If everything continues to go her way, former Sound of Thunder Marching Band Drum Major Shelbie Rassler could go from Cypress Bay to “The Great White Way” (Broadway). As recipient of the prestigious Presser Foundation Scholar Award, Shelbie is pursuing her passion with plans to one day work as a professional musician in New York, composing, conducting, film scoring, performing and music directing.
Shelbie is entering her senior year at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music. She believes she was chosen as the Presser Scholar because of her strong academic performance and active role as a collaborator in the music department. Her work outside the classroom and school is even more impressive.
Shelbie’s passions include composing, film scoring and musical directing. She has scored several short films, including Titan: The Story of Space Oddity, which won the Grand Jury Award at the CampusMovie Fest, qualifying it for the Terminus Film Festival in Atlanta and possibly a screening at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival.
One of her other recent credits was composing music for the Lexus commercial, The Extra Mile. “I love collaborating with choreographers, directors and filmmakers, contributing to their exciting projects.”
Shelbie is currently collaborating with her close friend, Harley Seger, on an original musical entitled Voices, which will be presented this fall in Boston. The musical is about a young woman named Maddie, and the specific moments in her life that made her the woman she came to be.
“Harley wrote the book and lyrics and I wrote the music. We are incredibly excited to see the show brought to life,” shares Shelbie. “We are really excited that this female-driven story will also be produced by an entirely female-creative team.”
In addition to these projects, Shelbie continues to orchestrate and record music through her company, Rassler Records, which got its start when she was attending Cypress Bay High School. “Back then, I had many friends who needed instrumental tracks for auditions and various competitions. As a multi-instrumentalist, I realized I had the ability to bring the sheet music to life and offer tracks, ranging from piano to fully orchestrated pieces, for my friends. Over time, I expanded this idea to a full company that now offers custom tracks, sheet music transposition, track editing and various other musical services.”
Shelbie credits her experiences growing up in Weston with her success today. She played drums and saxophone in the Falcon Cove Middle School Band, and in high school was the Drum Major of the Sound of Thunder Marching Band. At Cypress Bay, the Wind Ensemble performed some of her original compositions, and she discovered her passion for film scoring during a media studies class. The Weston Music Society awarded Shelbie a scholarship to help pursue her music studies at the Berklee College of Music.