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Meet the team

Director, Soar Music

Catherine Esbensen

“I have a vision and a heart for building and enhancing school music programs, where there are currently limited resources and opportunities for students, as well as using the beauty of music to inspire in students a love of their Catholic Christian culture and Australian identity.

I have a real love for educating students from beginner level through to advanced. My passion grows from being involved in the musical development of students over the years, watching them grow their own wings and SOAR.”

Originally from Sydney, Catherine Esbensen, Director of Soar Music, has more than 30 years of experience establishing and maintaining successful instrumental school music programs in the Queensland Catholic, State and private school systems. She has extensive knowledge of what makes them work, how to get the best from students and how to make learning enjoyable and productive. She is competent teaching all woodwind, brass and percussion.

Studies have shown that learning an instrument at a young age is beneficial to academic and personal development and Catherine has firsthand experience witnessing the positive student outcomes which music can provide.

Her vision is to activate music programs for all primary schools that is accessible, sustainable and available. At this stage, she wants to especially help Catholic parish primary schools who are currently struggling to deliver quality music programs.

Catherine’s ability to lead as well as to integrate seamlessly with others creates a collaborative atmosphere. She has extensive networks amongst the music teaching community and has devised a model that brings great teams together to develop robust, thriving programs which respect and work with established music teachers already present in a school.

Catherine is revising and co-authoring a specially designed Band Method Book which aims to connect students with Australian culture and Catholic identity.

Revised delivery of content and achievable goals will enhance student outcomes, increase their confidence and sense of achievement and improve continuity in the program.

She has performed professionally in ensembles, parade bands, concert bands, big bands and chamber ensembles across Australia in major cities and regional venues for many years with the Royal Australian Navy Band Reserves, 37 years as a Petty Officer, and internationally in a variety of contexts such as military tattoos and for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. She trained at University of Qld as a performer and educator (UQ Bachelor of Music Education {instrumental music education} and performance) passing AMEB exams with honours and distinction for all woodwind instruments and performed in pipe bands on tenor drum. She is committed to continuing professional development through conference attendance such as ABODA, Kodaly Clarinet & Sax Society, Double Reed Society, International Trumpet Guild, and instrument maintenance workshops through OzWinds.

She has experience preparing students from beginner to high level AMEB exams (all passing with excellent grades), managing concerts, tours, camps and workshops for her students, working with school administration, staff and parents. She has been on school tours to Canada for the International Music Festival and to Turkey for the Lone Pine Commemorative Service, as well as leading a tour and performance for World Projects at the Sydney Opera House. Along the way, Catherine has had the privilege of inviting and organising world-renowned guest artists such as James Morrison, Greg Spence, Jacki Cooper and John Morrison to participate in her school programs. She still performs in the Brisbane Jazz Club Big Band and other ensembles.

In her spare time, Catherine enjoys family life, gardening (aka weeding 😜), long distance cycling, parish life, performing in various ensembles including orchestras, big bands and chamber ensembles, and playing her instruments."

Brass Teacher

Scott Browne

Scott Browne has a long history with trumpet and brass instruments, here in Queensland and internationally. Being awarded Most Outstanding Instrumentalist while obtaining his Bachelor of Music was just the beginning.

Straight from his studies, he toured with countless bands and orchestras to all corners of the globe in over 40 different countries, even working and touring with legendary Australian group, Little River Band.

Scott can be heard regularly on many advertising jingles on TV and televised concerts.

He has also studied jazz at the Qld Conservatorium, and made many guest appearances in different jazz line-ups over 25 years.

Alongside his extensive performance career, Scott has been a dedicated educator and has run countless brass workshops at different schools throughout Queensland.

He is an integral member of the Soar Music team.