Kathy Sommer is that rare breed of music-maker who successfully straddles two worlds, bringing her unique combination of creativity and passion to both. As an acclaimed songwriter and producer, Kathy’s rock, pop and R&B material has ascended Billboard’s charts and appeared on numerous film and TV soundtracks. Meanwhile in the world of musical theater, she has wielded the baton as one of the top female conductors on Broadway.
Kathy’s rock credits range from the multi-platinum-selling song Crashed, on Daughtry’s Grammy-nominated, Billboard #1 top selling album, and #27 All Time 200, to Halestorm’s I Get Off — a top 10 Billboard Rock single co-written with frontwoman Lzzy Hale. Kathy also co-wrote and was credited with additional production on Shinedown’s #4 debuting album, Amaryllis, and released songs with Theory of a Deadman, Emphatic, and most recently the single the single “Better In The Dark” with artist Erich Bergen (of TV’s Madame Secretary), which she co-wrote and co-produced, and “Kerosene” with the band Courage My Love. Other recent rock and pop collaborators include Train, Better Than Ezra, Skillet, We As Human, Britain’s Got Talent’s Ronan Parke, American Idol’s Jason Castro, Brushfire Records alumna Zee Avi, and Latin Grammy Award winners Jesse & Joy.
Kathy’s pop material has been featured on a wide variety of artist projects, games, soundtracks, and TV shows. An abbreviated list includes Sony Latin artist F.A.N.S., VEEP, Nurse Jackie, The Barbie Diaries (DVD & Soundtrack), Lizzie McGuire, BRATZ, Joan of Arcadia, Felicity, Summerland, Nell Carter, Rock Band (videogame), The Superbowl, ESPN’s SEC College Football, The David Letterman Show, Nickelodeon’s Lego Bionicles, HBO’s Cathouse, The Children’s Television Workshop’s Big Bag featuring Elmo, and the Emmy-nominated PBS Special, Beyond Celtic.
Several exciting releases are in the pipeline — check them out on the Home/News page.
As a prominent member of the musical theater community, Kathy brings highly polished skills as a conductor, composer, arranger, and pianist to the table. She has worked on a long list of Broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast, Wicked, City of Angels, Cats, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Will Rogers Follies, The Goodbye Girl, and How To Succeed In Business.
Kathy also music-directed, conducted, and contributed vocal and dance arrangements for the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, Romance/Romance. In the studio, she conducted sessions for Vanessa Williams’ Academy Award-winning single, Colors of the Wind, and Jewel’s recent Christmas album, Let It Snow, and played on the soundtracks of The Lion King, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocohontas, and Hercules.
As a theater composer, Kathy wrote the music for the Off-Off-Broadway show, Long Road Home and she is currently composing the music for the contemporary new musical Black Beauty , now in development and Broadway bound.
As Kathy put it, “When I was 14, I heard Carole King’s 'Tapestry' for the first time while laying on the floor of the basement in the house where I grew up. That was followed by Joni Mitchell… and later Billy Joel, Rickie Lee Jones, Bruce Hornsby, Paul Simon, and Bonnie Raitt. As I listened to album after album, I became more and more passionate about the 3-minute masterpieces called ‘songs,’ and the art of telling a personal story in a universal way… an art that could move one person, or millions.”
Fusing her pop influences with what she’s absorbed from the masters of soul, jazz, classical, and musical theater, Kathy brings an extraordinary breadth of musical knowledge to each project she takes on — whether it’s creating a signature song, dreaming up a fresh arrangement, creating a hit-worthy production, or scoring for a dramatic narrative.
Kathy believes profoundly in the power of individuals to make the world a better place. In addition to serving for many years as a National Trustee of The Recording Academy, she currently serves as a Governor on the New York Chapter Board, where she Chairs the “Musical Theater Task Force”. Her other activities focus especially on music education, community outreach, and using music as a force for good. She also serves on the Steering Committee of MAESTRA, who’s mission is elevating women women who make the music in the musical theater industry. Some of her favorite charities include Musicares and The ASCAP Foundation.
Kathy is a Yale graduate, as well as a member of ASCAP, the Songwriters’ Guild, and The Dramatists Guild.