Biographies

Catherine Eleanor Holbrook

Catherine’s passion for ‘playing with music’ and inspiring others to do the same is the driving force behind her performing and community work.

Catherine studied Music at the University of York, where she focussed on the interpretation and performance of orchestral and chamber music.  In 2000, she received the Sir Thomas Beecham Scholarship for performance.

Catherine is privileged to have studied the piano with Stuart Insley and Stephanie Cant and in 2008 she was delighted to be awarded an MBF bursary to attend Dartington International Summer School.  There she further developed her musicianship skills under the guidance of Laurence Perkins, Stephen Drummer and Susie Self. She also holds a Masters degree in Community Music with distinction, from the University of York.

Catherine works as a freelance musician in the York area. Notable engagements have included invitations to: perform for the European Piano Teachers’ Association; take the stage with some of Britain’s finest musicians in Dartington’s prestigious Concert series; conduct workshops and performances for The Cobweb Orchestra; and to collaborate on the international tango performance project Duo Sonita. In addition to performing with Two for Tea, Catherine is currently Artistic Director of the York-based open access All Seasons Orchestra, and is available for private tuition, accompanying sessions and individual or group masterclasses by application.

For more information about Catherine & her work please visit her website: www.catherine.shackell.org.uk

Laura Frances Jones 

PictureLaura read Music at the University of York, where she graduated with first class honours in 2002. Since then, she has worked as a freelance performer, accompanist, instrumental teacher and lecturer: a career that has brought her into contact with a variety of musics, from Gershwin to Gilbert and Sullivan, Sinatra to Shostakovich, and almost everything in between.

Laura has performed with the flexible classical ensemble York Barbican Players, appearing in Schubert’s Trout Quintet at the invitation of the National Schubert Institute. As a member of the James Chadwick Swing Sextet, she toured to theatres as far afield as Durham and Yeovil, and to more unusual venues such as the National History Museum! Her work with Gourmet Opera took her to Wembley Stadium, where she performed for a corporate dinner in the Bobby Moore Club. Laura has also played as an oboist with South Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, appearing in annual engagements in Sheffield Anglican Cathedral, amongst others.

Laura accompanies the violinist Lucy Phillips, providing musical entertainments in venues such as Bettys Tea Rooms and Castle Howard. She also works for Music in Hospitals and Silver Song Box, delivering short concerts and interactive musical sessions in nursing and residential homes. She has accompanied various choirs and theatrical groups based in York and Sheffield, participating in the official re-opening of Sheffield City Hall, and a private performance for the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth House.

In her other life, Laura has pursued a course of postgraduate study at the University of York, first receiving an MA in Musicology with distinction, then going on to complete her doctorate thesis on Shostakovich opera in 2012. She has taught on the undergraduate programme at York University, and lectured on music appreciation for the WEA.

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