Rachel Crick knew what she wanted to do from the time she was four years old. After watching the fiddlers on the Grand Ole Opry on television at her grandparent’s house, she began telling her family that she wanted to play the violin. After two years of pleading, Crick’s mother relented and enrolled her in lessons. From there, Crick grew up with her violin in her hand, studying classically until her grandfather, who had played steel guitar professionally, introduced her to classic country. Crick and her grandfather would spend every Sunday afternoon together playing tunes by Ray Price, Lefty Frizzel, and Gene Autry (artists none of her schoolmates seemed to know a thing about). “I remember when my grandfather took me to see The Time Jumpers for the first time, and my goodness, I thought I had died and gone to fiddle heaven,” Crick remarked on her love for her instrument and the genre as a whole.
Crick attended college in her home state of Kentucky and received her degree in Music Education with studies in classical violin, where her plan was to stay there and set up a studio in her hometown and teach private violin lessons. “Right out of college, though, I auditioned and started working as a fiddler at this Branson-style Variety theater in Kentucky, doing Hee-Haw, Southern Gospel, Patsy Cline themed shows. I grew so much as a performer during my time there (I was so shy before!); my love for music, especially for improvising, arranging, and entertaining, really grew too. I liked the opportunities for creativity that I found there. I also started playing and singing in a couple of local Americana bands and we started gigging regularly around west Kentucky. After a couple years of working as a musician around home, I decided I wanted to come to Nashville to challenge myself to try and go further with my music. I had heard of Belmont’s Masters degree program and decided that the Commercial Music performance program sounded like a good fit for me. I’ve always been one to love school since day one of kindergarten!”
Like all of the students and young professionals featured thus far in the Belmont Sessions, simply getting her degree from Belmont was far from the only thing Crick found herself involved in around town. “After coming to town, I started playing fiddle/mandolin and singing backgrounds for several Americana and country artists and bands, including songwriters Erin Enderlin and Trey Ackerman. I did a tour with Matt Davenport Productions earlier this year (which was actually a bit tricky to balance with school) and started subbing regularly on the General Jackson Showboat, which has been great fun. I have my own contracting service called Magnolia Music that puts together string ensembles for sessions, weddings, and events. I’ve got an artist project of my own that I write and record with called The Pilgrim Project. I also teach private lessons at Belmont now and have a private teaching studio of my own out of my house. Being a working musician sure has me busy running in all sorts of directions, but I like to think of it as an adventure, and as a dream come true!”
Crick has already taken a seasoned, wide approach to her career as she grows in all directions. “What I am reaching for is no longer a certain career milestone or any sort of notoriety or prestige.Learning to be a musician and a creative person has really become a kind of spiritual journey for me. My hopes as a musician are that I will always be a student eager to learn, no matter my age, and that I will always be willing to do the work to continue growing, that I will always remain curious, that I will always choose to explore my own creativity, that I will always overcome the setbacks I will face, and that I will learn to love myself and others and God more deeply in the process.”