For as long as Kate Shermach can remember, music has been a part of her life.
“I just somehow connected with it,” Shermach, 51, said.
She grew up listening to music in church, along with the wide variety of albums and artists that her parents played on the turntable in their living room. As she got older and started singing, performing and playing music, it became an increasingly central part of her life. That continued into adulthood. The mother of two and her husband, Chris, love playing music.
Over the past couple of years, music has become an even more crucial part of the family’s dynamics.
In 2016, Shermach’s daughter, Brittany, developed encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. Some types of encephalitis have high mortality rates and can cause lasting health problems.
Brittany, 18 at the time, was in a coma for more than a week. One day during this time, the Shermachs sat in their daughter’s hospital room, playing a guitar and singing to her. The following day, Brittany awoke from the coma, and since then has recovered.
In the meantime, Chris built a recording studio in the basement of the family’s home in Osceola, Wis. To process their experience, the couple formed a progressive rock band called Tuesday Morning. They wrote and produced an album titled “The Awakening,” which was released in November 2017.
“We hope that as time goes on, more and more people discover the different parts of the album that might speak to situations in their lives, or give them some inspiration,” Shermach said.
Since then, the family has been flourishing, Shermach said. Brittany is now a caretaker and works as a freelance writer for the Osceola Sun. Taylor, the youngest of the family, is graduating from high school and plans to study industrial engineering at Dunwoody College in the fall.
Kate Shermach has continued to write music that is inspired by people in her life and the world around her. The band’s most recent work is a single called “Watching You Go,” which describes Shermach’s journey as a parent watching her youngest daughter prepare to leave home. The song is dedicated to Taylor and the students of the high school class of 2018.
“They’re fun, they’re smart, they’re engaging, they’re compassionate, and they just have a spirit about them that I’ve never seen,” Shermach said.
As Shermach and her family move forward in this season of life, she hopes that her music will affect people personally.
“I hope that somehow my music, over the past year and moving forward, can just sneak into the lives of those who really need it the most,” she said. “What I’m really looking to do is just kind of be a hand for someone to hold.”
She and Chris plan to continue to release original singles.
“Honestly, whatever happens, happens. I know that there’s a bigger picture in store for my life, and it’s something that is a journey for me, and I’ll embrace it as well as I can, in whatever direction it goes,” Shermach said. “I just really mostly hope that it moves people, and that people really enjoy it. That it brings them some joy and it gives them some comfort.”
For more information on the Shermachs' story or their band, Tuesday Morning, visit tuesdaymorning.net.
Lauren Otto is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.