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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 3, 2010

Stolen computer returned to songwriter


By Loren Moreno
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Roslyn Catracchia

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Local songwriter Roslyn Catracchia's computer containing some 20 years of compositions were mysteriously returned Thursday, less than a week after they were stolen from her home.

Catracchia, known for her musical collaborations with the late playwright Lisa Matsumoto, was called by police Thursday afternoon and told that someone had returned her computer and backup hard drive, but had declined to accept any reward money. Her friends had offered a reward of at least $200.

"Everything looks exactly as I left it," Catracchia said. "It's been a rollercoaster the last few days of feeling hopeful then feeling full of despair. When they called, I thought how could they possibly know they're my computers? When I saw it, I was overjoyed."

Catracchia, who is also the director of performing arts at First Presbyterian Church in Kāne'ohe, picked up her computers at the Beretania Street police headquarters and immediately looked for an electrical outlet in the parking lot so that she could check if her work was still there.

Following the theft of her belongings including the computers and jewelry from her 'Āina Haina home on Sunday morning, friends from Hawai'i's theater community and from her church reached out, offering everything from reward money to old copies of her music. Her plea for the return of her work appeared on television newscasts, newspapers and went viral on the Internet through Facebook and Twitter.

She thanked her Facebook network, saying, "Miracles happen! Happy Easter He is risen indeed.

"The generosity of so many people coming forward has absolutely overwhelmed me and my family," she said.

Catracchia has two Hōkū-nominated CDs, "The Wishing Tree" and "Stepping Stones." She released her third CD of original songs, "On This Journey," in 2003.

Her computer and back-up drive also had songs from about 40 musicals that she had composed.

The song data for the "Princess and the Iso Peanut," which first debuted at the Diamond Head Theatre in 1999, includes voice cues and other technical information that would have taken weeks to re-create, she said. The 2010 revival of the show is set to open Friday at the Hawai'i Theatre.

Other scores included Matsumoto's "On Dragonfly Wings" and "Once Upon One Time," a show scheduled to be staged in July at Mānoa Valley Theatre.

Had her work not been returned, Catracchia said she would have likely had to piece together the compositions for her upcoming show "Once Upon One Time," by viewing old videotapes of the production.

"That was so long ago that I don't even know where all the original hard copies went," Catracchia said. "I would have had to find a VHS, transfer it to DVD, listen to everything and transcribe it note-for-note based on what I was hearing."