Rachel attended the U of M for a year and a half, and while she loved her experience at the University she decided after seeing a live performance at The Dakota Jazz Club, she needed to explore a different direction in the musical field. She left the classical program at the U of M and transferred to McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. She knew almost instantly that this school was a perfect fit. Their curriculum focused mainly on jazz and other contemporary musical genres. This was the first time Rachel truly believed she could have a successful career in music. She studied with Judi Donaghy Vinar, Lori Dokken, Erin Schwab, Debbie Duncan and Pete Whitman. Her second semester, Rachel had her first gigging opportunities, all of which were provided by the extremely supportive and encouraging McNallySmith faculty. She sang frequently at The Times Bar and Cafe as well as the Dakota Jazz Club, the venue that inspired her to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional jazz vocalist.
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