The 2019-20 Alumni Speaker Series continued on Friday, December 6 as Nichols School welcomed Eulis Cathey '71 to Upper School morning meeting. Cathey is the voice of Sirius XM Real Jazz and shared lessons learned from a nearly 40-year career in media, broadcasting and music production.
A distinguished student, athlete and vocal performer in his time at Nichols, Cathey developed a love for music. Cathey grew up in a musical household playing clarinet and piano and listening to music with his friends. As a Nichols senior, Cathey had his first exposure to jazz hearing a live trio perform at school. He also began listening to WEBR AM 970 and their Sunday night jazz program, learning more about the art of jazz and developing a passion for the genre.
Following his graduation from Nichols, Cathey started his college studies at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he got his first exposure to media, promotions and communications by working with the campus radio station. He transferred to the University of Dayton to enroll in their communications arts program and continued his campus radio experience there. Throughout college, Cathey build a foundation of academics and extracurricular activities that matched his passions and prepared him for his career.
After starting his marketing and promotions career writing on-air spots for TV, Cathey's passion for music led him back to WEBR in Buffalo, where he helped to produce the same "Jazz in the Nighttime" Sunday night program that had first stoked his interest in jazz. Cathey spent seven years there before a college friend brought him on to a record label, where he was able to work with many of the jazz artists he grew up admiring. He combined his experience in both music production and marketing during an exciting 17-year stretch working with many record labels.
Cathey eventually returned to his love for broadcasting and radio, helping listeners understand the history of jazz and sharing insight into the songs he played. Cathey worked as on-air talent with WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM in Newark, New Jersey for 11 years. Today, he is the voice of Real Jazz on Sirius XM and is on air weekdays from 6 p.m. to midnight and 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays.
Cathey's closing message relayed his hope for the students in attendance to "go for the gusto," follow their passions and reach for the stars in their careers and lives beyond Nichols School. He also took the time to chat with a fellow Nichols alumnus, longtime Middle School English teacher George Kloepfer. Kloepfer was a senior when Cathey was a freshman at Nichols, and Kloepfer also taught Cathey's nephew, Jonathon Barr '01.
Thank you for coming back to campus and sharing your message!