Cathy began her musical training at the age of 9, studying with Key Pech-Anschutz, founder of the Chamber Music Institute of Southern California. Later she worked with Robert Becker, Professor at Chapman University and Principal Violist of the Pacific Symphony. She participated in numerous master classes, string quartets and symphonies in her youth, and finished all levels of the MTAC (Music Teachers’ Association of California) Certificate of Merit. She served as Principal Violist for the OCYSO European Tour (1983), All Southern California Honor Orchestra, and the California All State Honor Orchestra, and became the first string player to win the MTAC Concerto competition.
She was awarded a full talent scholarship to Chapman University, where she received her Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Instrumental Performance, Training, and Education. During her time at Chapman she also participated in the Great Viola Workout in Crested Butte, Colorado.
For over 25 years the Alonzo Studio of Music has maintained a private, in-home studio, teaching hundreds of students, and for nearly two decades Cathy served as a string specialist for the Saddleback Valley and Capistrano Valley Unified School Districts. She assisted the Pacific Symphony in the founding of the Santa Ana String Program, providing violin instruction based on the El Sistema music program founded in Venezuela by José Antonio Abreu in 1975. She has directed summer music camps for the Rancho Santa Margarita Middle School and Trabuco Hills High School music departments for many years. Cathy has served as an Adjunct Faculty member at Saddleback College, and as an adjudicator for the All Southern California Honor Orchestra, Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, and many others.
As a current member of the American String Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, Arizona State Music Teachers Association, and the Phoenix Music Teachers Association, Cathy Alonzo is able to attend Master Classes and workshops on education and pedagogy.
Cathy continues to work as a freelance violist, violinist, and fiddler. With over 25 years of experience in Southern California, she has recently relocated to the Phoenix Metropolitan area and is actively performing in Arizona while still venturing back to southern California for performance and recording projects. Previous performance groups have included: Riverside Philharmonic, Saddleback Symphony, Saddleback Chamber Sinfonietta, Orange County Symphony, Southeast Symphony, and numerous musical theater companies. In addition to performing at Disneyland for the Governor of California, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, the House of Blues, and Segerstrom Hall. She was co-founder of the Strings for Your Heart string quartet over 25 years ago, and can still be seen performing with them on occasion. Cathy has recorded for numerous recording artists, and appeared on multiple morning news programs promoting the arts, as well as an episode of the Real Housewives of Latin America. She has recorded movie soundtracks for major motion pictures at Sony Picture Studios, and recorded solo viola tracks for a Netflix television series. Cathy has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe at major performance venues, including the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, the Times Square Church in Manhattan, and many more.
In addition to classical music, Cathy is a well-known Irish/Rock/Country fiddler, and has performed and toured with many groups. She can currently be seen fiddling with the Saints of Eirinn in the greater Phoenix area, as well as subbing with many other performing groups.