer music program of The American Boychoir School, in Princeton, NJ, and Allegro Choral Academy, in Apple Valley, MN. Rachel will direct the MN ACDA 4-5-6 Boys Honor Choir in May of 2019.
A certified Orff-Schulwerk and Kodály music educator, Rachel holds a B.A. in Vocal Music Education from St. Olaf College, and an M.A. in Music Education from the University of St. Thomas. Additionally, she has completed three levels of graduate choral conducting with Dr. Angela Broeker at UST. Other choral professional development work includes the Westminster Choir College Conducting Institute, and a ten-day independent study with Fernando Malvar-Ruiz and The American Boychoir as well as Melissa Keylock and the Princeton Girl Choir.
Most recently, Rachel and her family spent 5 months during the spring 2017 living in Finland where she studied children's choirs and music education on a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant. While in Finland, she studied at the University of Jyväskylä and worked closely with both the Tapiola and Vox Aurea youth choirs.
Cantabile will sing some unison music, two-part songs and songs with simple three-part harmonies. The main purpose is to learn to sing beautifully and correctly using the best of choral literature from a variety of cultures. Performance opportunities can help the groups achieve this goal, but it is the learning that goes on in the weekly rehearsals that is most important. To sing beautifully and correctly, singers learn proper posture, correct breathing to produce a free floated tone and sensitively shaped phrases, good diction and articulation, how to release tension in the body, and how to listen and blend. Other important objectives for the singers are to learn to focus and concentrate on all aspects of music-making; to work as a well-disciplined, caring team; to learn to read music; to become aware of music history, musical styles, and the place of music in various cultures; and to become aware of the power of music as a form of expression.