College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Aspiring Composer Wins Hollywood Songwriting Contest Best Pop Song

Kat Tabula

Already composing music in high school, Katherine Cabula (Kat) was looking for a certain music institution with a fresh, open minded approach as well as a traditional music conservatory setting to continue her studies. She found what she was searching for in Cal Poly Pomona’s music composition program.

Kat composed her song “It Rains in California” while still a senior in high school at Ribét Academy. Inspired by a Ted Talks video called Do Schools Kill Creativityby Sir Ken Robinson, Kat wanted to write an anthem for artists, musicians, and other minority groups. Her song challenges the pressures to conform and deny one’s originality because those are the same pressures that destroy potential.

Believing in her song she wanted to submit it to as many music competitions as possible. She learned that there are different music scenes everywhere and each one judges music differently. She believes it is important for composers to examine all the feedback they receive for their music. Winning the 2017 Best Pop Song in the Hollywood Songwriting Contest for “It Rains in California” was an honor and Kat sees it as another stepping stone in her journey as a musician. As she explained “It has motivated me even more to continue creating music and expanding my experiences; to collaborate with good people, learn more skills, and to show up to class on time!” 

Currently creating music arrangements and score notation for a debut EP, Kat is experimenting with new and retro sounds, and is interested in collaborating with other CPP musicians, whose work ethic she admires, on her upcoming project. After her first year at CPP she sees herself as a better equipped musician because of how well the music curriculum shapes young composers like herself, and the inspiring faculty in the music department. Kat also recognizes how important her family and friends have been in her journey and says “I want to thank them all for their endless support of my music”. 

To view the debut music video of “It Rains in California” please visit