The vast myriad of musical encounters Rachel Velvikis, horn, has accumulated in her almost twenty years as a professional musician validates the reason she chose the profession at the age of ten: music is enormously much bigger than herself; every opportunity to spread its message is a joyous occasion!
As a member of the critically acclaimed female brass quintet, Seraph Brass, Ms. Velvikis has toured the United States, Finland, and Mexico. Members of Seraph Brass have performed with pop icon Adele, and Seraph was the featured ensemble at the 2017 Women’s Brass Conference. They have performed at the Forum Cultural Guanajuato in Mexico, and were guest artists at the 2017 Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. The group returned to Finland the summer of 2018 to give an album release concert as well as two more performances. Seraph Brass recorded their debut album in beautiful Finland, and Summit Records released the album, Asteria, in January 2018.
Upon graduating from the Mannes School of Music where she studied with David Jolley, Rachel was a contracted core member with the Richmond Symphony from the 2008-2011 seasons, one of which saw Rachel as Acting Principal. She has been a permanent member of the Williamsburg Symphony since 2010. Other symphonic appearances include the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Opera, the Richmond Ballet, the Haddonfield Symphony, the New World Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony.
Other notable chamber groups with whom she has worked include the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, the Eckhart Ensemble, grammy-nominated A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Brass Quintet, and the Richmond Symphony Woodwind Quintet.
She has a thriving private studio both online and around the Richmond, VA area. Since 2011, Rachel has held the position of adjunct faculty at the University of Richmond.
Ms. Velvikis has recorded in several studios which include Space Bomb, Montrose Studios, Red Amp, and Sound Check Studios. Other recordings featuring Ms. Velvikis have been captured in studios across the five boroughs of New York City; Bergin, New Jersey; Raleigh, North Carolina; Nurmes, Finland; and her hometown of Kenosha, WI. She can also be heard on the 2013 Mahler 2 recording with the Virginia Symphony.
Some of her favorite pop orchestral memories include touring with Mannheim Steamroller, playing with Amy Grant, the Indigo Girls, Natalie Merchant, and playing with tribute bands for The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones. Unique concerts include Video Games Live, Bugs Bunny Live, Harry Potter in Concert, and playing in The Legend of Zelda Live orchestra. She will likewise not shy away from blasting improvised jazz licks as a regular with one of her favorite bands, the Space Monkey Odyssey.
Memorable freelance experiences in New York during her college years include playing with Olivia Newton-John, performing on live television at the Daytime Emmy Awards, playing in the world debut South African version of “Carmen,” and winning second and principal horn of the New York Youth Symphony for two seasons, respectively.