Rachel Steckler earned a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies and arranging from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Music degree in studio jazz writing from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where she studied jazz composition and arranging with Paris Rutherford and Gary Lindsay. She composed and co-produced the score to the independent film It's a Wonderful Death, which has aired on MinuteMovies.com and at the Zoomgo.com film festival. As one of four composers chosen nationally to participate in the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, California, she conducted the premiere of her work Podroozh written for the institute's orchestra. Jazz writer Don Heckman of the L.A. Times wrote, "Podroozh integrated jazz and classical elements without abandoning the individual character of each." Her innovative arrangements have been featured on singer/songwriter Eric Colville's debut album Afraid to Dance and at the IAJE Convention in New York City.