The youngest daughter of the local postmistress and a coal miner/owner of a rural general store, Kathryn grew up in the Appalachian mountains of southeast Kentucky. At the age of four she began playing hymns, folk music, and children’s songs on her family’s old upright piano. She continued to play and sing at area churches, school and community events, county fairs, and on local TV and radio stations. At 17, she left the mountains to attend college, where she first learned to read music and began to pursue her interests in both music and art. She eventually focused exclusively on music, and earned a degree in Music Performance, with an emphasis on voice and keyboard (primarily pipe organ). She continued her musical training in Germany, where she studied piano with concert pianist Aldo Schoen, and voice with acclaimed Austrian-born chamber music singer Josef Maria Hauschild and Wiesbaden Conservatory professor Rolf Sartorius. During her years in Germany, she performed professionally as a classical singer (she is a lyric soprano and operatic soloist), folk singer/composer, pianist, and church organist, appearing in concerts, recitals, and operas. She has been a solo performer on television in both Germany and the United States.
Kathryn's music ranges from strong, evocative, often haunting melodies through more contemporary, meditative, instrumental pieces. They're often marked by a restrained emotionality. Kathryn was influenced by the simple harmonies of the folk songs and hymns that she heard, sang, and played as a child, and by the deeply emotional music of Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Faure, and Richard Strauss. Her compositions have been compared with those of Satie and Chopin, among others, and while the classical influence is readily apparent, Kathryn's music defies easy classification in one or another genre. It's usually considered New Age, and her pieces have been played on Hearts of Space and many New Age stations, but her music also can be heard on jazz programs, Sirius satellite radio (Spa channel 68), and National Public Radio. Her songs are regularly played on the C.A.R.E. Channel, which is heard in over 900 health care facilities in the U.S. and abroad.