Catherine McLaughlin began her music training at a young age with studies in violin and piano. At the age of 10, while living in Tucson Arizona, she was introduced to the double bass, and has never looked back. She began in school orchestras and jazz bands, then, upon returning to Alberta, began private study on the bass with Mark Rodgers of Musaeus. She spent her teenage years playing in the Lethbridge Symphony (with Graeme Mudd as principal bass), the Conservatory Orchestra, and the Lethbridge Youth Strings Senior Orchestra, as well as solo performances in the Kiwanis music festival and Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. For her grade 10 RCM exam and throughout her Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge, she began travelling to Calgary regularly to study with Sheila Garrett, assistant principal bass of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
McLaughlin joined the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra as a teenager, but in 2008 she successfully auditioned for the position of principal and has held that post ever since. She also performs as a guest artist with the Musaeus string quartet, and has played with the Symphony of the Kootenays as well as the Medicine Hat Symphony. After completing her Bachelor of Music, McLaughlin took some time to pursue her other artistic passion: dance. She spent three years at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she completed the Professional Training Program. While in Toronto, she studied bass with Natalie Kemerer and played with the Mississauga Symphony and other local orchestras. She also composed for and performed in a number of dance pieces. Her and her husband have now settled back in Lethbridge, and have 2 young children. Along with her symphony and conservatory commitments, she teaches dance at Danceworks Dance Academy, and continues to work as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and musician at every opportunity.