Hello! My name is Rachel Lieberman, and I am a rising junior at the University of Texas in Austin majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. I am a native Connecticutor from the small town of Westport. The question I have been asked most often is: “How might a young girl from Connecticut find herself in Texas?” And, followed with: “Where did your drive to pursue music originate?”
It all began when my mom sing Dream a Little Dream of Me every night before I went to sleep. It became a ritual that brought safety, serenity, and tranquility into my life. I participated in musical theater from 5th to 8th grade, but ultimately gave up this option when I realized I had no real acting ability whatsoever. Throughout my high school career, I was heavily involved in the choir scene. I appreciated the communal aspect of being in an a cappella group, and I craved the challenge of deciphering difficult music pieces. That said, the music we were studying didn’t excite me. I wanted to find a group that would incorporate the artistic nuances I was developing as an individual and also challenge me as a singer.
When arriving on the scene at the University of Texas, I had no idea that meeting Gary Powell would change my life. As a new student, I was focused on my bachelor’s degree while hopefully performing music as a hobby. Next, Ensemble 109, a music production class directed by Mr. Powell, offered me everything I could have hoped for as an artist, and more. He brought life and excitement to both the recording and live performance process. Consequently, I became fascinated with the music business. I could not fathom doing anything else with my life. Also, the commeradeire of Ensemble 109 brought incredible guidance and familial mentoring from my fellow 109 members: Jordan Ashworth, Jenna Long, Ashtyn Talley, and many others. My freshman year was revolutionary.
It was this vocal experience in 109 that drove me to apply for an internship at Sony Music in New York City the following summer. There, I had the unique experience of working in the Merchandising Division. Although I had no fashion expertise coming into the job, I learned a great deal about the importance of merchandise in promoting and supporting artists. What’s more, my superiors constantly communicated helpful advice and information about their respective jobs. I found this experience incredible because as an aspiring artist myself, I was able to learn about the inner workings and various sects of the music industry as it might apply to me as an artist.
Returning to the University of Texas for my sophomore year, I participated in Ensemble 109 again, and am now involved in ELESVEE. Through my newfound knowledge, I was able to grow and develop to be the deep voiced, blues loving, emphatic note riffing girl I am today. I hope to continue my journey with Gary, and use my experience with ELESVEE to expound my knowledge, and propel me to reach my ultimate goal of becoming a professional music performer.