"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, February 24, 2014

66. Catherine Marie Charlton

Chester County, Pennsylvania · Engineering

Twitter: @cmcriverdawn
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cmcriverdawn

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I am a pianist, composer, and improviser with multiple relaxation albums (www.CatherineMarieCharlton.com). I run my record label part-time from home and also have two little kiddos ages 4 and 2.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

Watching the solar eclipse from the Chimes Tower; entering the Chimes Master competition and having access to the tower during practice time; paging books in the basement of the music building, running up and down the stairs to retrieve them back to the circulation desk; semester abroad in Hamburg, Germany; Systems Dynamics class; group problem set solving sessions; Star Trek at Risley (everyone knew what season the episode was from based on Captain's stardate log); building a laser; breaking the curve along with my best friend in Physics class.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

Playing piano in random places—top of High Rise 2, Robert Purcell Student Union (my fav) as people streamed by on their way to breakfast, various pianos in Willard Straight Hall. I think having to practice in public places helped my performing confidence! I also loved playing the Noontime Concert Series and Coffeehouses at Willard Straight—was so incredibly grateful for that forum to work on my compositions and gain confidence in performing.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I wish I reached out more to people around me and realized how many friends I truly had. I was pretty insular in my emotions and kept to myself a lot, especially at group gatherings—I always thought of myself as an introvert and was too afraid to jump into conversations!