I’m inspired by those championing new compositions and pushing the boundaries of our instruments.
Rachel Messing is the Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music History at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Her orchestral work in South Texas includes playing with the San Antonio Philharmonic, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Valley Symphony, and Laredo Philharmonic. From 2014 through 2019, she was a professional oboist and educator in Arizona. While living in Arizona, Dr. Messing performed regularly with the Phoenix Symphony, True Concord, Tucson Symphony, Arizona Philharmonic, Las Cruces Symphony, Prescott Pops Symphony, West Valley Symphony, and Tucson Pops Orchestra. She has also performed with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and Allen (Texas) Philharmonic. In these orchestras, she has had the opportunity to play in the oboe section as principal, second, English horn, oboe d’amore, as well as bass oboe. Her popular music experience includes performances with the bands Hanson, Mannheim Steamroller, and Johnny Mathis.
Messing previously held oboe instructor positions at Grand Canyon University and Mesa Community College. She has also shared her love for music through performances and reed making masterclasses at colleges across the country. As a chamber musician, her performances include several festivals and conferences like the International Double Reed Society Conference, RioWinds in Brazil, International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest, Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference.
Dr. Messing completed her doctorate at Arizona State University with Professor Martin Schuring, holds a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University under the study of Erin Hannigan and received her Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Alex Klein and Robert Walters.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE GDYO EXPERIENCE OR MEMORY?
I remember feeling so lucky to play English horn solos on amazing orchestral pieces like Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Franck Symphony in D Minor, but also goofing around backstage at the Meyerson before concerts. I met a good number of friends in that ensemble that have gone on to do music performance and education; I’m very proud of all their accomplishments since leaving GDYO and love seeing their posts on social media.
TELL US WHAT YOU’VE BEEN UP TO SINCE GRADUATING FROM GDYO.
For school, I went to Oberlin Conservatory, Southern Methodist University, and finally Arizona State University. I am currently Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music History at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. I’ve performed with many professional orchestras, including the Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, San Antonio Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, and Corpus Christi Symphony.
WHAT LIFE ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF SO FAR & WHY?
Becoming a tenure-track university professor that still hustles as a freelancer is an accomplishment that I’m very proud of.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR PERSONAL AND/OR PROFESSIONAL GOALS FOR THE FUTURE.
My goal is to continue performing with other passionate performers in chamber groups and symphonies, while also teaching young musicians how to enjoy and enhance their music making. A personal goal is to improve my gardening skills and grow and herb garden.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
After attending and performing at this summer’s IDRS (International Double Reed Society) Conference, I’m inspired by those championing new compositions and pushing the boundaries of our instruments. At the same time, I loved hearing the historical performances and ended up buying a Baroque oboe. Time to learn how to make more reeds!
ANY HOBBIES, FUN FACTS, OR LIFE HIGHLIGHTS OUTSIDE YOUR CAREER YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
I love baking desserts and since moving to the coast, I like to paddleboard in the bay.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO CURRENT GDYO STUDENTS?
Have fun performing incredible repertoire, make friends during rehearsal breaks, and soak up the time on the beautiful stage at the Meyerson!
THANK YOU DR. MESSING FOR STEPPING INTO GDYO’S ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT!
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW WOULD BE INTERESTED IN SHARING THE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT OR WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GDYO ALUMNI ASSOCIATION,
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