After being handed a recorder aged five, Ellie developed a lifelong passion for woodwind instruments. Following a short detour to the violin, she began playing the saxophone a few years later. The clarinet and flute followed soon after, and she now enjoys a busy career as a freelance saxophonist and teacher based in Fife, Scotland, where she lives by the sea with partner Kevin and a small grey cat named Stan.
After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Ellie has gone on to perform in a wide range of settings on saxophone, clarinet and flute. She is a member of Workers Union Ensemble and the Scottish Saxophone Ensemble, and particularly enjoys playing for musical theatre which has seen her perform throughout the UK with shows such as Sister Act, Top Hat and Funny Girl, as well as working for local groups around Edinburgh and Fife.
With a diverse musical background including jazz and improvisation as well as classical performance, Ellie is a versatile musician with a wide range of skills. Recent performances include the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto with Tayside Symphony Orchestra, ‘Chicago’ at the summer season of Pitlochry Festival Theatre, and the pantomime at the Glasgow King’s Theatre.
Ellie also loves working with aspiring saxophonists of all ages and abilities. Alongside running workshops and ensembles, she works in one-to-one and group lessons with students aged from 7 to 87! She currently teaches at St Andrews University and Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools and runs Fife Sax School, a new venture aiming to provide more opportunities for saxophonists of all ages to learn and play in Fife.
Catherine studied classical saxophone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with John Harle and Christian Forshaw, graduating with a first class honours degree in 2007 and a master’s degree with distinction in 2014.
As a solo saxophonist, Catherine has reached the semi-final of the Royal Overseas League Music Competition and was runner up in The Needlemaker’s Prize. She is a composer, favouring saxophone and electronics and has premiered her works at both The Forge and Milton Court. As a chamber musician with saxophone quartet ‘Quadrophonia’, Catherine won the CASS quartet competition, and reached the finals of the St Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition, The Tunnell Trust Scheme and the semi-finals of the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music competition. Catherine was Principal Alto Saxophone with the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain for 4 years, in which time she performed several concerti with the group at venues such as the Beijing Concert Hall, the CBSO centre and Mahidol University in Bangkok.
Catherine has a diverse range of experience as an educator. She has lectured on music education at The Guildhall School and Trinity Laban; taught the saxophone at City University and Junior Guildhall and was Education Director for the 2012 World Saxophone Congress. She is the founder and Director of Mosaic Music Education Ltd; winners of the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise, The Amati Global Investors Award and Guildhall School Creative Entrepreneurship Award, where she creates music education resources for young instrumentalists and supports new teachers in their delivery. Until recently Catherine was Director of Music at St. Aubyn’s School in London where she worked with children aged 3-13 delivering curriculum music sessions based on the Kodály method. However, following a pending move to Scotland, she recently began teaching the Saxophone at the University of Aberdeen and at North East of Scotland Muisc School.