Rachel Van Amburgh (she/they) is a dynamic, versatile oboist, dedicated teacher, and upcoming arts administrator driven to make art music more accessible, relevant, and meaningful to people from all walks of life. She previously held the positions of 2nd oboe/English horn with the Downey Symphony and Eastern Sierra Symphony, and also served as Principal Oboist of the Young Musician’s Foundation Debut Orchestra from 2013-2015, holding the English horn/Oboe III chair in 2012. Additionally, Rachel has performed with a number of ensembles around Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Bernardino Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony, Dream Orchestra, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Choir, Pasadena Master Chorale, and Angeles Chorale, among many others. As a studio musician, she can be heard on the film soundtracks for the Academy-Award winning documentary American Factory (2019), Wyrm (2019), Duck Duck Goose (2018), Three Christs (2018), Ylion & Callysia (2017), My Loyal Audience (2017), D’Arline (2016), Chalk It Up (2015), and Moments (2013). As a soloist, Rachel has been featured with the USC Thornton Symphony with the premiere of an oboe concertino written for her by composer Clare Glackin, and is also the soloist on the premiere commercial recording of Frederick Lesemann's Concertino for Oboe and Six Instruments. An avid fan of collaborating with composers, Rachel has commissioned and premiered a wide variety of new solo works for oboe.
Rachel was a finalist with the Pico Winds in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, and has enjoyed chamber music fellowships at the Norfolk Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Imani Winds Music Festival, and Pine Mountain Music Festival. On baroque oboe, Rachel has performed at the Berkeley Music Festival (sponsored by Early Music America), participated as a fellow in the American Bach Soloists Academy, and was also featured in Marcello's Concerto in d minor with the Thornton Baroque Sinfonia.
Teaching is equally important to Rachel's performance pursuits. She has taught oboists at the Harvard Westlake School, The Harmony Project, and Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, and served as adjunct faculty at USC, Glendale Community College and Pierce College. As an arts administrator, Rachel was the Founder and Co-Producer of the Femme Frequencies music festival, the first of its kind in Los Angeles to celebrate a truly diverse collection of fabulous women + non-binary musicians from across the Southland. She has also been a Co-Director for Classical Revolution: LA, and co-founded the chamber ensemble Switch.
Rachel completed her Doctorate in Oboe Performance at the University of Southern California, where she was a recipient of the Titi Najera de Mason scholarship, and received a special commendation for her academic focus in Music Education. She also completed her Masters of Music in Oboe Performance at USC, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance from the University of Michigan. Rachel’s primary oboe teachers include Nancy Ambrose King, Allan Vogel, Marion Kuszyk, Joel Timm, David Weiss, and Erin Hannigan; she has studied baroque oboe with Lot Demeyer and Paul Sherman. She is currently a proud resident of Echo Park, CA.