top of page
Elite Logo.jpg


A Musical Journey

Founded in the Summer of 2018 by musician and educator Rachael Howard, Elite Vocal Ensemble is a non-profit organization and acapella vocal group that performs in a variety of musical genres with an emphasis on contemporary and jazz influenced music. The group performs within and outside of their community. The Elite Vocal Ensemble officially began Summer 2018 performing as the opening act for the annual “Greenville Grooves” event in Greenville, NC. Since 2018, Elite has performed various community events annually such as Christmas In Spring hope (Spring Hope, NC), Spring Hope Pumpkin Festival (Spring Hope, NC), and Wilson’s Whirilygig Festival (Wilson, NC). Elite Vocal Ensemble has also performed local seasonal showcase concerts (Winter and Spring) at Gibson Memorial United Methodist Church as well as two virtual seasonal concerts (Summer 2020 and Winter 2020). Our goal as an organization is to promote leadership in the youth of our community and surrounding areas while providing a safe haven for young people where they can develop musicianship, teamwork, and showcase their gifts and talents as young professionals.


Where the Passion Begins

BIO Pic_edited_edited_edited_edited_edited.jpg


Founder & Executive Director

Rachael Howard is a musician, educator, and professional vocalist with a passion for performing, teaching music, and training the next generation of vocalists. In 2018, Rachael founded Elite Vocal Ensemble. She currently acts as the group's Executive Director. In May of 2014, Rachael graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Jazz Vocal Performance. In May of 2022, she received her Master’s of Music in Jazz Vocal Performance from ECU. She was the recipient of the 2022 Dr. Billy Taylor Outstanding Achievement Award from the ECU School of Music Jazz Department. She also was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. During her graduate studies at ECU, Rachael was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Director of the ECU Jazz Vocal Ensemble. Rachael has taught music and chorus in the North Carolina Public Schools as well as the Arts Council since graduating in 2014. When she isn’t teaching or studying, Rachael loves to spend time painting.

Emily Profile 1_edited.jpg


Assistant Director & Board Member

Emily Donovan is a multi-genre singer, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and band leader. Her love for music began at a very young age. At 12 years old she picked up a guitar and hasn’t put it down since. Emily attended a performing arts high school in Dover, New Hampshire. There she learned to play many different genres of music, including jazz, rock, and classical. At the age of 14 she began putting bands together and performing publicly. In May 2021, Emily graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Jazz Performance.  Emily served as the Assistant Intern Director for Elite Vocal Ensemble.

Elite Logo_edited.jpg


Board Members

Davonta Ferguson  President

Emily Donovan        Historian

Derrick Battle

Montez Fields

Tracy Alford

Rebekah Harper

bottom of page