From UTC’s Lecture Halls to the Stage

Author: Omar Dedovic

Last Updated:

Category: Featured

From UTC’s lecture halls to the stage, Rachel McIntyre Smith (’19) is harmonizing her academic achievements and artistic pursuits to create a symphony of success.

In 2022, Rachel recorded and independently released her debut EP, “Glory Daze,” achieving recognition on BBC Radio and securing a spot on Spotify’s “Best of Fresh Finds Country 2022” playlist. Her unique blend of smooth vocals and small-town charm draws comparisons to vocal legends like Alison Krauss.

After graduating with degrees in communication and Spanish, Rachel acquired essential skills for her music career. She learned web design, graphic design, social media marketing, videography and other skills that have become indispensable in today’s music industry. “I chose communication as my major to do my own marketing, social media, graphic design, branding, photography, videography and content creation for my music. In today’s music industry, all artists are expected also to be content creators.”

While still at UTC, Rachel interned at Songbirds Guitar Museum & Concert Venue. This experience introduced her to her producer, Dran Michael. Rachel recalled, “It’s crazy looking back and seeing the impact that internship had on me. For the first time in my life, I could talk to people who made music their life.”

The resources and opportunities provided at UTC also played a significant role in Rachel’s musical journey. “The folks who work in the studio on the third floor of the library were incredibly helpful,” states Rachel. “I would rent out the audio suite in 3-hour blocks three times a week to record demos. The specialists in the studio taught me the basics of how to use GarageBand and helped me rent out the equipment I needed. The demos I recorded in the library helped me land my first shows.”

Rachel as SGA Executive and Student Trustee for UT System.

Upon graduating from UTC, Rachel began sending demos of her original songs to venues, and her quirky track The Kitten Song led to regular performances at cat cafes and even a concert tour of feline-friendly venues in early 2020.

Today, Rachel McIntyre Smith balances two full-time roles, working as a communication manager for a nonprofit in Franklin, Tenn., and dedicating her evenings and weekends to her music career. She is currently finishing her second EP and mapping out her touring schedule for 2024.

Rachel performing live.