Catherine Scholz Balances Motherhood, Artistry and Music

Some years ago Catherine Scholz told Ladyfest Nevada County that her reason for writing a song was for personal self-expression. That’s a need she’s had for some time, but like many musicians who came before her, she just didn’t roll out of bed one day and into the music realm. Like all, she had a path that led her to where she is today – a singer, guitarist, pianist and on top of all that, a mother with two albums to her name. One of which earned her Album of the Year at The Grassies Awards in 2008. With that she’s played out west a handful of times since starting out, and all while raising two children and working a day job.

Again, she didn’t get where she is today overnight. She got her start training at her family’s ELCA Lutheran church with music director Lynne Zimmerman Buelo after she overheard Scholz singing and playing the piano by ear at only six-years-old. The two formed a sound relationship over the next decade as student and teacher. Once in her teens, she moved on to study jazz piano with Martha Artis and classical piano with Stefanie Jacob, both at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Throughout middle and high school she also played in the Greater Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble. Her years of playing in a wind ensemble at such a young age allowed her to perform across Europe by the time she was 15-years-old.

Well aware of her skills vocally, she began branching out and making more of her talent in high school after she took the poetic words of Maya Angelou and Robert Frost and put them to song. Inspired by the results, she started to write her own words. She shared with Ladyfest Nevada County about her writing, “my material has come primarily from my personal intersections with external reality as perceived through all my many colored lenses. Inspiration to keep performing comes mainly from the listeners and other performers. That being said, in general, inspiration can come from anywhere at any time and I am always taking notes. It seems important to also acknowledge that it takes courage for the writer to write, the singer to sing and for the listener to hear something that may move him/her.”

Once in college, she studied music therapy, music education and music performance on the euphonium at the University of Minnesota. Her degree paid off because she then took an internship at a residential treatment center for severely emotionally disturbed children in Dixon, IL. When she wasn’t interning, she was singing in coffee shops, working out her own material but also not shying away from the usual cover songs by everyone from Carole King to Paul Simon. Once her career took her to Northern California, she became a mother of two, co-produced and released a couple of albums, Whirlwind Girl and Right Here Now.

Catherine earned a master’s in expressive arts psychotherapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in May 2021 and now provides expressive arts therapy to clients in California as a day job while working on new material and performing live streams shows.

In conclusion, a natural way with sound, Scholz got her start after a music director stumbled upon her. Her craft was shaped from that point forward and over the years her adventures in new places, becoming a mother as well as her love of both Joni Mitchell and Ray LaMontagne have continued to drive her towards pursuing more in this world and putting forth music that will forever revolve around love, healing, compassion, patience and prayer.

-Olivia Rae, Artist PR

edited by Catherine Scholz, 2023