Catherine Thomson

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Listed below are favorite venues, people and resources that have helped to shape my performing career. 
I regret that there are many others I’m not able to list as they don’t yet have websites.– Chicago cabaret destination and fabulous venue for regular open mics.  Check their website for details of upcoming shows and open mic nights.– Website of Chicago Cabaret Professionals, whom I am honored to serve as Director of Development.  An organization comprised of talent from novice to seasoned veteran and sponsoring programs ranging from master classes to gala productions, CCP is the backbone sustaining cabaret in Chicago.– Website of the supremely talented Chicago duo, Mark & Anne Burnell.  Mark has acted as Music Director for many of my cabaret shows, as well as offering invaluable guidance as a coach, arranger and studio engineer for my recordings.  His work – arrangements, instrumentals and engineering – are featured on several of the videos posted on this site and on YouTube.  He also hosts a great open mic once a month at Blue Star Wine Bar and more regularly at Monsignor Murphy’s.– Website of the extremely gifted Beckie Menzie.  Beckie has acted as Music Director for shows I’ve done with the Chicago Cabaret Professionals and also plays a number of open mics around Chicago, including Davenport’s and Little Bucharest.  Beckie is a mentor whose insight is matched only by the skill with which she delivers her helpful guidance.– My first voice lessons were with David (though don’t blame him for my shortcomings ;-)!  He has remained a friend and inspiration through the ensuing years.  As both performer and patient coach, he’s a superstar.– Website of the uber-talented Laura Freeman.  In addition to experiencing the beauty and power of Laura’s performances, I’ve had the pleasure of working with her when she directed Chicago Cabaret Professionals March Series.– Website of the ever-amazing Carla Gordon.  Carla serves as mentor to many in the cabaret community, working not only as a performer but also a director, reviewer for Cabaret Scenes, song-writer and host to a monthly open mic at Little Bucharest.– News and reviews of cabaret across the US, including the Chicago scene.– Where the bug to slip out of the choir robe and into a little black dress first bit.  It’s been called life-changing, and it was.   Not a day passes that I don’t learn something again that I first learned there, only to recognize it now for what it was.  In the weeks preceding and following the conference, I kept a blog on  Although I’ve been too busy to keep it up, I re-read it again from time to time, if only to see if I can still recognize myself.– Working with Nora couldn’t have been easier and I love the results!  See for yourself by checking out the headshots in the photo gallery.– My church choir home, where I also enjoy the occasional opportunity to dust off some fine sacred solo pieces, from classical to contemporary.– The first theatre credit on my performance resume came from a small role as ‘Quartet Soprano’ in Red Tape Theatre’s acclaimed production of Young Jean Lee’s Church.  The company sets consistently high standards and exceeds them.  Hats off to Jeff Award-winning company Artistic Director, James Palmer, on the show’s inclusion in many of the Chicago’s Top Shows of 2011 lists.– I was honored to develop my Songs in the Key of Peace show for the 2011 Center for Advancing Domestic Peace’s gala.– Free downloads of standard’s lead sheets, with the option to transpose.– Purchase a range of all styles of music for immediate download, many with the option to change the key.