The Quarantine Concert series has been a consistent source for high quality virtual live performances. The trend of great music continues this weekend with a Sunday matinee featuring Savannah singer Catherine Altomare.
Altomare is a self-professed farm girl/river rat with Italian roots. With her versatile 5-octave range, Altomare has the ability to sing classical and opera (she was the youngest member of the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under conductor Peter Shannon), as well as pop, indie, and country music.
Altomare has been singing since childhood and has auditioned for "The Voice," "American Idol," and "X Factor." Her big break, however, came when she was introduced to the Borchetta family who have been in the music industry for decades and are responsible for discovering Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw.
"It was a total fluke," said Altomare. "I had no idea who the Borchettas were."
Altomare and her mother had taken a road trip to Ocala, Florida (the horse capital of the world) to purchase a trailer for their Tennessee walking horse. While staying in the guesthouse of a farm, the manager of the farm invited them to an Italian dinner.
"He’s asking me what I do, and where I work, and what I’ve done, and of course I failed to mention that I’m a singer," said Altomare. "My mom is looking at me with a death stare."
Her mother explained to their host that Altomare was also a singer. He wanted to hear her sing and fortunately they happened to have a recording of Altomare singing the National Italian Anthem in Italian at a Washington, D.C. gala with them.
"He said, ‘Wow, that’s really good. I have some friends in the music business and I want you to meet them. They live on the farm next door.’," recalled Altomare. "This is a Sunday and Mike (Borchetta) is really confused because we get dropped off on a golf cart on his farm, and he’s like ‘What is going on?’ Johnny says, ‘Oh, I want you to meet Deb and Catherine. You’ll like each other, Bye!’ We were like, ‘What just happened?’"
Altomare was invited into the Borchetta home and asked to sing something for them on the spot.
"That kickstarted where I am today with my music," said Altomare. "It was unreal."
The chance encounter led to a session in Loud Recording Studio in Nashville where Alotmare recorded three songs including a cover of Sting’s "Fields of Gold." The song took on extra significance when her father, Nick Altomare, passed away from prostate cancer. Altomare dedicated the song to him.
"I actually recorded ‘Fields of Gold’ a week before my dad had passed, so I had a lot going on during that recording project," explained Altomare. "It was incredible to be able to go to Nashville and record at Loud Studio at the time, but it was really hard to finish the project because I was going through accepting that loss."
"Fields of Gold" went to number one on the New Music Weekly Charts and has since debuted on the Music Row Chart.
"When it was on the New Music Weekly chart and it went to number one, I was just so thrilled," said Altomare of her debut single. "I was like, ‘What? This is so crazy.’ I was really excited and thankful to be on on the chart, and now it’s on another level of chart on Music Row, so hopefully it will continue to climb."
You can hear Altomare’s moving rendition of "Fields of Gold" at the Quarantine Concert, but she will also be performing some original compositions including her new, upcoming single. She will be accompanied by her collaborator, Atlanta-based guitarist Cory Welch.
"I went on vacation about a month ago and got really inspired," said Altomare. "I started writing some songs that I actually get to perform at the Quarantine Concert. My guitarist and I have only been working on these songs for a few weeks, so I’m very excited to actually perform my original material. And thanks to him, he’s composing the music.
"I just want to keep making music that makes me happy and I hope I can touch other people, as well, with my music."
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