I was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (so yes, I am a true Geordie!) and I grew up with my Mam, Dad and brother in a village in Northumberland called Stocksfield. My father is a musician, a church organist and choirmaster so music was a big part of my childhood at home. I began piano lessons aged 4, violin lessons at 9 and I picked up a viola aged 16.
Before leaving for London to study at the Royal College of Music, I played locally with many groups. I was in a number of youth orchestras and became the leader of the Northumberland Youth Orchestra and the Northern Junior Philharmonic. I was also given the opportunity to perform for two years with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – a proud moment for all in the North!! In the local newspaper I was given the eponymous title of ‘Violin girl’!
Composer and Founder
My name is Catherine Howe and I’m the person responsible for all of the music available on the site.
I’m a professional viola and violin player and a pianist. I also work as a private string and piano teacher, having taught over in the years in schools and at home. I enjoy music production which has helped when creating the recordings....and of course, now I think I can call myself a composer!
Here's a bit about myself so you can perhaps understand where I am coming from with all this...
Please read on!
After leaving the Royal College of Music, I immediately began work as a freelance viola player. Since then I’ve played with most of the top orchestras and theatre companies in the UK, and toured all over the world, performing in orchestral concerts, performing with small ensembles and taking part in music festivals in some incredible far away places.
I’ve had two full time jobs: one with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the other with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet and I’ve worked for Yellow Music, recording library music which has been broadcast on TV shows and adverts in this country and abroad.
I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a brilliant career to date. And while my musical life is much quieter these days due in part to being a mother to my two children, fantastic playing opportunities do still pop up now and again.
But now I’m into composing. It’s something I’ve only started to do in the last three years and I’m very excited about what I’ve achieved so far, and where this new venture is taking me. I have sleepless nights thinking about all the things I could do, all the music I could try and create… it’s incredibly exciting!
Life away from music.....
Away from music, I work as a freelance gardener, which gets me outdoors and exercising, and I also like to write, having had a number of articles published in magazines over the years. I live with my family in the Midlands UK. My husband is a professional trombonist and my teenage son plays the trumpet and is obsessed with music technology. My daughter is studying music at University in Leeds. So as you can imagine we are all obsessed with music. We live and breathe it. We listen to it constantly and talk about it all the time.
So this website is all about music: the beauty and wonder of it and the inspiration it can give us. My music is folky. All the inspiration comes from the natural world, the people in the world and the everyday things that we all share. It’s simple music that I hope you will find inspiring and enjoyable to play. It’s for everyone, of all ages and abilities.
There should be no snobbery about standards, no feeling that a beautiful simple arrangement is below any of us technically. In my view, music should be music, pure and simple, no matter what age, level or ability it’s written for. And that’s what this site is all about.
I hope you like the site.
I hope you love the music…