Celebrated pianist, violinist, and classical and rock guitarist Katie Colbrook will be performing at Bradford Cathedral on Tuesday 12th March as part of its monthly free Coffee Concerts.
Katie is an accomplished musician who has played the piano since the age of five, using an old piano in the family home before starting more formal lessons two years later, progressing to grade eight by her mid-teens.
“I went on to perform in orchestras and won a few competitions, and then went to University.”
Now based in Huddersfield, Katie balances performing music with being a music teacher at a private school, a job she loves.
“It’s wonderful to be able to spark the interest in the next generation of musicians. We learn what’s current and what the children are interested in, and mix in some classical techniques as well. We learn film music, and even compositions from video games! It’s anything that gets the spark going.
“It’s another way to reach out to young people through music. They can get swamped by quick wins and easy fixes when playing games with friends all the time. But there’s music everywhere you look. In the game Minecraft there’s a very peaceful background of almost meditative music, and some students with learning difficulties really like that as it’s soothing and repetitive. I didn’t expect to find that.”
Katie will be playing a wide repertoire of music at the Coffee Concert in March.
“I’ll be playing some traditional music that was written in the 1940s and 1950s, through to the 1960s. There will be the ‘Cornish Rhapsody’ by Hubert Bath and I might finish on ‘Sonatine movement no. 3’ by Maurice Ravel as it’s quite a fast one!”
Katie revealed that she picked her favourite pieces from the songbooks that she played when she was fourteen, and had later played in concerts. These will appear alongside some more recent choices. “There’s the Ravel I discovered at University. It’s comfortable to play, but it’s interesting and offers different things to the listeners. Everyone wins!”
Katie is a talented multi-instrumentalist who plays the piano, violin and rock guitar, but her favourite is the classic guitar and she’s preparing for her exam this year. “I’ve been self-taught for about twenty-five years. I decided to bite the bullet and go straight in at grade eight, but was surprised that I’m actually at diploma level!
“I’m having a wonderful time learning some Spanish guitar and having the patience to pick up the techniques as I’ve always done my own thing. Learning the Spanish music in depth is really interesting; it’s beautiful. It takes a lot of patience but once you’re into it you can sit there absorbed for hours. You can be drawn into it. I’ve got to do something creative else I’ll feel out of sorts.”
Looking ahead, Katie has future dates where she leaves the classical world behind to be part of a Meat Loaf tribute band called ‘Malt Loaf’. “It’s a bit of a switch, but the keyboard work is pretty difficult! My favourite song would have to be ‘Bat Out of Hell’ because the piano opening sets the scene; it’s very exciting and fast.”
At March’s Coffee Concert at Bradford Cathedral Katie will be playing music by Debussy and Greig, but she also confirmed which her favourite classical piece is to play:
“It would have to be the Ravel. It was the piece that I really got into when I was at University. Some pieces are not easy to memorise, but I memorised this; there’s just something very natural about it. It’s comfortable to play, but enough of a challenge to not bore me.
You can see Katie Colbrook at the Coffee Concert on Tuesday 12th March at Bradford Cathedral. Entry is free and refreshments are available from 10:30am with the concert starting at 11am.
Click here to join the Facebook event.