Rachel Gibson is a percussionist, composer, and music technologist from Tower City, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a double major in Percussion Performance and Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA). She currently studies percussion with Michael Rosen and computer music with Aurie Hsu and Abby Aresty. She previously studied percussion with Robert Nowak and has completed additional computer music studies with Edgar Berdahl and Stephen Beck. Rachel has performed in the Oberlin Percussion Group, Oberlin Orchestra, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the Oberlin Improvisation and New-Music Collective (OINC).
In 2017, Rachel was the recipient of the Avedis Zildjian Conservatory Percussion Award, which is given to a continuing percussion major in recognition of outstanding performance skills. In 2018, she worked in collaboration with the TIMARA department on the live electronics accompaniment to Jonathan Harvey’s Bird Concerto with Pianosong, which was performed by Ursula Oppens and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. She was also selected for the Oberlin College Research Fellowship and completed research under Deborah Campana, Head Librarian of the Oberlin Conservatory Library, on the connection between John Cage’s musical notation and Zen Buddhism.
Rachel presented the Theremin Textural Expander, a performance system she created for theremin, at Virginia Tech during the 2018 International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME). Her accompanying paper on was published in the conference’s proceedings. In a recent concert review, ClevelandClassical stated her theremin performance “started with the usual confusingly human wail of the theremin, then switched to buzzing pops like angry crickets unleashed on the world.”
In 2019, Rachel presented an interactive performance system for theremin at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) as part of the Student Design Challenge. Most recently, she was awarded the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduate fellowship at Louisiana State University, where she created IRIS (InfraRed Instrument of Stars), a non-tactile electronic musical instrument.