Rachael Lonergan has been teaching cello since 1989. She was a coach for the Suzuki Music Program of Los Angeles for twelve years, and the cello coach for both the New West Ventura Youth Symphony and the Avanti Chamber Orchestra. She was on the faculty for the Southern California Suzuki Institute in 1996. Since 2003 Rachael has taught chamber music classes at The National Cello Institute. In 2006 Rachael started the San Fernando Valley Cello Ensemble (SFVCE), which consists of students from her studio. The group performs at various retirement home, libraries, and hospitals.
Rachael was coordinator of the American String Teachers Association Area I and II Competition from 1999-2006. She was also the coordinator of the Suzuki Cello Graduation for the Suzuki Music Association of California Los Angeles branch from 1996-2017. Rachael was on the Los Angeles Cello Society Board of Directors for ten years, their membership co-chair for four years, and coordinated the annual Student Honor Recital.
Rachael has edited three books in collaboration with Last Resort Music, played on several motion pictures, a Gloria Estefan music video (at 2:36 in video) and was featured in an Air Supply video.
As a performer, Rachael was principal cellist of the West Valley Chamber Orchestra for eight years, where she was featured many times as a soloist performing works such as Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in Bb, Haydn’s C Major Concerto, Saint-Saens Concerto No. 1, Vivaldi’s Double Concerto in g minor, Boccherini’s Concerto in Bb, Faure’s Elegie and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, among others.
Rachael's students have won top awards in competitions such as ASTA, PTA, VOCE, SYMF, LAVS, YAG, and Memorial Awards, among others. Her students participate in chamber music programs at Colburn, and JCM as well as local youth orchestras such as CSUN, Conejo Valley, LAYO, and Colburn. Numerous students have won concerto competitions and have performed solos with various orchestras. 95% of her students are also members of their school orchestra in addition to being members of the SFVCE which performs regularly throughout the year.
Students have gone on to pursue a degree in cello performance at Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music, Peabody, UCLA, Gonzaga University, UCSB, Lawrence University, and Baldwin-Wallace College. She has several former students that are now private teachers as well.
Rachael thanks all the teachers who have influenced and shaped her playing and teaching over the years: Gretchen Geber, Richard Mooney, Richard Allen, Peter Rejto, Matt Cooker, John Walz, and Andrew Cook. Without their influence, guidance, and support she knows her life would be very different.
Learning to her is a lot like life, and the journey itself is much more important than the end. She is a product of all her teachers, and feels that as she continues to teach, she keeps learning and growing with each student. It is a never ending process.
You are listening to "The Swan"
Rachael Lonergan - cellist
Anita Swearengin - pianist