Reader Spotlight: Cate Yoder

Cate YoderMeet Cate Yoder, a bassist who is in her sophomore year in high school, but has an impressive story that has grown despite the past year’s challenges.

Cate is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight.


Cate Yoder is a doubler, currently attending her sophomore year at Hermitage High School. Along with being first chair in her high school band class, she is a member of the Richmond Symphony Youth Program, Short Pump Community Orchestra, and Rock for Strings, an intergenerational orchestra composed of acoustic and electric stringed instruments, conducted by Brittany Frompovitch (and sponsored by NS Design). Cate has also made third chair for Senior Regional Orchestra, has been featured on the electric bass for Hermitage’s production of Chicago, and attended a summer camp at Interlochen Academy for the Arts. Like many musicians during quarantine, she has also developed into the field of video production and audio engineering, recording videos with her family band to submit to virtual open mics her teacher hosts. With her dad playing guitar, her mom on percussion, her sister singing vocals, and Cate on the bass, they have recreated songs like “Ode to My Family” by the Cranberries, “At Last” by Etta James, and “Venus” by Shocking Blue.


Richmond, VA

Years experience:

4 years

Why I play the bass:

In my middle school orchestra, more than half the class was playing violin… including me. Our teacher had sat us down a few days after school had started and attempted to push some of us towards playing cello and bass, of which we had only two cellos and no basses. A couple of my friends and I decided to switch instruments and our first instinct was the cello. I don’t remember how the entire conversation of hypotheticals went but I distinctly remember my teacher saying, “I can’t remember the last time we had a female bassist.” All of my dreams of playing the cello went out the window, and I immediately switched all my energy to the double bass.


  • Sterling Ray 34 in ruby red burst black
  • NS Design WAV4 electric upright
  • Plywood student/beater double bass (until I save up enough for my next bass)
  • Upton french bow with hexagon brazil wood stick, black hair, ebony frog and an abalone siding

My Influences:

Jaco Pastorius, Edgar Meyer, Lauren Pierce, Peter Hook.

Fiona Apple, Sufjan Stevens, Annie Clark, Beck, Courtney Barnett.

And of course, my cats.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

I’ve always been good at picking out melodies from memory. I would consider this to be my best asset, but I really only used it when I didn’t want to learn sheet music in my piano lessons as a kid. Currently, I think one of my strongest points is my persistence and dedication to my craft. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but I can say with full confidence that I wouldn’t be the player I am today without these last two traits.

More on the web:

Want to be featured in an upcoming Reader Spotlight? Just fill out the interview questionnaire.

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts