Catherine Baker, a Houston native, recently served as the Principal Flute of the American Youth Symphony through 2015 - 2017 seasons and performs regularly with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. She was the Principal Flute in the YMF Debut Orchestra through 2013 - 2015 seasons and has performed in orchestras throughout the country at the Brevard Music Center, the Hot Springs Music Festival, the South Dakota Symphony, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Texas Music Festival. Ms. Baker has played under notable conductors including Charles Dutoit, Keith Lockhart, Andris Nelsons, Carl St. Clair, and MIchael Tilson Thomas. Catherine received the Special Recognition award in the YMF Debut Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist in October 2014. Currently, she is a Finalist and Flute Substitute for the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.
As a founding member of the Cardinal Winds Quintet/Sextet, she competed in the 2015 Plowman Chamber Music Competition Finals in Columbia, Missouri, the 2015 Coleman Chamber Competition Finals in Pasadena, California, and the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Association Competition Semi-finals in South Bend, Indiana. The group was honored to have received the Grand Prize at the 2015 Plowman Chamber Music Competition. Catherine performs regularly in outreach concerts as well as serious music concerts around Los Angeles, California.
Catherine studied flute with Jim Walker at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music in 2013-2015, where she received the Woodwind Chamber Music award, and also received her Master of Music degree at The University of Texas at Austin's Sarah and Earnest Butler School of Music with Marianne Gedigian in 2013. While attending UT, Catherine received the Outstanding Master's Degree Recital award for the 2012-2013 school year. She performed regularly in all of the major ensembles while participating in professional recording projects with the wind ensemble and performing in woodwind quintets and trios.
Catherine received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music with Jennifer Keeney and Sydney Carlson. At the University of Houston, she received vast ensemble experience which included touring with the Wind Ensemble to the Colorado Music Education Association Convention and the Texas Music Education Association Convention. In 2010, she played in the album by Naxos featuring the wind ensemble playing works by Nicolas Flagello and Arnold Rosner.
Catherine has performed in master classes with flutists Leone Buyse, Aralee Dorough, Jill Felber, Jean Ferrandis, Marianne Gedigian, Catherine Karoly, Katherine Kemler, Susan Milan, Keith Underwood and Jim Walker. Her previous teachers include Sandra Benke and Rosane Volchan O'Conor .
Catherine continually teaches young aspiring flutists, passionately developing the student's ability to produce a strong sense of musicianship, beautiful sound, and fluent technique. Currently, she is the flute teacher at the Neighborhood Music School, Young Musicians Foundation Teaching Artist, and substitute teacher at the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles with the Harmony Project and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Outside of her musical endeavors, Catherine has fused her interest for graphic design with music by designing posters, invitations, and programs. She has worked with flutist and teacher, Dr. Timothy Hagen, by illustrating for his recent publications by Owl Glass Music: The Scientific Method of Practicing, From Theory to Practice: An Analytical Performance Guide for Flutists and NarrEtudes. She also enjoys baking pies and exercising on a regular basis!