“Rarely have I come across as talented and noteworthy a person as Rachel DeShon” – Marvin Hamlisch
With a voice that has been called “undeniably fantastic” (Seattle Fine Arts Examiner), Rachel DeShon has performed both nationally and internationally. The 2001 winner of Marvin Hamlisch’s Search for a Star competition with the Seattle Symphony, DeShon was since seen as a guest artist with his national symphony tour. Additional performance highlights include the Boston POPS! under the direction of Keith Lockhart at Boston’s Symphony Hall, Seattle Symphony Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony Pops, 5th Avenue Theatre, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Federal Way Symphony, Bainbridge Symphony and the Singapore’s Esplanade Concert Hall.
She is the co-founder and director of The Moore Artist Collective, a non-profit Imaginative Arts Development Production Company powered by Shunpike. The Moore Artist Collective is committed to the creation of new works that directly address challenges experienced by young people and their families. In spring of 2013 she debuted her creation of In Recital with the late pianist, composer Norman Durkee at PONCHO Concert Hall at Cornish College of the Arts. Currently, she is working in collaboration with award winning Toronto playwright and director Robert Morgan and pianist/composer Avi Lasser, creating I AM an Opera. I AM is a solo opera for young people and their families. This last February, she was an Artist in Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts for continued production development as well as being awarded two Canada Council of the Arts grants for the support of this work. I AM an Opera becomes an extraordinary tribute to one young girl’s quite ordinary capacity to triumph.
This last year, she released the exotica tribute album Taking Yma Sumac One Step Further with San Diego’s Creepxotica. It began as “Yma Sumac, the Legend, the Woman the Music” sypmosium at Tiki Oasis in 2014, featuring educator El Vez (aka Robert Lopez of The Zeros). El Vez saw an opportunity to pair the multi-octave DeShon with Creepxotica as part of his talk about the legendary Sumac.
Rachel is a recurring cast member with Teatro ZinZanni, deemed “Seattle’s Littlest Diva” by the Seattle Fine Arts Examiner. She has performed in Seattle and San Francisco with Ann Wilson, Joan Baez, Thelma Houston, Frank Ferrante and the late Norman Durkee and Lilianne Montevecchi.
She made her debut with the Seattle Men’s Chorus in their Legacy concert series, featuring the two critically acclaimed works, ‘I Am Harvey Milk’ and ‘Tyler’s Suite’, appearing with Andrew Lippa as Harvey Milk.
Rachel premiered Seattle Opera’s production of Our Earth, a cycle of operas created for children, performed in partnership with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Opera’s Children’s Chorus.
She is also on the artist roster for Cirque du Soleil.
Rachel received the Encouragement Award for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, won First Place in the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Tri-State (IL, MO, IA) and State Competitions in Illinois and Washington, Western Illinois University Concerto Competition Winner, Seattle Civic Opera Guild Helen Jensen Award, The City Opera Company Young Opera Singers Competition, Pafe (Performing Arts Festival Eastside) Classical and Musical Theatre Overall Excellence in Voice.
Other Performance highlights include: Cunegonde in Candide, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Lucille Frank in Parade, Papagena in The Magic Flute, Rusty in Footlose, Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense II, and The Diva at Teatro ZinZanni.
DeShon is a BFA cum laude graduate of Western Illinois University.