Biography

Catherine Crouch, Soprano

"Shimmering, clear, agile, beautiful tone with impeccable technique"... ...These are a few words which describe Catherine's luminous voice.

From an early age, Catherine has been performing as a choral singer and as a soloist. Her music studies started in Toronto, Ontario at the Royal Conservatory of Music and since moving to Vancouver in 1992, she has studied under Lars Kaario, and has been coached by Ray Nurse, Ellen Hargis, and Doreen Oke.

Catherine has been a member of the elite chamber choir Laudate Singers for the past 17 years and a principal singer for most of that time. She has performed as soloist with Laudate and in collaboration with many instrumental groups including members of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, The Inter-Cultural Orchestra and La Cetra. Recordings include A Baroque Christmas and Celtic Journey cd releases.

Catherine toured Europe with the Capilano University Singers for four seasons and performed as a soloist in their concerts at many beautiful cathedrals in Italy, Germany and Austria. She was the soprano soloist at Capilano University’s Baroque Fest, and was a featured soloist in concerts with the Cecilia Ensemble Women’s Choir of North Vancouver.

For six years Catherine was the soprano soloist and section leader at St. Andrew's United Church in North Vancouver and performed there as a soloist in numerous oratorios. As well, Catherine was a soprano section leader and soloist for five years in the award-winning Christ Church Cathedral Choir in Vancouver.

I am thrilled to be studying with Catherine because she has such a great aptitude for teaching. As a performer, she has acquired many excellent and helpful techniques to share with her students. Her focus, in the study of bel canto singing, is in the vocalization of beautiful, free and sustained tones. She is skillful at identifying and correcting vocal problems and consistently works to negotiate the passaggio.

I highly recommend Catherine to anyone who is ready to improve his or her vocal performance.

Diane K.

Performer

Catherine’s love of Renaissance and Baroque music repertoire and performance has been nurtured and guided by esteemed teachers and by participating in voice programs and master classes offered through Early Music Vancouver at the University of British Columbia. Catherine has produced successful early music solo recitals and concerts:

  • 'O primavera' May 2005 with Doreen Oke, harpsichordist
  • 'Weep for Love' Sep 2003 with Doreen Oke, harpsichordist
  • 'Mostly Monteverdi' Feb 2002 with Don Conley
  • 'Music for a while' Jun 2000 with Pat Unruh (viola da gamba) and Monica Kim (harpsichord)

Catherine is presently collaborating with the Vancouver Historical Performance Society and is thrilled to be part of the ensemble.

Among her past choral credits, Catherine has sung with the choirs of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church and Ryerson United Church; in the Holy Rosary Cathedral Quartet, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Festival Vancouver Chorus under the batons of Helmuth Rilling, Tõnu Kaljuste and Jon Washburn and with the Capilano University Singers.

I have been taking lessons with Catherine since I was 10 years old.  Not only is she an amazing vocal coach, teaching me incredible techniques for beautiful singing, but she is also a mentor of mine.  She is a wonderfully kind and thoughtful person and I look forward to every lesson I have with her.

Olivia S., age 15

Instructor

Catherine Crouch, Voice Teacher

Catherine offers exceptional and affordable private voice lessons for the beginning student to the advanced performer. Single coaching lessons, workshops on vocal technique and music theory are also available.

Catherine’s approachable personality and expertise combine to make a positive and enriching environment for her voice students.

Trained in 'bel canto' technique, under Lars Kaario, Catherine brings 10 years of experience and talent to her studio. Under Catherine’s careful guidance, you will build a solid foundation for your voice, using clear and progressive vocal technique exercises. Catherine believes a singer is a vocal athlete and time is also taken to work on visualization and mental imagery in order to unlock the voice within.

Learn with Catherine:

  • the Italian bel canto ('beautiful singing') vocal technique and the path to beautiful voice production
  • proper breath support and management
  • how to reduce tension in your jaw and tongue
  • proper language diction
  • repertoire and song styles which suit your voice
  • vocal hygiene do's and don'ts — undo ineffective or harmful vocal habits
  • informative and interesting articles by email

Other bel canto benefits:

  • maximize your vocal energy while minimizing effort and tension
  • quality and evenness of tone throughout a singer's range
  • improved intonation and vocal onset
  • less vocal fatigue
  • increased dynamic range
  • proper voice placement to enhance vocal resonance

Catherine’s love of teaching has resulted in a thriving private voice studio in North Vancouver.

I sought out a vocal coach to help with my breathing and posture, and to find out if I could sing in pitch. I am really pleased on all counts. I had no idea that so much was involved with singing - and that specific techniques and knowledge can be used to improve the singing voice. I have a long way to go, but with Catherine's help I believe I am improving steadily.

Catherine is supportive, encouraging and continues to push me forward. I look forward to my sessions with her and always leave in a very happy state of mind. I am confident that singers of all levels can benefit from Catherine's instruction.

Wanda C.

Testimonials

I have been taking voice lessons from Catherine for over one year and during that time she has guided me to improve my singing and to engage more deeply with the Italian language and the tradition of bel canto.

Catherine challenges me in an encouraging way, patiently offering constant feedback on breathing, pitch, vocal resonance, Italian versus English vowels, and shaping the emotional thread of a song. Oh, and the never to be forgotten quest for “legato”!

I learn so much at every lesson and find the process extremely rewarding. Catherine is a sensitive teacher who works collaboratively with her students, giving each one her individual focus and what they need at the time of the lesson. She is an excellent teacher.

                                                                           

Angela K.

I have been taking singing lessons from Catherine for nearly 5 years. She has been a real gift in helping me to gain confidence and strength in myself and my voice.

I had a stroke 10 years ago. I woke up one morning I found I was unable to talk! But, surprisingly, I could sing. Therefore, as part of my therapy, I joined a community choir. I had not been a member of a choir since I was in high school, about 50 years before that. It was a struggle, of course, but happily I persevered and found a great joy and satisfaction in the whole experience.

Five years ago I met Catherine and heard her wonderfully beautiful voice. I was inspired to improve. Catherine is a very sensitive, talented, and encouraging voice teacher. Her knowledge of the mechanics, anatomy, acoustics, and vocal techniques is amazing. Her warm ups are varied and detailed. During the rest of the session, she patiently reminds me how to improve my posture, stay connected with my support, how to breathe diaphragmatically. There are so many things to think about but when they all connect, the sound is extremely motivating. In addition, Catherine is very helpful with the difficult language pronunciation from the repertoire that I bring to her from my choir. She gives me time at the end of class to practice listening to the sound of the words, singing them slowly and which we record. At the end of a session I feel as though I have had a really good workout!

Thank you Catherine, you are the BEST!!!

                                                                           

Lynne C.

Thank you for all you have done for me and my voice over the past five years. You are a wonderfully kind and talented person as well as a great teacher.

Nicola K.

After 40 years of not singing formally, I found Catherine who helped me through my anxiety of singing again. I had previously learned all sorts of poor vocal technique and I really didn’t know what to do. Now after a year of study with Catherine, my range is steadily expanding and my mid-range is slowly becoming more solid. The best part is the amount of fun I have at each lesson! In addition, something I thought would never happen is slowly evolving: I am gaining confidence!

Catherine is amazing. She has helped me find the path to unlock my voice. I love singing again and learning what works with my voice. I look forward to many more enjoyable lessons as I learn to sing better and more efficiently.

Barbara B.

Catherine is a wonderful teacher, vocalist and friend. She makes every lesson fun and enjoyable and she has really helped me to understand and appreciate music.

                                                                           

Katie W., age 12

My lessons with Catherine are a high point of my week. Catherine's knowledge of music is both broad and deep, and she shares her knowledge easily. Catherine is always good-humoured, and she is also very patient and encouraging, while still insisting on getting a good hour's work from me.

                                                                           

Jane S., QC 

I started working with Catherine to improve my ear and breathing while I am working to gain entrance to a post secondary jazz program as a mature student and trumpet player.  I continue working with her now as a vocalist (and a more sophisticated instrumentalist!).  I still can’t believe the fact I can sing well and that so many other musical opportunities are now presenting themselves.  Being able to sing in pitch (well mostly, that is!), I can now sing my trumpet repertoire which has led to a more musical performance. It has also improved my ability to memorise that same repertoire.  Being able to sing (especially in Italian) has opened up a new trove of musical experience for me as well giving me the confidence to perform and get past stage fright, which has dogged me for years.

Catherine’s ability to teach proper vocal mechanics, at the right pace, and to encourage musical exploration has been such a key to increase my commitment to being more than a horn player and to be a musician with a voice.  If you want to develop your voice and are willing to work at it, Catherine is a good as it gets.

 

Kent H.


Contact

Voice Teacher contact

If you would like more information on Catherine’s voice studio in North Vancouver, performance availability as a soloist or choral singer or you would like to speak with Catherine, please use the contact information below:

Email: catherine@ccvoicestudio.ca

Telephone: 604.986.7419

Links: Friends & Colleagues

Laudate Singers
Early Music Vancouver
Miriam Davidson
Vancouver Historical Performance Society

Having studied with Catherine for several years, she inspires me with such confidence that I have taken my singing to a higher level.  My technique has improved to such an extent that higher notes, extended phrases and diction are becoming so much easier.  Thank you, Catherine.

                                                                           

Ann W.

I have been taking lessons with Catherine for 2 years now and it has been a very rewarding journey. What I really appreciate about Catherine’s method of teaching “Bel Canto” is that there are very clear guidelines along the way.

Catherine is a brilliant teacher and is able to guide you in such a way that you can understand the steps needed to improve your singing ability. She is incredibly encouraging and is able to inject a sense of humour, just when you need it!

I am enjoying singing so much more now thanks to Catherine.

Shirley D.