About Catherine Shrubshall

About Catherine Shrubshall Freelance Musician London

In 1983 I packed up my beloved saxophones and clarinets and left my rural Essex home to study music and performance arts in London. From there I embarked on a wonderful and entertaining professional life as a freelance woodwind player, composer and educator, travelling all around the world for many years. I have lived predominantly in London, with brief sojourns to North Yorkshire and Rome along the way. However, In 2015 I decided to return to my Essex roots to embark on the next chapter of my professional development (this paragraph hasn’t changed)

I expected life in the countryside to be lived at a much slower pace than in London, in line with my accumulation of birthdays!….however I was UTTERLY wrong!! I have met SO many amazing artists, eccentrics and like minded souls here in Essex…my creative and social life has never been richer! I am constantly collecting material for exciting new work, and finding opportunities to collaborate on a huge variety of projects in all sorts of surprising venues. I am joyfully sharing and developing my skills with others, flexing my compositional and improvisational muscles, and collecting lots of new instruments from around the world to toot, hoot and bash! Bringing many new projects and enterprises to light here is constantly keeping me on my toes: writing music for production company, film, and documentary briefs, improvising sound journeys for festivals and retreats, running workshops with an array of artists from different art forms…and delivering lively consultation lessons and improvisation coaching. My life is full of creative variety, the air is fresh and the sea is near - I am in the right place at the right time


Some of the highlights of my varied and diverse career are:

Playing contrabass saxophone on the “Strange Cargo” tour with William Orbit, leading 400 saxophonists on an improvised musical march through the City of London, backing Lovers Rock icon Barry Biggs, being rowed around the Highgate ladies pond while improvising, developing an exciting new musical as part of a “Glyndebourne Opera” outreach project, touring with Ballet Rambert and Shobanah Jeyasingh Dance, opening the 1st Royal Festival Hall’s “Meltdown Festival” with “Icebreaker”, guesting on BBC2’s “Later...with Jools Holland”, being appointed as an associate musician for ENB's “Dance for Parkinson's” programme, winning an award at the Valencia Film Festival for co-writing my first feature film score, public speaking at Westminster Cathedral at a "Help Musicians UK’ fundraiser, arranging and recording music composed in 1908 by a friend’s amazing Great Uncle Lazar, staying with indigenous tribes in South America and sharing our music traditions...etc etc

These are just a few of the highlights from the amazing life as a musician I have chosen to live... I am so very privileged

Catherine Shrubshall Freelance Musician and Educationalist
Catherine Shrubshall Freelance Musician and Educationalist
Catherine Shrubshall Freelance Musician and Educationalist
Catherine Shrubshall Freelance Musician and Educationalist
Catherine Shrubshall Freelance Musician and Educationalist
Freelance Musician

Some of the highlights selected from my varied and diverse performing career from 1983 to present

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Music Educationalist
Private Tuition | Consultation Lessons | Ensemble Coaching

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A selection a past and present collaborative projects

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“When I started playing saxophone aged 10, I had no idea that music would play such a fundamental role in my life. Catherine took me from not being able to play a note to a grade 8 distinction during my time at school. Through weekly lessons, Catherine shared her love of jazz, funk and soul amongst a wide array of other genres and styles. Further, through ensembles held at Centre for Young Musicians, Catherine encouraged me and my fellow students to be confident and creative in a improvised ‘jam’ context. It is thanks to Catherine that I now play with a professional standard big band at University and continue to nurture the passion for music that she  has instilled in me. Not only is she a brilliant saxophonist and inspiring teacher, but a great friend. I am infinitely grateful for the time I have spent with Catherine and would fully recommend her tutelage to anyone with a desire to improve and have a great time in the process.”

Billy Huband-Thompson – Ex-Student now studying at Bristol University

Billy Huband-Thompson

“Catherine is a stunning musician – seeing and hearing her play saxophone is one of life’s great pleasures! She communicates joy, pain and excitement in the way only music can. Catherine is also blessed with the ability to share her skill with people of all ages and backgrounds through her teaching – she inspires and motivates us all. Catherine is a brilliant project manager and events’ organiser, creative and well organised, she adds a sparkle to whatever she decides to do.”

Carrie Supple – Director of “Journey to Justice” journeytojustice.org.uk

Carrie Supple

Re: Leaving Employment at CYM in 2011

“Catherine has given distinguished service over many years now and the institution will be poorer without her. She is one of the most talented teachers I have had the privilege to work with and a wonderful musician in her own right. I will miss her enormously both on Saturday and on the Open Access Holiday Courses. Catherine has also contributed hugely to CYM’s outreach programme featuring the CYM Saxophone Ensembles in prestigious venues all over the capital. Many cohorts of students have much to thank her for and the current intake will be deeply saddened by her going.”

Stephen Dagg – Director of “London’s Centre for Young Musicians” (CYM) – a division of the Guildhall School of Music

Stephen Dagg CYM
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