Rachael Thoms is one of a new breed of truly versatile singers. Accomplished in both jazz and classical performance, she graduated from the Australian National University School of Music with a BMus Jazz Performance degree with First Class Honours in Classical Performance and a Master of Music majoring in Classical Performance. Rachael is also the recipient of the first prize in the 2013 Patricia Fagan Operatic Aria, first prize in the 2012 Orange Eisteddfod McDonalds Aria, the Friends of the ANU School of Music Transition Award (Endowment for Excellence), 2011 Canberra International Music Festival Young Performer Award and was a top 100 finalist in ABC’s Operatunity Oz. She has appeared as a soloist at many vice-regal and diplomatic concerts around Canberra, and has made a considerable mark on the Canberra live music scene since arriving in 2008. Her broadcast credits include ABC Television - Bali Remembered, ABC Classic FM Sunday Live, Artsound FM, and ABC 666. In 2011 Rachael released her debut jazz recording, The Great Unknown, with improvising pianist and composer, Luke Sweeting featuring mostly original material.
Rachael has studied with many internationally renowned professionals in both jazz and classical disciplines including: Janice Chapman (London), David Aronson (Vienna State Opera), Carol Blaickner-Mayo (Vienna), Dominic Wheeler (Guildhall School of Music and Drama - London), Christina Wilson, Alan Hicks, Simon Kenway, David Miller, Geoffrey Lancaster, Sharolyn Kimmorley, Professor Valeria Esposito (Italy), Stephen Delaney (Vienna), Vince Jones, Kristin Berardi, Sara Serpa, Miroslav Bukovsky, and Sandy Evans.
Performance highlights include appearances with: Song Company, Lisa Moore, Pascal and Ami Rogé, George Benson, Vince Jones, Rob Guest, Lior, Miroslav Bukovsky, Tobias Cole, Matt Baker and Bill Risby. Further highlights include portraying Lady Billows in Caroline Stacey's new production of the Benjamin Britten opera "Albert Herring" at the Street Theatre in 2012 - conducted by Rick Prakhoff, Vier letzte Lieder (Strauss) for Canberra Artsong, feature soloist at the Official Bali Bombing 10th Anniversary Memorial Event at Parliament House (broadcast live nationally on ABC television and radio), feature soloist at the National Film and Sound Archive's C100 (2013) 'Imagining the Capital - Canberra on Film' open air concert, and soprano soloist - "Ode to St. Cecilia" (Handel) ANU School of Music with Paul McMahon (tenor) and Prof. Peter Tregear (conductor). Rachael has been invited several times to perform in the private home of Australian entrepreneur, Dick Smith AO.
Music theatre and operetta roles include; Johanna (Sweeney Todd), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Josephine (H.M.S. Pinafore), Florence (Chess), Young Heidi (Follies), Cosette (Les Miserables), Mary Magdalene (Jesus Christ Superstar), Side by Side by Sondheim, Yum Yum (Hot Mikado), Sarah (Guys and Dolls), The Witch (Into the Woods - CAT AWARD 'Best Actress in a Musical') & Lucy (Jekyll & Hyde).
Rachael is a sought after voice teacher, style coach and music tutor having unique insight into the technical and stylistic demands of several idioms of music. She is a Performance Teaching Fellow at the ANU School of Music, and in recent years has taught at several private schools, colleges and regional conservertoire. She has also been a sessional music teacher for CIT and NSW TAFE.
Rachael completed her Master of Music degree at ANU School of Music on full scholarship and subsequently travelled to the UK and Europe for an intensive period of professional development, working with some of the world's leading voice experts. She is a certified 'voice-nerd' and stays abreast of the latest voice science research, attending conferences and subscribing to several leading authorities and organisations.
"When I first heard Rachael I was struck by an ethereal quality in her voice. She is at the age now where her tone is rich,
her skills highly polished, and now with a delicate touch of soulfulness."
Vince Jones - Australian jazz trumpeter | singer | songwriter
"Rachael loves music and music loves Rachael. She is fearless, generous, fun to be around and she makes a beautiful sound."
Miroslav Bukovsky - composer | arranger | jazz trumpeter (Wunderlust, Ten Part Invention)
“Rachael has a world-class voice and the potential to build a classical performance career at the highest level.”
Alan Hicks, formerly Head of Voice, ANU School of Music
"Rachael, you're a goddess! I worship at your musical altar!"
Kathy Lette, International best-selling author
"Vocalist Rachael Thoms was sheer class."
Clinton White, Canberra City News
"Rachael sang fluent and high. She stunned me with her improvised melody lines...
taking the written line and embellishing it freely and richly. This is jazz singing to me: richly improvised throughout..."
"Rachael Thoms throws herself into the sneering, domineering Lady Billows with vocal gusto." (Albert Herring 2012)
Helen Musa, Canberra City News
"Lady (Billows) of the Manor - a fabulously horsey Rachael Thoms, embodying every Aunt in the Wodehousian canon, and sounding splendid..." (Albert Herring 2012)
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- Masterclass/Guest Teacher/Workshops