Vaulted Sky

Vaulted Sky music publishes manuscript music for the cello, either as a solo instrument, or in groups drawing on a rich historical past as well as music by contemporary composers. It is the publishing wing of Cello Courses.

Our manuscripts are designed and produced with the player in mind, printed on high quality paper, with open-flat wire-o binding to sit comfortably on your music stand. There are no page turns as we have lovely outward opening pages so you just need a stand with wings that are secure.

The print is easily readable too. Like a choral singer, you are playing from a complete score, and this makes rehearsal and “hearing” what others are doing a lot easier.

Catherine Black

Catherine studied at the Royal College of Music, London with Christopher Bunting and Eileen Croxford. Catherine is the author of Time Pieces (3 volumes) published by ABRSM in 1996/97.

In 2005 she founded Cello Courses creating and devising immersive workshops for cellists of all standards in the key areas of practice, ensemble playing and performance. The workshops and courses are now attended by cellists of all ages and standards from around the world.

In 2014 she co-founded the Baroque & Roll String Orchestra with the violinist Julia Bishop creating study and performing workshops inspiring the next generation with the music of this exciting era.


I was looking for a way to extend and vary my teaching career as Cello Courses came about. I wanted to get myself and my students beyond the usual routines. Making a point of focusing on practice, performing and ensemble playing away from my music room was the answer. It’s one thing to talk about these things in a lesson: it’s another to be in a structured class with others. We take more onboard so we grow and can then evolve faster.

With Unsung Heroes, I wanted students to have the thrill of playing stunning music with others as soon as they could. I knew that some of my more experienced cellists felt intimidated by the thought of joining an orchestra, or having done some orchestral playing felt they wanted a new experience. Others didn’t have the confidence to play in a string quartet. The answer was to create an ensemble for cellists. The solution to playing great music was in the choral music of the Renaissance and Baroque masters where everyone would find a line to play that matched their current standard. Nobody was held up by over-difficult music and, those who were experienced, could soar high up and challenge themselves. It is a win-win for players and teachers.

I then founded a cello quartet called String Theory Cello Ensemble as I felt that the growing repertoire was a wonderful concert idea. We created a Meditation as a performance device. It seemed wrong that this spiritual music had us bobbing up and down and an audience clapping every few minutes. The pieces are too short.

There were two Meditations: one long, one short and we performed continuously so it was more of an event than a concert. We played in a cabaret bar while people sipped wine at candlelit tables and it was stage lit for us by a theatre lighting friend. In churches people could lie down or just zone out from the world.

This is inspiring music written by extraordinary people who have become so important to me and many, many cellists. Many students had never heard of them before joining us, and they too are now geeks.

Over time, the repertoire has grown and we now play Messiaen, Poulenc and Debussy while these new books take us to the late 19th century. There are more volumes to follow.