With her extremely accurate staccato approach, Pauline Cato has brought a fresh and exciting sound to the Northumbrian bagpipe tradition. While she's has shown a mastery of the traditional repertoire of Billy Pigg and Tom Clough, Cato become known for her unique bagpipe renditions of songs by such folk-like songwriters as Richard Thompson and Jay Ungar. She performed a Czech/Northumbrian Suite during a tour of the Northeastern United States. According to Tykes News, Cato "plays with oodles of emotion, unlike some pipers who tend toward the clinical in the mistaken belief that more (speed/notes/flash-ness) means better -- it doesn't." The Northumbrian Pipers Society Magazine praised Cato when it said, "The art of Northumbrian pipers in the traditional style is an adult version of the children's game, 'one finger, one thumb, keep moving', and Pauline Cato does this with a dexterity that on occasion takes your breath away." In a review of By Land and Sea, Cato's first duo album with fiddler Tom McConville, released in 1996, Dirty Linen observed, "(Cato) demonstrates how nicely the Northumbrian pipes can fit into a small ensemble." Cato became a professional musician shortly after releasing her debut album, The Wansbeck Piper, in 1993. Her second album, Changing Tides, marked the first time that she worked with McConville, a fiddler she met at the Shetland Folk Festival. In addition to performing as a soloist and in a duo with McConville, Cato has worked with Alistair Anderson and the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra in the opera Cullecoates Tommy. Cato has become a highly respected instructor and has taught courses in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. A book, Northumbrian Choice, featuring bagpipe transcriptions of 89 traditional tunes, along with two companion CDs -- Minstrel's Fancy and Bonny at Morn -- feature Cato accompanied George Welch, Andy Gregory, and David J. Taylor.
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