Cathy Collings – Orchestra Coordinator/Librarian

Cathy Collings grew up in Carson City, Nevada. Her mother, an accordion teacher, taught her some accordion and piano at an early age. Formal piano lessons began at age 10 and continued through her first year of college at the University of Nevada – Reno where she was a piano/computer science major.

In school band, Cathy played percussion, clarinet, flute, piccolo and bassoon before making bassoon her musical focus when she transferred to Oberlin College her sophomore year, from where she graduated with a BA in music. Some early musical highlights include performing in Carnegie Hall and touring Europe with America’s Youth in Concert, touring China and Alaska with the Arctic Chamber Orchestra, and playing in the “pit” for the Reno Hilton’s show, South Pacific.

Cathy played with many orchestras and other ensembles in Alaska, Montana and Nevada before moving to Nevada County in 1991, when the demands of parenthood forced her to put the bassoon aside for 10 years. While raising her son, Graham, she volunteered for local music organizations, assisted the Performing Arts Guild (children’s theater), taught piano and bassoon and coached student chamber music.

When Cathy returned to performing, she enrolled in Ken Hardin’s voice class at Sierra College, then joined Hardin’s Sierra College choir. She also studied bassoon with Susan Willoughby, played in local orchestras, sang in additional choirs and founded the Foothill Chamber Winds (FCW, which she still manages). A lover of chamber music, Cathy has participated in many chamber music workshops in Sacramento, the Bay Area and Arcata.

Cathy currently is contracted to manage musicians for both InConcert Sierra and Sierra Stages; teaches piano and bassoon; sings with the Sierra Master Chorale and MIM Chorus; plays for FCW, as well as freelances; plays in the ICS Orchestra and for Sierra Stages; and stage manages for ICS, where she is often seen turning pages for the pianists.