Raised in a musical family, Toronto-born Rachel Thomas graduated from the University of Toronto as a student of Gordon Sweeney. After being awarded a Canada Council grant to study with Joseph Alessi in New York City, she joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony as second trombone, where she has performed for over 25 seasons. In addition, Rachel was a regular extra with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years, including two tours to Europe, several to Carnegie Hall, and can be heard on two Finlandia recordings.
During her tenure with the KWS, Rachel continues to be a highly sought-after freelancer. She has performed with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra as Acting Principal and participated in the International Women’s Brass Conference performing with the Monarch Brass Ensemble. Among a myriad of freelance gigs, Rachel can be heard on an episode of the hit show Murdoch Mysteries and made a brief(!) appearance in the Netflix series, The Umbrella Academy.
Rachel is on the faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University where she teaches private lessons, coaches chamber brass and conducts the WLU Trombone Choir.