Catherine (Kate) Agnes Grana, 66, of Bristol died peacefully at home on Monday, May 30, 2016 after a brief illness.
Born on June 29, 1949 in Meriden, CT, she was the daughter of the late Spero and Marion (Wood) Grana.
She was the wife of Susan Cotta.
Kate received her B.S.in Music Education from Western Connecticut University and a Masters in Music Education from URI. She studied voice at New England Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music, American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and in Rome, Italy. Kate had participated in master classes under Sherrill Milnes in Austria, and Luciano Pavarotti in Pesaro, Italy and has performed in Italy, Germany, Austria, France, and throughout the New England states. Kate had been an artist in residence at Quissisana Resort in Maine. She also appeared with the Providence Opera, the Boston Lyric Opera, Southern Massachusetts University Opera Theater and the Minnesota Opera Theater Workshop.
Kate was a passionate, dedicated and beloved music teacher, choral director and vocal coach for over 31 years in Portsmouth, RI. Initially she began teaching at the middle school and then at the high school. She directed countless musicals and concerts. Kate had a passion for inspiring and motivating students from all backgrounds. She loved what she did and the kids knew it. Kate also directed several plays for the Portsmouth Community Theatre. She was a board member of the Bristol Community Concert Series.
Always passionate about music of all kinds, after retirement she re-invented herself as a singer/songwriter and guitar playing soloist, performing many original songs at open mic sessions and she released a CD of original children’s lullabies.
Besides her wife, she is survived by her sisters Beth Soucy of Ellington, CT and Karen (Candy) Grana of Wallingford, CT, her nieces, Dawn Soucy, Amy Blanchard, Aimee Foley, Allegra Foley, Kathryn Eller and nephews Zachary Foley, Joshua Eller and Jack Pendleton.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, June 10, 2016, from 3-7pm in Connors Funeral Home, Portsmouth.
Her funeral will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 12pm at St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Kate’s memory may be made to Community Concert Series at St. Michael’s, 399 Hope Street, Bristol, RI 02809 or Portsmouth Music Boosters, P.O. Box 21, Portsmouth, RI 02871.