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Prepare students to successfully meet the challenges of the future.

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Rachel Cabanilla-Sinnett

Contact Information
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About Me
Upton Middle School
Teaching Grade
6th, 7th, 8th
Education Focus
Fine Arts

Originally from the Chicagoland area, Rachel Cabanilla-Sinnett began her musical studies at age five on piano, and Suzuki violin lessons at age seven at the Western Springs School of Talent Education. Throughout her childhood she actively participated in school and community band, choir, and orchestra. Ms. Cabanilla-Sinnett attended Andrews University where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education (2001) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (2000). In 2007 she completed a Masters Degree with dual emphasis in String Pedagogy and Music Education from Northwestern University. While at NU she had the privilege of studying with violinist Blair Milton (Chicago Symphony Orchestra).


Ms. Cabanilla-Sinnett began her public school teaching career in 2002 at Saint Joseph Public Schools after student teaching with Steve Reed. She has taught a wide range of  K-12 subjects including Orchestra, Band, General Music, Choir, 5th grade strings, Music Theory, and Spanish. Ms. Cabanilla-Sinnett has been the orchestra director at Upton Middle School since 2007.  Professionally,  Mrs. Cabanilla-Sinnett has served as an orchestra clinician at MSBOA Mid-level Clinics, working many summers for MASTA Summer String Camp Session III as a violin and viola coach and later became the Chamber Music Director.  More recently, Rachel guest conducted the St. Joseph High School Chamber Orchestra during their performance the National Orchestra Festival held at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Conference (Pittsburgh, PA) in 2017, and again in January 2019 at the MMC (Michigan Music Conference) when the SJHS Chamber Orchestra was invited to perform at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids.  She is the conductor of Encore Strings, an intermediate orchestra under the auspices of the Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. 

Rachel was named “Orchestra Teacher of the Year” for MSBOA District VI in 2014 and 2017.


Ms. Cabanilla-Sinnett plays violin professionally and enjoys being a part of the local music scene. Her husband Sean is also a violinist and is a member of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. They have four children: Pierre, Annabelle, Henley, and Corinne, and reside in Berrien Springs, MI.


Events Calendar

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District Parent Calendar


A list of important district-wide events such as half days and days off.
View/Download 2021-22 PDF.

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District Announcements

Video Introduction