What education have you taken?
I am currently in my final year of a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Brandon University under the tutelage of Dr. Lawrence Jones. In high school, I attended LCBI, a boarding school in Outlook, Saskatchewan. While attending LCBI I met my former teacher, Sandy Stephenson, who guided me through the completion of my ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
During my time at BU, I have had the pleasure of knowing so many musicians, both professors and students, who have inspired and challenged me. As a result, I feel I have grown tremendously as a musician and person. As a performer, there have been a few highlights including performing as a soloist with the Brandon University Orchestra and winning the top scholarship in the Brandon Festival of the Arts. I have also had the great opportunity of being selected to participate in various performance institutes in both Canada and the U.S. As a student, my academic dedication has garnered numerous awards to assist me in continuing my education, as well as placement on the Dean’s Honour List, President’s Honour Society, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. As an educator, I have had the great honour of sharing music with my students and learning from them along the way.
Tell me about yourself.
I was born in Calgary, Alberta as the youngest of three children. While I was a baby, our family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where my dad attended school to become a teacher. Our family moved to Assiniboia, Saskatchewan when I was three years old. I spent the next ten years of my childhood there before attending boarding school in Outlook, Saskatchewan. Upon graduating, I wasn’t sure of the direction I wanted to take. I knew that music felt most natural to me, but I had always struggled with my confidence as a performer. Over the next few years I moved around a lot, working a variety of jobs as well as teaching piano. As a dual citizen of both Canada and the U.S., I spent a brief period living and working in Denver before finally deciding that it was time to come back to Canada and go to school.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
Music has been a part of my life for a long time. I began formal lessons at the age of 6, but from the time I could walk I was making attempts to reach up to our piano and play. Before I could talk, I am told I gave numerous performances singing the Star-Spangled Banner. I suppose I showed promise at a young age, but spent many years finding ways of getting out of practising unless it meant avoiding household chores. It was in high school, with the help of the right teacher, that I started realizing what dedication in music really meant. I began to see it as a unique expressive outlet. My journey with music has had many ups and downs, but I honestly can’t picture my life without it. The School of Music at BU has introduced me to a community of like-minded, hard-working, and dedicated musicians, many of whom I have had the pleasure of collaborating with over the last four years.
What is your philosophy in life?
At my relatively early stage in life, I do not purport to have many philosophies that are tried and true through years of experience. However, what seems to become clearer to me through time is the value of perseverance. If there is anything that music has taught me, it is that if one is to accomplish anything, they must be willing to show dedication throughout the natural highs and lows of everyday life. If I only practised and pushed myself when I thought I was a good pianist, I don’t think I would have made it to this point.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I have not yet decided which direction to take my education after this. I am currently deciding whether to continue graduate studies in music (either conducting or piano) or to pursue law school, another broad area of interest for me. Whatever direction I take, I hope it is filled with challenge and purpose.
Catie’s positive attitude, acts of encouragement, professionalism, and outstanding performance make her presence valued at Brandon University. Individually, her musical contributions, academic achievements, or consistent service are of merit for this recommendation – as a total package they make her an absolutely positive force!