My name is Rachel Reichert and I am a graduate student in Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University. I started playing classical violin at the age of 5, eventually transitioning to fiddle styles which grew to consume my entire life (in a good way.) With a family heavily involved in the music scene, and a professional banjo player for a dad, I grew up always surrounded by bluegrass and American country music, so the transition away from classical was unavoidable. I started working professionally as a fiddle player at the age of 15. Eventually I turned to academia, and in undergrad, I studied both classical music and history at the University of Wisconsin Superior, and focused my work on bluegrass history. I chose to attend ETSU to further study American country music history as it is the home of bluegrass in academia. At ETSU, I currently work as a graduate assistant at East Tennessee State’s department of Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies, where I help organize things like performance schedules and practice rooms for over 40 bands. I am also involved in three of those school bands myself. This piqued my interest regarding band dynamics within a rehearsal setting.
Photo Credit: Dan Fong