Rachel Clement studied composition with John Rimmer and John Elmsly at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Master of Music (composition) with distinction in 1997. She has worked extensively as a composition tutor in secondary schools in Auckland and Christchurch and held the position of Composer in Schools for the Auckland area. Her children’s opera ‘Jam’, with libretto by Margaret Mahy, was performed in 2002 by Canterbury Opera Youth and was selected to feature as part of the 2002 Wild Opera project. Rachel has composed for contemporary ensembles175 East and Stroma and was the recipient of the 2001 Trust Fund Award from the Composers’ Association of New Zealand. She has lectured part-time in Composition at the University of Canterbury, managed the library and stage of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, worked as the National Secondary Schools Arts Co-ordinator for Music and in 2005 and 2006 held the position of Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago.
Programme note for Feeblebeast, by the composer:
Watch out! Be careful, hide your fear
A feeblebeast may well be near!
Its teeth are sharp its ears are small
It creeps around against the wall
It lurks and hovers, slinks and bites
It loves to give small children frights
But when confronted, people say
It quivers, quakes and runs away
It gives a small and nervous roar
Then slithers softly out the door