Student Spotlight: Rebecca Rae
Rebecca Rae has been singing and playing various musical instruments since she was 3.
“My mom said the first song I ever learned was ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ She would hear me sing it in the bathtub,” she said. “I grew up playing piano, moved to flute, and one year I wanted to play the bassoon. I have family members who play music, so it was just watching them sing and express themselves that really got me loving music.”
Because her sister attended College of DuPage and had a great experience, Rae and her parents decided COD was the best choice for her.
“COD gave me a little more time to figure out what I wanted to do with my career,” she said. “I was still living at home, able to talk things out with my parents, and I was still getting the same education as I would anywhere else. I could think about the right options for me, so I didn’t jump into something just because it was there.”
Rae earned her Associate in Arts degree and auditioned for the School of Music at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She took management, music, marketing and recording classes and earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Business with a minor in Marketing. One class took her multiple times to Nashville, where she spoke with professionals in management, artists who won Grammys and studio producers.
After graduating, Rae moved home for two years and couldn’t find the right job. Then came an internship opportunity at a Christian music management company in Nashville, where she eagerly moved. Four months later she was offered a tour manager position and traveled from Maryland to New Mexico in what she considers one of the most challenging jobs she’s held.
Her next internship was at ROAR Management, which has a wide range of musicians including the Zac Brown Band. She worked with the band on an album release party at their studio. Rae then landed a job as a server in one of the most popular restaurants in Nashville and began creating her own music.
“I decided that it was time to write and record my own EP, so that’s exactly what I did,” she said. “Now I have professionally recorded music on all the music outlets. I have since completed a tour up the Pacific coast, from San Francisco to Portland, played numerous amounts of writers rounds, played personal gigs, and had interviews to get my music out there. It has been a wild ride for sure, and it’s definitely not over yet.
“My ultimate goals are to receive a CMA and a Grammy. I would love to be on stage at the CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium, be on the radio, and sing at the Opry. That is the ultimate goal. I would love to travel and sing songs, and collaborate with musicians that I’ve looked up to for years.”
Rae advises students considering the Music program at College of DuPage to be open to the options that a music career offers.
“I have my Music Business degree, but there are so many different routes that music can take you,” she said. “You can stay on the management side and manage artists. You can be a tour manager, work in a studio and organize entertainment events. Take your time in deciding what you want to do, and keep an open mind because it can always change.
“Also, just have fun! Be open to not just music but all opportunities because you never know who you’re going to meet. COD is a nationally recognized college, and that can definitely work in your favor.”
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