Rachel J. Burckardt, Composer & Instrumentalist
Photo by Rosie Delacruz
Rachel J. Burckardt, a New York City native, is a composer and instrumentalist now living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Rachel serves as a volunteer liturgical musician and composer at St. Cecilia Parish in Boston, Massachusetts. In this role, she serves as an assisting accompanist (piano, guitar, bass, organ), composer, and assisting director for the 6 pm choir. Her sacred and liturgical compositions span various musical styles from chant to gospel and include settings of psalms, liturgical acclamations, and sacred songs.
"Rachel Burckardt has a unique compositional style, personal and always pushing the boundaries of a complex harmonic language. " (Joe Matzzie, composer and guitarist) "There is nothing derivative about Rachel's compositions. They are honest." (Paul Hoffman, teaching artist, South Shore Conservatory and Music Director, St. John the Evangelist Church, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts)
A civil engineer in her day job, Rachel obtained her musical education "on the side" while attending Northeastern University in Boston. She studied piano, composition, and arranging with several graduates of the Berklee College of Music, an experience she calls this her “second-hand” Berklee musical education!
Her compositional and improvisational style was influenced by a stint with the hammer dulcimer/ psaltry-based Bill Desmond Tone Poem, where she played guitar and keyboards. The Tone Poem, while classified as "New Age," is better described as a meeting of atmospheric music with modal jazz in a form that was essentially structured improvisation influenced by progressive rock. This affinity for atmospherics, as well as a particular predilection for minor 9th chords, can be heard in many of her compositions.
Rachel's recording career includes:
Sacred and liturgical music compositions of Rachel Burckardt:
Instrumental compositions of Rachel Burckardt, with the Wood Harbor Ensemble:
For indices of the compositions by
Rachel J. Burckardt, click below:
How Long, O God
Re-release now available!
Liturgical compositions of Rachel J. Burckardt, featuring the Wood Harbor Ensemble, Choir of St. Ann Church, Boston and friends.
Liturgical compositions of Rachel J. Burckardt, featuring the Choir of St. Cecilia Church, Boston and friends.
St. Cecilia Parish is located in the Back Bay section of Boston. Named for the patroness of music, the parish is near three renowned music schools: Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory and The Boston Conservatory. Needless to say, the parish is well know for its music ministry.
Since 1989, Richard J. Clark has served as Music Director and Organist for the parish. Richard is a graduate of both Berklee and the Boston Conservatory, and is a publish-ed composer of sacred music.
Since 2003, Rachel has served as a volunteer liturgical musician and composer at St. Cecilia Parish. Her roles include assisting accompanist (piano, guitar, bass, organ), composer, and assisting director for the 6 pm choir.
Prior to St. Cecilia Parish, Rachel was as acting music director for the 6 pm choir at St. Ann Parish, which was merged into St. Cecilai's in 2004.