...   musician  teacher  fiddler  violinist  composer  conductor   

The Early Beginnings

When I was four, while Mum was in the kitchen,  I remember prancing around the lounge, with the somewhat battered custard pot in my left hand, and very old and well used wooden spoon in the right.  The National Programme blasting away with some kind of Music Education Programme for youngsters... and there was me dancing around  and beating in time .. That must have been sooooo loud. Poor Mum.

When did I get my first Violin?

When I was five, Mum asked me what I'd like for Christmas.  I asked her for a violin.  My three brothers and sister had all had a season or two on the piano, (oh those red knuckles)  I just wanted to play the instrument that featured on the Blue Danube 33LP that Mum played so regularly.  The orchestra featured on the cover and a whole lot of people were playing violins. Mum didn't get me one that year, but I asked again when I was six, and she decided that maybe I was serious about this whole violin thing after all. 1st Lesson:  Campbell's Bay Music Centre First Private Tutor: Mrs June Allen

The first memories of wanting to play in a Band.

I had only just turned eight when my Mum remarried. At their Wedding Reception, The Lodge, a live band playing.   I remember just gazing at them for ages, soaking it all in, and thinking to myself,  "That's what I want to do when I grow up." I wish I could meet up with even one of those band members, to tell them how much they inspired me. That would be cool.

Watching the New Zealand Celebrities at work.

 Between the ages of ten to thirteen, I remember seeing New Zealand Show Hosts, Don Lindon & Max Cryer coming out into the local community mardi gras and beach parties, holding singing competitions with kids during the school holidays. I so wished I could be one of those kids up on stage, but lacked confidence in myself 'big time' so I just watched from a distance. Now half my time is spent on one stage or another and through my teaching I'm surrounded by children who have the same dreams.

My sister, Karen got me hooked on Guitar.

When I was twelve, I used to watch my sister, Karen sitting on the end of Mum's big double bed in the end room.  She'd strum away at her guitar, learning chords and songs. Once again I just knew I had to pick it up and play that too... so when she wasn't looking I'd sneak in, close the door and try to copy what she'd just played.  I will always remember that proud moment  playing my very first Chord, " G"  it felt great!!     .. and then came the sore fingertips.  Yowza!!   but worth it. Thanks Kaz

My first desire to win an award

I was in my twenties when I went to watch my sister perform in the Auckland Country Music Awards at the Auckland Town Hall.   There was a table of trophies which you couldn't help but notice  ...and there it was.... The title grabbed me.  "Best Instrumentalist"   I turned it around and on the back it read, 'Cath Newhook'.  Well, that was my next goal and dream!!. I just wanted to have my name on the same trophy as her. She was teaching me classical violin, but here she was in an awesome country band "Gentle Annie" and playing an ELECTRIC FIDDLE.  She definitely rocked!! It took masses of hard work, but  that's when I knuckled down and taught myself The Orange Blossom Special. and.....another dream came true.

The most frequently asked question - Where do you get all your energy?

Definitely an energy burst happens between myself and the audience.   It's cool, because the more energy I give out, the more I get back, and it just flies around the room, bouncing off the walls, coming back and me, and then it's allllll on.   Eye contact with my punters, and smiles just increase this awesome vibe.  It's so beautiful to be part of it all.