Cece Otto was born in small-town Minnesota, and grew up in a house filled with music. Her first public performance came when she was eight years old and sang “Maybe” from the musical Annie, and by the time she was twelve, Cece’s mind was made up: she was going to be a singer.
Cece studied music throughout her academic career, beginning with high school at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, followed by a dual bachelor degree program (in music and linguistics) at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and then a unique dual Master’s Degree in voice and composition from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.
Song was everywhere in our house. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing.”
— Cece Otto
Cece spent a year studying the Irish language and Irish traditional music in Ireland, and has performed solo and in ensemble through the United States and around the world. She created An American Songline in 2013, and set out on a pioneering musical journey along America’s first transcontinental road. Cece then went on to create other historical programs such as The Songs of World War I, which was endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission in Washington DC; Centennial of Suffrage, which examined the fight to secure voting rights for women; and Prohibition: 90 Years of Temperance, Temptation & Song. In addition, she is an active member of several regional and national historical groups and has written books and recorded albums based on her research.