Contemporary Improvisation

Rachel Panitch founded and directs Rhode Island Fiddle Project, a free music program based in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Pawtucket, RI, teaching traditional fiddle and dance music to students ages 7-17.  In 2009, Rachel completed a two-year Urban Musical Fellowship at Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI, which inspired and incubated RI Fiddle Project.  She initiated and continues to direct Community MusicWorks’ Summer Camps.

Rachel is an active contra dance fiddler who has recorded with a number of folk/roots bands including the Bourbon Boys, Tallahassee, Benvindo Cruz, and Neha Jiwrajka.  She has collaborated recently with singer-story-teller-extraordinaire, Bill Harley. Rachel’s fiddling was part of the Emmy-nominated soundtrack for the 2009 PBS documentary “The Mosque in Morgantown.” She also performs with the story-telling/improvisatory trio Thread, which includes violin, vibraphone and voices.

At Vassar College, Rachel completed work in Anthropology and Music focusing on aural learning in folk music communities and the documentation of early American fiddle music. Rachel received her Masters of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory in May 2013.  She has studied with Carla Kihlstedt, Hankus Netsky, Nicholas Kitchen and Tanya Kalmanovitch.
B.M. in Anthropology, Vassar College; M.M. in Contemporary Improvisation, New England Conservatory.

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