Winner of the 2016 ACPC Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Competition

[Rachel Ackerman]

Rachel Ackerman
Photo credit: Linnea Farnsworth

August 11, 2016 - 8:00 pm
at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
University of Pittsburgh
Schenley Drive
Admission Free

View poster

--- Rachel Ackerman, a 26 year old coloratura Soprano, is the Winner of the 2016 ACPC Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Vocal Competition. Rachel will be awarded the $2,000 prize on August 11th, 2016 during the 58th annual ACPC Convention in Pittsburgh. She will perform a recital of arias and art songs at the Sembrich Award Concert in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on the University of Pittsburgh campus.

Rachel Ackerman is a young lady of Polish descent who is on her way to following in the footsteps of Marcella Kochanska Sembrich. The Music Committee selected Rachel as having the potential for singing operatic arias and art songs, for vocal and career development, and for promoting Polish culture.

During the Sembrich Award selection process, Music Committee member Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski wrote: "Rachel Ackerman has a very powerful emotional connection with the listener. Perfect intonation and tone quality gives her singing superb qualities. She is a fully developed artist. What a joy to hear her!"

The Sembrich Vocal Competition is the third competition that Rachel has won in 2016. In February, Rachel was the 1st Place winner in the Virginia State National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, followed by 1st Place in the NATS Mid-Atlantic Regional Voice Competition. In 2015, Rachel won 1st Place in the Concerto Competition at George Mason University, and placed 2nd in the Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Vocal Competition. Rachel has just completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at George Mason University, studying voice with Patricia Miller.

Rachel was born in Pennsylvania, and is of Polish descent on both her father's and mother's side. Her family has done genealogical research, and traced their Polish ancestry to the great grandparents on both the mother's and father's sides. Rachel is proud of her Polish heritage, and is planning to promote her Polish heritage by learning to sing songs of Polish composers in Polish. At the Sembrich Award concert, Rachel will sing songs of Karol Szymanowski and Fryderyk Chopin in Polish.

Rachel has performed the roles of The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Madame Herz (The Impresario), Le feu (L'enfant et les Sortileges), Fiona (Brigadoon), and Eileen (Wonderful Town). In addition to performing, Rachel is a passionate music educator. She has a degree in Music Education from Penn State University, and teaches voice and piano at the Harmonic Music Studios in Washington, DC. In the coming year, Rachel will continue her vocal training and expanding her vocal repertoire. She will be auditioning for the Emerging Artists programs with various opera companies.

Please view her website:

The Music Committee
Wanda O'Brien-Trefil, Ph.D., Chair
Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski
Ms. Alicia Dutka