‘Unsung Heroes’ Easter Cello Ensemble Course 2019 – Cambridge





St. John the Evangelist's Church, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN, UK

+44 (0)7956 614530


East of England

£375 per person to include lovely lunches and refreshments, payable by cheque, or for overseas students, by bankers order.

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Please complete the application form from the course website.

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‘Unsung Heroes’ courses are directed by Catherine Black.

Catherine studied at the Royal College of Music in London where her cello teachers were Christopher Bunting and Eileen Croxford. She graduated in 1983 with a GRSM and an ARCM Teachers Diploma.

In 2013 Catherine co-founded the Baroque & Roll String Orchestra with the wonderful violinist, Julia Bishop of Red Priest.

Catherine taught for many years on behalf of the Centre for Young Musicians in London and is a deputy at the junior departments of Trinity College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She was an associate lecturer at Chichester University in 2014 and 2015.

Catherine worked as cello coach for the adult learners string orchestra Strings at St Martins, The Chamber Orchestra at Conway Hall and Battersea Young Strings.

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Event Description

Join us to play and study some of the most sublime & emotionally powerful Passiontide choral music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Our repertoire is ten specially for this central moment in the sacred year. This is going to be a wonderful three days working and exploring such great music together – do join us!

Whatever age you are, find yourself challenged and thrilled! The repertoire for the Unsung Heroes course is designed to develop your musical understanding and technical skills so that you are prepared as you find your way about your musical world. This repertoire ranges over many centuries and styles and evolves your playing like no other.

We study style and technique throughout as well as the historical context of each piece. There are some Baroque bows for you to borrow too.

Further information

  • Repertoire: The repertoire for 2019 will be announced in the new year; the scores will be available from May and can be forwarded to you on receipt of your application
  • Standard: It is in the nature of the writing that the parts are varied, so the range is from around Grade 2 upwards
  • Ages: 14 to infinity

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Catherine Black


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Norwich School, 69-71A The Close, Norwich, UK

30 July 2019 To 14 August 2019

+44 7910 145013

Henriette de Vrijer – Course Director

Henriette studied violin with Jan Hulst (Concertgebouw Orchestra) at the Rotterdam Conservatoire in the Netherlands and graduated in 1991 with the DM exam. From 1991-1994 she continued postgraduate violin studies with Tessa Robins-Khambatta (Royal College of Music) in London. She was a member of the Continuo Chamber Orchestra in the Netherlands and played for Dutch Television. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education from the Open University.

Henriette has taught the violin in music schools in the Netherlands and currently works as a visiting violin teacher in schools in England. She also has a private teaching practice at home. Students have gone on to specialist music schools, read music at university, have become professional violinists and viola players, have gained music scholarships and music exhibitions to schools and colleges and have won music competitions. In recent years, violin teachers have come to observe Henriette's lessons in order to enhance their own teaching. Henriette is also a contributor to The Strad Magazine's 'Ask the Experts' column.

East of England

About the course

The International Summer Music School (for pupils aged 15-18) is a collaboration between Norwich School and Pro-Am Strings, offering talented violinists, viola players, cellists and pianists from around the world the opportunity to engage in two weeks of music-making, while being immersed in the English language and culture.

Download the course brochure (pdf)

The course consists of daily individual instrumental music lessons and chamber music coaching by Pro-Am Strings’ distinguished and highly successful specialist teaching staff.

Each student will have an individual music lesson each day, during which he or she will study pieces that they have already been learning at home, as well as new repertoire and techniques. There will be plenty of opportunity to practise, with teachers close at hand to offer advice and support. It is our expectation that students will take their learning very seriously during their time with us and that they will make outstanding progress on their instrument.

Students will be matched in ensembles suitable to their playing level and experience. We believe strongly that chamber music offers every individual the opportunity, not only to enhance their musical skills, but also develop teamwork, time management and social skills.

Norwich School’s setting in the historic Cathedral Close offers first rate concert facilities. Our end of course concert will be a formal opportunity to showcase the achievements of each student and chamber ensemble during the course. We expect all participants to perform in evening dress/black tie to represent the progress that they will have made. Weather permitting, in proper English tradition, there will be a garden party after the concert.

Extracurricular activities will include excursions to London and Cambridge as well as trips to the local Norfolk beaches and countryside.

Prizes and certificates

At the end of the course, there will be a formal concert, where every student, solo or in an ensemble, can showcase his or her achievements during the course. This will be a festive event to which we will invite local students and staff from Norwich School. If the opportunity arises, we may also invite some of our advanced local musicians to join in, playing together with the international students. The concert will be held in our beautifully intimate new chamber music concert venue.

We expect all performers to wear evening dresses/black tie, to reflect the progress that everyone will have made during the course.

At the end of the concert, there will be a prize giving ceremony. There will be a Certificate of Completion for every student and we will also award a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize as well as a special prize. In addition, each student will receive a written report.

After the award ceremony, we intend to have a garden party in proper English tradition.

We will invite local students from Norwich School’s photography department to create a video impression of the course, and we hope that we may be able to make a recording of your playing to take home with you as a memento as well.

Venue and accommodation

The Summer School will be held in Norwich School’s newly refurbished Music School in the historic Cathedral Close. The Music School is equipped with grand pianos as well as upright pianos, a keyboard- and computer suite, a recording studio and performance spaces.

  • The international students will be staying in residential accommodation, where they are fully immersed in the English language and culture, supervised by trained and police checked staff, all trusted members of the Norwich School community. All meals will be provided by Norwich School’s in-house catering team.
  • The Music Summer School students will stay in local residential accommodation, not far from the Music School. In the evenings, there will be a varied programme of sports, games and other activities, which will depend largely on the interests of the participants and may include a film night, a guided tour of the city, going to a local concert etc.

The welfare, happiness and safety of our international students is absolutely paramount. We will make sure that the students in our care will make the most of their social time with us by offering a programme that reflects English life, customs and culture. The language spoken on the course is English and we expect our students to rapidly improve their English language skills during their time with us.

During after-school hours, the students will be supervised by suitably qualified and police checked staff, who are all trusted and compassionate members of the Norwich School community.

All meals will be provided by Norwich School’s in-house catering team and all food is included in the course fee. The students may want to bring some spending money for the weekend trips, although all entry fees to museums etc. will be included in the course fees.

During the two weekends, there will be trips to London and Cambridge, as well as visits to The Norfolk Broads and the local beach.


Flights to Heathrow airport in London are not included in the course fee. Students are expected to book their own flights and arrange their own visas.

Airport transfers by coach will be arranged by Norwich School and are included in the fees. It is expected that students will arrive at Heathrow airport between the hours of 12 noon and 5pm on Tuesday 30 July. On the day of departure, students should aim to book flights which leave London Heathrow between 2pm and 6pm.

About Norwich

Norwich is a wonderful fusion of the modern and the historic; as well as being the most complete medieval city in the UK, it has a flourishing arts, music and cultural scene – it became England’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2012 – as well as superb shopping and a multitude of fine restaurants.

Being the only English city in a National Park (the Norfolk Broads), the countryside in and around Norwich is stunning and easily accessible.

The city is quickly establishing itself as a centre of innovation and learning, with the University of East Anglia ranked within the top ten higher education institutions in the UK for the quality of its research outputs. The nearby Norwich Research Park also hosts a vibrant community of world-leading scientists. Set in the historic Cathedral Close in the heart of the city, Norwich School is ideally located for our pupils to take full advantage of the rich academic and cultural life of the city and its surroundings.

Download the course brochure (pdf)

Pro-Am Strings – testimonials

‘Just letting you know that I got through to the final round of the […] audition! I don’t think I’d have been able to get through without your help, it really took my playing to the next level and I’m extremely grateful.’ Adam P

‘I’ve had a lot of fun! Thank you.’ Ellie

‘Your encouragement and enthusiasm have inspired me.’ Henry

‘I have greatly improved, so thank you for your guidance.’ Katie

‘Thank you for all your hard work and positive encouragement. Very happily yours…’ Tanya

‘I like the clarity with which you communicated the technique. I would definitely recommend Pro-Am Strings to my friends.’ Sean

‘Clear and worthwhile.’ Daphne

‘You are like therapy. Thank you.’ Katie

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+44 (0)29 2039 1391

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