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Through Coloured Glass


Aug 13 - 18 2023


09:30 - 16:00

Through Coloured Glass Course for cellists

About the course

An adventurous, intensive course for advanced (Grade 7 minimum) and professional cellists wanting to go off-grid.

This stunning programme of music from across the ages is threaded together and performed publicly as a meditation in a continuous cycle.

Cellists receive the music in advance to learn before rehearsal and development begin.

From the course leader, Catherine Black

Stillness is vital to our well-being – to our ability to reflect. Many people look to music to find solace and to use it as a focus or channel for their personal trials and tribulations. I have created a meditation that is a musical & spiritual journey that takes you from the troubles of the world, towards a still point, and then leads you forward, preparing you to go back to the hurly-burly, refreshed. In performance, the music is threaded together and is played continuously. It serves as a meditation for player and listener alike, making a performance more of an event, than a concert.

The music I have chosen was written by some of the greatest composers of the Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic eras. It is music from the heart, to the heart written by men grounded in their faith and craft. Sure, their art had a place in the life of their society, they wrote for their church, the buildings that housed it, for Princes, aristocrats, Kings and Queens. Both sacred and secular music work together side by side – they are the stuff of life. The Ayres of Dowland, the Chansons of Lassus, meld with Anthems, masses and motets.

I created this way back in 2007. This is the programme (with some additions) that String Theory Cello Ensemble performed. We played a Long Meditation for evening time and a Short Meditation for lunch-time concerts. We played in cabaret bars with a light show, colouring the musical drama. Our audience sat at candle-lit tables sipping wine. When we played in churches, some audience members lay down on the pews to listen. Like that ensemble, we will perform publicly, using lighting and other media to illuminate the event. We were signed to a Canadian agency who loved this theatrical mode of performance.

A reviewer said of one of our performances, ‘It spoke the language of eternity’.

The music will be sent out two months in advance so it is well known before rehearsal and development begins.

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.


The fee is £700 for the week’s course.

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Aug 13 - 18 2023
  • Time: 04:30 - 11:00

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