The arresting purity of Holly Pyle’s voice captures listeners immediately, but her most striking quality is her intrinsic appreciation of, and seamless blending with, her musical environment. Whether she’s performing with her own freewheeling, rollicking ‘Catrobot’ quartet, guest-starring with a widely disparate array of groups, or creating her own a-cappella musical environment using her electronic looping device, Holly’s inspiration lies inside the music she performs. She is not just a masterful vocalist but a true artist who uses the colors of her voice to paint the hues of her life into her music; revealing her unaffected, unassuming, and utterly mesmerizing self.
Born into a non-musical family, Pyle managed to teach herself piano at a very young age, playing songs by ear and songwriting from age 5 onward. She joined several choirs, musical theater and took voice and piano lessons in high school. Not knowing much about careers in music, Pyle began coursework at Northern Arizona University for opera vocal performance. She performed chorus roles in operas including Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte and Mrs. Gobineau in Menotti’s “The Medium.” Despite having no experience performing or listening to jazz, she decided to join the NAU Vocal Jazz Ensemble and started taking jazz coursework under Joel DiBartolo and Russell Schmidt, whom gave her opportunities to sing with NAU’s big band ensemble as well as several listening references for further learning. Concurrently, she worked at Ardrey Auditorium where her boss, a local jazz piano player, invited her to attend local jazz shows and sit in. She attended every jazz show she could; the band called themselves Arctic Fox and Holly was eventually adopted into the group. All the players have since changed, but Holly has kept the band name and still performs with them in Flagstaff. Upon this newfound love for jazz, Pyle discontinued her studies in vocal performance and took on a double major in general music and psychology. She maintained a strong presence in the development of NAU’s new High Altitude vocal jazz ensemble under Dr. Ryan Holder and continued branching out, singing at weddings, private parties and the Flagstaff Music Festival. Pyle graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2010. After graduation Pyle initially explored several other paths, working jobs completely unrelated to music. In 2012 she began employment at a behavioral treatment center for troubled youth, and from their encouragement Holly has restarted her mission towards being a career musician. Pyle now sings regularly all over the Valley and is currently working on her first album.