RACHEL BUCHMAN is a native New Yorker. She has lived and performed all over the United States and abroad. She has sung at New York's Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for Da Camera of Houston, and in many other cities.
RECORDINGS AND PUBLICATIONS
Rachel Buchman’s Homemade Band is about to release her seventh album – Rocks in My Pockets. It was recorded at the sound studio of the legendary Frank Davis.
Her six solo albums, on Rounder Records and A Gentle Wind labels, include: Shine Little Candles – a Grammy Awards semi-finalist (2001); Sing a Song of Seasons – named one of Six Best Recordings by Sesame Street Parents Magazine (1997); and Hello Everybody! Playsongs and Rhymes from a Toddler's World – winner of The American Library Association, Parents' Choice and Oppenheim Toy awards (1986). She was invited to contribute to the composite album, Hear and Gone in 60 Seconds, with Ella Jenkins and other artists. The album has won more than 8 awards and was a Grammy Awards semi-finalist (2003). Miss Buchman’s rhymes are used on Scholastic’s “Circle Time Sing-Along.” Her songbook, Jewish Holiday Songs for Children, was published by Mel Bay (1997). She has published articles in the “American Dalcroze Journal” and “HAAEYC Advocate.”
Miss Buchman narrated with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in December 2004 with Carlos Prieto conducting. In the spring of 2007, Miss Buchman narrated the world premiere of Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” music by Dan Sedgwick, with the Keene Chamber Orchestra conducted by Eric Schmacher.
She collaborates regularly with Larry Rachleff, music director of the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, for the annual Shepherd Society's Family Concert. In 2009, Miss Buchman worked with a group Houston elementary school children to create a narration for the concert of Aaron Copeland’s Music for the Theatre. During this concert she and conductor Cristian Macelaru explored what makes music jazzy. In 2008, Miss Buchman prepared a Young People's Concert in collaboration with conductors Thomas Hong and Cristian Macelaru that showed the relationship between de Falla's El Sombrero de Tres Picos and the music of Spain's folk traditions, in conjunction with Del Espadín Flamenco & Spanish Dance Academy. She also staged the Shepherd School of Music Brass Ensemble in their performance of Jon Deak’s Annie O. In 2007, she wrote and performed an original introduction for Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which included a reading of Goethe’s ballad, Der Zauberlehrling, in an English translation that Miss Buchman contributed to. Other young people’s concerts include Benjamin Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (2004), Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf (2005) and an entirely original narration for Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère l’Oye) in 2006, in collaboration with Canadian conductor, Daniel Myssyk.
Her most recent family chamber music performance, Elephants and Other Large Friends, (May 2009) included directing, narrating and choreographing Poulenc’s The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff, and staging violinist Sonja Harasim and singer Dan Williamson in Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf/music by Alan Ridout. Her 2008 family chamber concert, Owl and Friends, included four pieces (based on well-known children’s books) by Dan Sedgwick and Marji Gere, specifically composed for Miss Buchman to narrate and sing. The concert included puppetry and songs by Alec Wilder and Moondog, and an appearance by Jacob Barton, inventor of the utterly new Udderbot. Other chamber performances include John Cage's Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs and ten selections from his 62 Mesostics re Merce Cunningham; the latter performed for the new music ensemble, Barmusic, in its opening concert (2003). She has had original music composed for her narrations by Troy Wayne, (Gorey - five stories by Edward Gorey); and by percussionist Matt McClung, (Rudyard Kipling's "How the Whale Got His Throat," and "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin").
As a voice-over artist you can hear Miss Buchman regularly on radio, television, anime, film and industrial cd-roms. She is represented by Pastorini-Bosby Talent. She wrote and narrated a program about the Suzuki violin repertoire for KUHF, Houston's National Public Radio and classical music station.
In November 2009, Miss Buchman will be appearing as Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera, by Brecht and Weill, directed by Leslie Swackhammer, in the first co-production of the Shepherd School of Music and Rice’s department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. In February 2007, she appeared in a leading role in the world premiere of the musical, A Talmud Tale.
Miss Buchman recently performed blues and American songs for the documentary, Ray Hill - Citizen Provocateur, directed by Brian Huberman. She is presently researching and recording music for his next documentary film, Alligator-Horses, about the Davy Crockett Almanacs and their relation to American society in the 1830’s.
For over 25 years, Miss Buchman has taught music to young people, from toddlers to doctoral students, of every social and ethnic background, across the United States, in Germany, England and Israel. She has presented teacher workshops nationwide for the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Houston Grand Opera, Project Grad, Young Audiences, the Children's Museum of Houston, the Bureau of Jewish Education, and other organizations. She collaborated with the neurologist, Dr. Ron Tintner, on researching musical intuitiveness in young children, as well as the positive effects that making music and moving to music have on the brain.
THE PHYSICAL ARTS
Miss Buchman practices Iyengar yoga and has had extensive training in dance, alternative healing, and horseback riding and uses all of these physical practices in her understanding of and approach to teaching and performance.
AT RICE UNIVERSITY
Rachel Buchman is a lecturer in music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and Head of the Young Children's Division of the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program. She was invited by the former Dean Michael Hammond to design and establish the program in 2000. Using her own methods and those of Emile-Jaques Dalcroze, she trains graduate student recipients of the Brown Fellowship to develop the intuitive musicianship of young children, and teaches children’s classes herself. Through the JUMP outreach concert program she trains classical musicians to create innovative approaches to performing art music to the community at large, and she coaches musicians in the art of the spoken word, a skill increasingly in demand for musicians performing contemporary compositions.
Miss Buchman earned her bachelor’s degree in drama, Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude, from Vassar College. As a young director in New York she assisted Alan Schneider and Liviu Ciulei. She is completing her certification in Dalcroze eurhythmics, from the Longy School of Music, studying with Lisa Parker and Anne Farber. She began her Dalcroze studies with Dr. Hilda M. Schuster at the Dalcroze School of Music in New York in the 1970’s. She has studied voice with Kathleen Kaun and Susie Dunn.