Cathy is an eclectic musician with extraordinary songwriting skills. As a soloist, she plays piano, guitar and sings. She leads the all women's bluegrass/folk band Patchwork and society band MoonDancer. This award-winning songwriter has been published in jazz, folk, children's and New Thought/Christian music. A professional musician since the 1980's, she has shared the stage and the airwaves with Arlo Guthrie, Doc Watson, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, Garrison Keillor, Florida legend Will McLean, jazz pianists Rob Bargad, Dave Frishberg and Frank Sullivan, guitarists Larry Camp, Taylor Roberts and Mark Fox, Afro-Cuban percussionist Bobby Sanabria, and others.
Cathy was destined to be a musician; it is literally in her blood. Before she was born her father Bruce led his own band in New Orleans, regularly opening for Louis Armstrong at Pete Fountain's place. At a very early age music filled her house, from her father's Dixieland trumpet and stride piano to the Rachmaninoff and Chopin pieces her brother Peter, a prodigy pianist, rehearsed every day on the grand piano in the living room. As the family gathered to watch the television variety shows of the 60s, she heard all the famous singers interpreting the great American songbook of jazz and show tunes, and learned the lyrics to many of them. After honing her harmonic skills as a member of the University of Florida Choir and Willis Bodine's Chamber Singers, Cathy met and began performing with jazz guitarist Charlie Bush. This was the beginning of her career as a jazz singer, which led to performances throughout Florida, as well as New York, California, London, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. She also spent several years strumming guitar in coffeehouses and pounding the keys in a rhythm & blues band, where she sang harmony with the women who now form the basis of her all women's band, Patchwork.
In 1995 she found an unexpected setting for her musical versatility: Shands Arts in Medicine program in Gainesville, Florida, where she continues to lead a pioneering, world-renowned Music in Medicine program. From elevator singalongs to hallway concerts to bedside harp in the ICUs, Cathy uses music to transform the hospital environment and the patient experience. Her many influences (see below) have proved to be valuable partners in her work as Musician in Residence and Music Program Coordinator. She also trains and mentors other hospital musicians, and gives workshops on music as stress-management for caregivers. She is an internationally sought out speaker on the subject of music and healing.
Cathy has been commissioned to write original music for: weddings, memorial services, holiday events, advertising campaigns, birthday celebrations, children with critical illness(a songwriter for Songs of Love foundation), environmental organizations, arts agencies, healthcare groups-- even spur-of-the-moment singalongs. She has created soundtracks for many DVDs, films, CD-rom projects, and live improvisation performances. Her husband Rob is a recording engineer and they have recorded many projects at their home studios, RobR Sound Design.