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Raychel Taylor is an experienced educator, performer, and arts entrepreneur in northern Illinois. She serves as Interim Director of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Percussion Ensembles, performs regularly in an eclectic array of ensembles, including DeKalb-based salsa band Salsa del Norte and berimbau world music sextet Projeto Arcomusical,where she also serves as Operations Manager, and is co-founder of “Girls March”, a summer music and leadership training program for young female percussionists to learn from some of the most influential women in the marching arts. 

In 2017, Raychel performed two full-length concerts at the International Festival of Percussion Ensembles in San José, Costa Rica, and spent a month in Tabanan, Bali studying Balinese gamelan. She dedicated much of her university education to widening her horizons and developing new perspectives, studying everything from Afro-Cuban batá drumming, Balinese gamelan, and Brazilian capoeira songs to calypso and salsa.

Though she is a native Californian, Raychel earned Bachelor of Music degrees in Percussion Performance and Music Theory from the University of North Texas, as well as a Master of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. Raychel has an extensive history in DCI, having performed with Sacramento Mandarins (‘08, ‘09), Phantom Regiment (2010), which earned the Fred Sanford Award for high percussion that year, and Santa Clara Vanguard (2011). 

Raychel serves on the Diversity Committee for the Percussive Arts Society and is a proud endorser of Innovative Percussion.