Joined May 1998 as a trumpet/cornetist
Assistant Director July 1, 2004-present
Captain Michelle A. Rakers joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in May 1998 as a trumpeter/cornetist. She was appointed Assistant Director and commissioned a first lieutenant in July 2004 and was promoted to her current rank by the Commandant of the Marine Corps General Michael W. Hagee on Jan. 1, 2006. She is both the first female assistant director and first female commissioned officer in the history of “The President’s Own.”
Captain Rakers spent the first five years with the Marine Band performing at the White House, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and across the country during the band’s annual concert tour. She has served as a conductor and coordinator for the fall and winter Chamber Music Series, and was nominated for her current position in 2003. On June 13, 2004, she conducted her first band concert.
Captain Rakers, a 1986 graduate of the Marian Heights Academy in Ferdinand, Ind., received a bachelor’s degree in music management from the University of Evansville in Indiana in 1990. She continued her studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where she earned a master’s degree in music performance. Her trumpet instructors include James Bursen of the University of Evansville, Vincent Cichowicz of Northwestern University, and Chris Gekker from the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Capaint Rakers performed with both the Midland Symphony and Kalamazoo Symphony in Michigan, and the Evansville Philharmonic in Indiana.