Musician Spotlight—Meet Cathy Hill

Meet Cathy Hill, Principal Viola

I was born in Canton, Ohio and have lived in the Akron/Canton area all of my life. I attended North Canton schools and graduated from Hoover High School. Most violists begin playing on the violin, however I was one of the exceptions and learned to play first on the viola. My mother was influential in this, as she knew I preferred to sing harmony in choir.

My husband, Larry, played the violin as a boy, and it wasn’t until his mother took his violin out of the closet for repairs about 10 years ago that I began to play the violin. He will still pick up the violin, and on occasion we have been known to play duets together.

I started learning the viola in the public school system in third grade, and it was in fourth grade that Margery Henke took over as the public music instructor. She was the greatest influence in making music an important part of my life and became a second mother to me in many ways. I remember the time she took me water skiing with the Henke family.

I played in Canton Youth Symphony under her direction, and with her encouragement was accepted into Blossom Music Experience summer music camp in the first two years of its inception on the campus of Western Reserve Academy in Hudson. Margery also encouraged me to audition for the Canton Symphony where I became the youngest player at the age of 15 and received special permission to join the Musicians Union.

I planned to pursue music as a career and was accepted at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music but instead followed in my father’s footsteps and majored in accounting, attending the University of Akron where I obtained a BS in Accounting and went on to become a CPA. I’m currently working at Windstream as a financial analyst supporting the engineering department in funding and closing of their many construction projects.

I began playing in the Tuscarawas Philharmonic shortly after Margery Henke took over as conductor in 1975. I have many wonderful memories of the orchestra and of the many people I have met and become friends with over the years. In addition to TPO, I have played violin and viola with the Alliance Symphony and with various string quartets.

The music I enjoy playing and listening to most are those that invoke a visual image. I have enjoyed playing Pictures at an Exhibition and Appalachian Spring; and my favorite is Frostiana by Randall Thomas, which is played with a choir singing the poetry of Robert Frost.

My husband and I own a post-and-beam home we built together on 17 acres in Marlboro township near Alliance Ohio. A short walk from our back door is an eagle’s nest on Walborn Reservoir. We have seen many fledglings of eaglets born and raised there.
When I’m not working, you will find me outside, as I enjoy many outdoor sports.

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