Strings

We have four string teachers working at the NMC.

Emma Coleman B.Mus (Hons) (Cello, Violin)

Emma began violin lessons at 13 whilst living in Texas, and a year later started cello tuition. She recently completed a BMus(Hons) degree at Canterbury Christ Church University where she studied Cello as her principal instrument and violin as a secondary study. Emma is an experienced performer and has performed in a wide range of chamber ensembles (string quartet, piano trio etc), orchestral work and some solo performances. She now teaches at several schools in the area and at the NMC.

Catherine Geldard B.Mus (Hons) MMus (Violin & Viola)

Catherine grew up performing and playing in sessions on the Shetland Isles. She began learning the fiddle at age 5 before winning the local fiddle competition at 11. She was also one of the first people to complete grade 8 in traditional fiddle. Catherine moved to the North East 7 years ago to complete an undergraduate and then a master's degree in composition and performance at Newcastle University. Now she teaches fiddle in schools across the North East and is in her second year of teaching at Shetland's Fiddle Frenzy. In addition to teaching, Catherine is also a regular performer around the area and beyond, participating in folk festivals from Shetland to Devon and over the sea to Norway.

Maria Laura Belli (Violin)

Maria Laura Belli began studying violin at the age of 7. She was initially taught by Elizabeth Graham at the Trasimeno Music School, whilst also studying viola with Kaethe Shore. From 2008-2013, she was enrolled at the Conservatorio di Musica ‘F. Morlacchi’ in Perugia, completing her diploma in violin under the tutelage of Massimo Bacci. Maria Laura led the viola section in the Conservatorio's Orchestra and played violin with the International Orchestra of Rome. Between 2013-2014, Maria Laura worked as an assistant on the Chamber Music course at the Conservatorio, allowing her to perform with numerous quartets and quintets as both a violinist and violist, as well as with the ‘F. Morlacchi’ and ‘Morgenrote’ chamber orchestras. It was with the latter that she performed at the 56th Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, where she also led a String Quartet in the ‘Musica da Casa Menotti’ series. Last year perfomances included the first ever performance of Boris Porena's “Memoires” Quartet, Schubert's “Trout” Quintet and Shostakovich's 8th Quartet. Since moving to Newcastle, Maria Laura has played with the Newcastle University Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta, whilst also preparing for a series of Quartet recitals.

Charlotte Kennedy BA (Hons) (Violin)

Charlotte grew up surrounded by the traditional music of Northumberland and began playing violin at the age of 5, quickly gaining an appreciation for the tradition of learning melodies by ear. She later began progressing through the classical grades before being awarded a grant to attend Sage Gateshead's Weekend School. Here she studied violin with Julia Jasinski and had folk lessons with Stewart Hardy, and also enjoyed being part of an improvisation group and various chamber groups, as well as advancing in music theory. She also attended Sage Gateshead's Folkestra, directed by Kathryn Tickell, with whom she performed at the BBC Folk Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, and Young Sinfonia. Charlotte went on to study music at Durham University, where she graduated with First Class Honours. Here she was introduced to contemporary classical music, Indian Classical Music and many other world music genres. She now draws influence from all the aforementioned musical genres, as well as from Pop and Jazz music. She enjoys performing solo, using a loop pedal to create accompaniments, as well as in groups and duets, one of which won the 2016 Danny Kyle Celtic Connection award. She also enjoys composing and performing violin parts for various studio session recordings and has a busy teaching schedule.