Music


Cathy Miller began her music career in elementary school, singing in choirs.  She reached the epitome of that stage in her life in grade 8, when she appeared at the London Ontario Centennial celebrations (and released her first recording) with the 1000-voice City of London Centennial Choir (1967).  There would be nothing bigger, and at the tender age of 13, she retired from her choral career.

In 1969, after having been badgered for months, her parents gave her a guitar for Christmas.  It was the best $45 investment they ever made.  6 months of guitar lessons launched her career as a singer/songwriter. She wrote her first song on guitar as soon as she learned 3 chords.  Hundreds of songs later, she's still writing.

Still in secondary school, Cathy spent the summers of 1970 - 1972 touring the province of Ontario with government-sponsored youth programs. Ontario Youtheatre showed her that there was a larger world of arts outside of her home in London, and also gave her early professional training in stagecraft.  She still has close friends from that time. Summersounds '72 was the musical version of Youtheatre, and there she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Jane Siberry (Canada's quirky pop diva), Rob Pitch (jazz guitarist extraordinaire), Rodney Brown (children's performer) and Kevan McKenzie (drummer to the stars). Before she had graduated from Montcalm Secondary School, she had performed at most of the major concert halls in the province.

It was never a career that was chosen; rather, music chose her. Whenever life took her in other directions: university, secretarial work, or running away with the circus as a publicist, she always returned to music. It has kept life interesting, leading her into areas such as children's music, songwriting-to-topic for CBC radio, teaching private singing lessons (for 25 years!), concerts and folk festivals, coal-mining songs, concert production (Cathy was co-founder of the Acoustic Waves concert series at Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa), songwriting sweatshops (she also co-founded Writers Bloc in Ottawa), recording, and now: songs about quilting. Music continues to lead Cathy into new and exciting areas.

When she writes about true stories, her research is extensive.  Her writing is infused with optimism, dedication to truth-telling, and fun.  While technically still within the "folk music" area of the field, she occasionally dips into the wider pool of musical styles, including jazz, blues, reggae, polka, rhumba, pop, and bossa nova. She still considers herself first and foremost, a singer. "Storyteller" is a close second.