Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Catherine Kilroe-Smith studied at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where she completed a Bachelors Degree in Music. Dr. Kilroe-Smith also holds graduate degrees from the Hochschule Fuer Musik “Carl Maria von Weber” (Konzertexsamen) in Dresden, Germany and the University of Georgia (M.M, D.M.A.) in Athens, USA.
Dr. Kilroe-Smith has appeared as a soloist with the East Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa. She has given recitals in South Africa, Germany, and the United States and maintains an active performance schedule. She has participated in master-classes with Stefan Jezierski, Allen Spanjer, Jean-Francois Taillard, Fergus McWilliam, Eli Epstein and Rik Vercruysse. Her primary teachers have been Peter Damm, Richard Deane, Jean Martin-Williams, Sean Kierman, and Eric Albertyn. Kilroe-Smith has played with the East Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kwazulu Natal Orchestra and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and currently performs with the Macon Pops and the Gwinnett Ballet Orchestra. As a chamber musician, she was a member of the Bulldog Brass Society Quintet under the direction of Fred Mills and the Georgia Brass Ensemble who performed with a variety of guest artists including Joe Alessi, the Basel Brass, the Belgian Brass, and Bobby Shew. She is currently a member of Tamu Musica, a violin, piano and horn trio.
As a scholar, she has presented her research at the International Council for Traditional Music in Vienna, Austria, the International Horn Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa and she was invited to present at the International CMS Conference in Croatia. She has also been published in the International Horn Society's journal called The Horn Call. Her research interests include Balkan Brass Music, African Music, and Intercultural Contexts in Music. In 2013, her music appreciation textbook, “Musical Journeys” (ISBN: 978-1-4652-1624-3) was published by Kendall Hunt.
Currently, Dr. Kilroe-Smith is Assistant Professor of Horn at the University of Georgia. She previously taught at the Georgia Gwinnett College where she founded and ran the award winning Excursions Concert Series. At the same institution she was the recipient of the Faculty Service Award and the Top Claw Faculty Award for 2015/ 2016.