We are The Stringcredibles – an independent quartet of orchestral performers, who are dedicated to improving connections between musicians and audiences.
We believe that classical music is for everyone, and that dynamic performances inspire powerful connections.
By considering the needs of the audience, we help young musicians and education professionals to power up their performance skills and achieve greater impact.
Our methods are relevant to all musicians, whatever instrument they play.
We’re a small charity with big ambitions! If you’d like to support our work, please consider donating
‘Catherine Arlidge is not only one of our most inspiring, valued and unstinting musicians but also one of our strongest and most idealistic personalities’ – Sir Simon Rattle
Catherine combines a career as Sub Principal Second Violin with the CBSO with the role of Artistic and Educational Director of the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain. First and foremost a violinist, she has a busy performance schedule, alongside which she has responsibilities for curriculum, programming and artistic collaborations at NCO. Passionate about connecting new young audiences to classical music, she also creates and presents concerts for Families and Schools for orchestras across the UK.
In January 2014 Catherine became the first violinist – and only the third ever recipient – of the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Association of British Orchestras Salomon Prize, a prestigious award celebrating the outstanding contribution of orchestral players to the UK’s musical life.
She is currently Board Member of the Association of British Orchestras and has presented at conferences internationally.
In 2016 Catherine was awarded an MBE in the Queens’s New Years Honours list, for her services to music education in Britain.
A First Class honours graduate and instrumental scholar from New College Oxford, Bryony completed her Masters studies at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with distinction.
Her first full-time job was with the Ulster Orchestra and she is now a member of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra second violin section.
Bryony is involved with many of the CBSO’s learning and participation projects and has delivered freelance workshops for Live Music Now, Artis Education, English Touring Opera and the Junior RNCM. As a violin teacher, she completed her LRAM teaching diploma with distinction and was a member of Philippa Bunting’s First String Experience team at the Junior Royal Academy of Music.
Amy was a scholar at the Royal Academy of Music graduating with 1st class honours and an LRAM teaching diploma. She continued at the Academy as a postgraduate student gaining a PGDip Distinction and a DipRAM for outstanding performance.
Amy was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in London and worked with many of the major symphony orchestras there and around the country before joining the CBSO in 2009.
Amy was lucky enough to be a member of orchestras such at The National Children’s Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra and European Union Youth Orchestra. These organisations have given her the passion and drive to become a musician and to pass on her experiences to others through education and performance.
Helen studied Cello with Margaret Moncrieff, then with Douglas Cummings, Derek Simpson and Lionel Handy at the Royal Academy of Music where she won solo and chamber music prizes before graduating with the Academy’s highest award, the Dip. R.A.M. in both solo and ensemble playing.
As cellist of the Hellier String Quartet, Helen performed widely throughout Europe and Asia, including a private recital to the Princess of Wales. The Quartet studied with the Amadeus, Alberni and Borodin Quartets, then later at The Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, and were Ensemble in Residence at the Britten-Pears Foundation in Aldeburgh.
Helen was a member of the BBC Concert Orchestra for 9 years before joining the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2006. At the CBSO, she regularly performs in CBSO’s chamber music series “Centre Stage”, collaborating in ensembles with visiting artists Baibe Skride, Sakari Oramo, Peter Donahoe and Simon Trpeski. She has curated the last four seasons of Centre Stage programmes.
Helen is a Visiting Teacher of Cello at Birmingham Conservatoire, and was formerly cello teacher and coach of ensembles and orchestras at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music. A co-founder of The Birmingham Cello Workshop, she coaches cello ensembles ages 7-80 of all abilities, takes masterclasses and directs its 40-strong cello orchestra on their popular Cello Playing Days.
Rebecca has worked in arts outreach, engagement and education for more than 15 years, devising and delivering projects and programmes from local to national level.
With a passion for combined arts and equal access, Rebecca has developed strategic work with a diverse range of arts and cultural organisations. She has also managed fundraising and comms, gaining support from key funders such as Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, the British Council and a range of independent trusts and foundations.
Rebecca believes in the power of public engagement in the arts, and has a particular focus on work with young people, schools, and underserved communities. She is delighted to bring this experience to her work with The Stringcredibles.
Sarah Gee is Chief Executive of Spitalfields Music, a charity in London that builds harmonious communities through music. She was previously Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Indigo-Ltd, an award-winning UK-based consultancy for arts and cultural organisations, and Director of Communications for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where she was responsible for rebranding the ensemble, and increasing fundraising income and ticket sales by 42%.
Originally trained as a hornplayer, Sarah has thirty years of fundraising, marketing and communications experience in the arts and charities, having been personally responsible for raising over £80 million. She is also in demand as a visiting lecturer at key universities, and as a trainer, coach and international conference keynote speaker, including the Middle East, Europe and Japan. She has been a trustee of The Stringcredibles since 2016.
Eluned works for Birmingham City University as the Head of University Change. She has over 20 years’ experience in the education sector, specialising in the development and delivery of national and international programmes, such as Teach First’s Training Programme, the English national curriculum and a performing arts collaboration between The Juilliard School and Nord Anglia Education.
Having studied music at the University of Birmingham, Eluned continued her love for music by singing in choirs. She now performs regularly as a member of the CBSO Chorus. She joined the board of the Stringcredibles in 2019.
Sally-Ann is a retired Headteacher and Educational Consultant. Having taught for 32 years in schools across the country, she has a successful educational track record in moving disadvantaged and poorly performing schools to ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’.
As a music enthusiast, Sally-Ann has always established strong music teaching and curricula in her schools. In her final school in Walsall, she worked with the Stringcredibles to establish their first residency in a primary school and to create a successful partnership between the musicians and children from a deprived background, enriching their love of and competency in music.
Sally-Ann dabbles with saxophone and guitar, and has eclectic music tastes. She has been the Director of Purple Butterflies, an Education Consultancy company, since October 2018 and joined the board of the Stringcredibles in the summer of 2019.
Philip is Corporate Services Director and Company Secretary of Beacon Centre for the Blind in Wolverhampton, and is a Chartered Management Accountant. He has over 30 years of experience as a finance professional in blue-chip groups, and in recent years, in the charity sector. He is a Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee of Visionary – Linking Local Sight Loss Charities, and also a Trustee of BGSO.
Philip is a keen amateur clarinettist and supporter of the arts.
High energy, interactive shows for primary schools
For students, teachers and organisations working with young musicians
Designed to inspire young musicians and audiences with the joy of classical music