Cathy LaCava LoDuca graduated from WFU in 1995 with a Business major and Music minor. A frequent performer on the Brendle stage, she twice won first prize in the Giles-Harris piano competition. She and her husband, Gaspare LoDuca, recently established a generous $50,000 scholarship fund in the Department of Music.
Peter Kairoff: Hi Cathy! It’s so great to reconnect after all these years! You majored in business and minored in music at WFU. What have you been doing since graduation?
Cathy La Cava LoDuca: Well, a lot has happened since 1995! Right after I graduated from WFU, I began working as a Consultant for Accenture in Charlotte. I ultimately stayed with Accenture for over 24 years, living and working in many cities, and I was fortunate to focus my career on our Public Sector, Education, and Non-Profit business in North America. My husband, Gaspare, and I have been married for 17 years this year, and we live just north of New York City with our 13 year old son, Gaspare and our dog, Lucy. I was very grateful that after my son was born, I was able to work from home, which afforded me the ability to also volunteer in our community and schools while being a stay-at-home mom. I am also currently training towards my 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
PK: Whoa—Tae Kwon Do! Had you always done that? Do you think the discipline required for piano helps in your martial arts work?
CL: Actually, I didn’t start Tae Kwon Do until I was 40! But yes, I think that really the discipline required in playing the piano translates beyond just music and can be beneficial to any aspect of life. So yes – I did see that discipline as helpful in Tae Kwon Do, especially in needing to practice components of the movements over and over. Martial arts in general encompasses mind, body, and spirit – which for me has been quite a parallel to music.
PK: I always admired how you were able to focus so completely on music while also finishing your business degree. Was that hard?
CL: Yes, I would say it was definitely a challenge trying to balance my Business Major with my Music Minor. Funny enough, the hardest part for me was trying to figure out how I could complete the requirements to earn my Business major while taking as many classes as possible in Scales, regardless of if they counted for credit or not. I was on a strict four-year, no-summer school plan, and so I settled for the minor, even though my heart really wanted the Major. I ended up auditing some music classes in my Senior year because I wasn’t allowed to take any more credits than I already had. And on days when I had a lighter class schedule, I would spend most of my day in the practice rooms preparing for my next piano lesson or performance. And sometimes, my friends would sit outside the practice room to study while I played, which was pretty fun as well. In the end, I definitely felt more at home at Scales than any other building on campus.
PK: Great to hear! I certainly loved working with you, and I know many of my colleagues here feel the same way about having had you in their classes. You were such a diligent and accomplished piano student while at WFU, and even had time to compete successfully in the Giles-Harris Competitions. Have you kept your piano playing up? Do you go to concerts much?
CL: I haven’t really been able to maintain my piano practice and performing as I had when I was at WFU, with family and work taking so much energy. But, my love and passion for music never stopped, and I am a large supporter of music and the arts in general. I continue to play piano, though very much for my own enjoyment, and we are so fortunate to live in NY and enjoy the amazing arts culture here! I literally just retired from Accenture this past month, and I’m super excited to be able to spend time enjoying certain aspects of my life that may have not received the amount of attention that I would have liked – music and piano being at the top of my list.
PK: Well, we’re certainly deeply grateful that you remember your time in the Music Department with such fondness, and that you and your husband have decided to support us so generously!