"If I had a buck for every time someone asked me, 'What instrument do you play?' I would be a very rich person. I DO NOT PLAY AN INSTRUMENT!!! There I've said it. Used to. Don't now."
-- Catherine Yaghsizian.
Like everyone else in the Brubeck clan, Cathy is a strong individualist. Born in 1953, Dave and Iola's only daughter has tread her own path and opted for a life outside of music. Like her parents, Cathy is deeply spiritual and religious. She is a homemaker with three children, ages six, ten and fifteen.
Cathy has fond memories of her growing up with a gaggle of brothers in Oakland, California and Wilton, Connecticut. "My parents engendered a happy home," Cathy recalls. "We laughed alot, respected each other's opinions, endured bad puns, played music, discussed important ideas, watched Looney Tunes, played baseball with the crows, football with the neighbors, went on family walks, danced to Stravinsky on the lawn, watched Disney, rode horses, loved our many cats, rolled down hills in the summer, sledded down them in the winter, and traveled more than most people I knew."
But being raised a Brubeck with a famous father also gave Cathy an unrealistic picture of her environment. "I grew up under the misconception that the world was a very nice place and that people were generally friendly and had your best interest at heart," she remembers. "It wasn't until I was a young adult that I realized we were treated so kindly because we were welcome guests to the many places we went. And that people were interested in me because they loved my parents."
Fortunately for Cathy and her brothers, Dave and Iola worked hard to give their children a proper grounding and a better sense of themselves. Cathy studied art, dance and drama at Interlochen Arts Academy during high school and went to Simon's Rock in Massachusetts for three years. She graduated with a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1976.
As a young adult, Cathy turned increasingly toward Christianity. She credits her parents for her strong feelings about faith. "Their wit, tolerance, and earnest desire to see injustices made right, whenever in their power, gave me a sense of personal responsibility to live as morally upright as I could," Cathy says. "Of course as a teenager in the 60's that deviated heavily for a while. But a boat eventually finds home port. When I had a shocking conversion at age 19, I felt I had finally come home to Jesus, a harbor my parents had found years before."
Cathy received a Bachelor of Theology from The Way College in Kansas in 1979. She has served as a missionary in the US twice. For the past twenty-five years, she has been a small-group leader and Bible teacher. Her husband, Arne, is a minister at a small, nondenominational church in Middletown, CT. (see www.biblerock.org).
Cathy remains philosophical and pragmatic about her life's path. "I used to struggle with my own identity and felt I was the black cat in the litter, but now I realize that 'godliness with contentment is great gain'. That I can be happy being part of God's plan whatever that may be. My life as a mom, a wife, even as a minister of God's grace is not turning out anything like I dreamed (some parts are better, some parts are harder). But I trust HE who runs the big show and "let go."