In July 2017 Catherine was appointed Artistic and Educational Director of the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain. NCO is a large orchestral training programme and has 700+ children in membership over 11 orchestras – 5 national and 6 regional.
With a view to offering as broad a musical education as possible, she has introduced a new curriculum to NCO, focusing on 4 educational strands – Mastery, Wellbeing, Autonomy and Purpose. Working with over 120 music professionals every year, NCO is becoming a truly creative organisation as well as a recreative one. Through our Surround Sound workshops the children produce their own music, inspired by each concert theme, which deepens their understanding of the music they will be performing. It also allows a safe space for taking risks, refining ideas and building consensus. Threaded through the whole organisation is an evolving understanding and empowerment of Child Voice.
With Managing Director Sophie Lewis, she is forging new partnerships with professional orchestras, concert halls, music hubs, Sistema and In Harmony programmes, Junior conservatoires and specialist music schools. Supported by an extensive programme of bursaries, NCO is working to develop the widest possible access for young people and to create clear progression routes throughout the programme of activity.