Raychel Taylor is an experienced educator, performer, and arts entrepreneur in northern Illinois. She teaches multiple schools in the area and performs regularly in an eclectic array of ensembles, including DeKalb-based salsa band Salsa del Norte and berimbau world music sextet Projeto Arcomusical, where she also serves as Operations Manager. She also served as Interim Director of Percussion Ensembles for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras during their Spring 2018 season. Raychel is the founder of “Girls March”, a summer music and leadership training program where young female percussionists learn from some of the most influential women in the marching arts.
In 2017, Raychel performed two full-length concerts at the International Festival of Percussion Ensembles in San José, Costa Rica, and spent a month in Tabanan, Bali studying Balinese gamelan. She dedicated much of her university education to widening her horizons and developing new perspectives, studying everything from Afro-Cuban batá drumming, Balinese gamelan, and Brazilian capoeira songs to calypso and salsa.
Though she is a native Californian, Raychel earned Bachelor of Music degrees in Percussion Performance and Music Theory from the University of North Texas, as well as a Master of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. Raychel has a diverse history in DCI having performed with the Sacramento Mandarins (‘08, ‘09), Phantom Regiment (2010), which earned the Fred Sanford Award for high percussion that year, and Santa Clara Vanguard (2011).
Raychel serves on the Diversity Committee for the Percussive Arts Society and is a proud endorser of Innovative Percussion and Remo products.