Rachel Amelia Eubanks was born in San Jose, California. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California, an M.A. from Columbia University, New York City, and a D.M.A. from Pacific Western University in California. She also attended the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California, University of California in Los Angeles, Capitol University, Ohio State University in Ohio and Westminster Choir College. She studied with the American composers Charles Cushing, Norman Lockwood and Roger Sessions. In the summer of 1977, she studied with Nadia Boulanger at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, France, during which time she composed a Trio for clarinet, violin and piano which was premiered that summer at the 90th birthday celebration of Nadia Boulanger. In 1946 she was a Mosenthal Fellow at Columbia University, and in 1948 she received a Composition Award from The National Association of Negro Musicians.