Catherine Pestano


Singing for Wellbeing

I run an inclusive community singing group in Croydon, in South London, where we sing a range of world harmony acappella songs, plus folk, gospel, jazz, blues, all at an easy level. We meet on Monday/Wednesday evenings. We might share our songs informally but performance is not the main focus. We sing for ourselves in the moment, for the pleasure of it, sometimes also improvising a little (optional). We also have occasional Saturday workshops. No auditions, all voices welcome. I regularly guest at external organisational events, conference and corporate team days.

Forthcoming events

For forthcoming events, please see our blog and sign up to the newsletter:

Call 07981 298 541 or email for more info and encouragement!

I also undertake projects for other organisations and sometimes help raise the money for the commissions via our own local non-profit group. I’m happy to discuss any possible commissions or residencies using music in your particular circumstances and settings.


I also offer an affordable vocal facilitation development programme, now in its fifth season. This is both for the singing/vocal aspects and also for support in starting your own group or business. Alternatively one to one mentoring is available.


Catherine Pestano is a community musician and social worker with a passion for helping people to free their voices and share in the joy of sounding, singing and creative music making. She was originally inspired in her work by experiencing Frankie Armstrong’s approach, values and attitudes. Catherine then trained in community music at Goldsmiths and as a secondary music teacher at Greenwich /TrinityLaban. She leads Action LearningSets for creatives (trained as part of the Cultural Leadership Programme).

Catherine works with adults, children, young people and in inter-generational programmes, with the voice, sound and instruments. The work often has a wellbeing or group development focus. She has experience with people with mental health needs and learning difficulties, physical and sensory disability, refugees, those with unaccompanied minor status, looked after children and ex-offenders, as well as businesses and many different community groups. Catherine ran a Skype based composition project with a primary EBD school linking with a secondary SEN school in Florida. Looked After Children, menopause and hospital bedside singing are special interests.

Catherine’s music and people work has taken her to a variety of countries and institutions, delivering for her own charity plus universities, Music Leader regions, Trinity KS2CPD course, SingUp!, TrinityLaban, Goldsmiths and other initiatives. She is a member of NVN, Sound Sense (past Chair for 3 years) and chair of Culture&, promoting diversity in arts and culture. Recipient of the inaugural ISME Award for community based music education programmes for her project in a post-conflict setting.

Catherine trained for three years in Organisational Consultancy at the Tavistock clinic. She is also a part-time community music Doctoral student at Winchester. She is a Fellow of the RSA, HEA, SSE. Combining her interests in people and music, Catherine is a member of the SocArts group looking into ways music can be used to help work with conflict. Variously published including in the United Nations Compendium Music as a Natural Resource

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Croydon, South London & Surrey


020 8683 4737 or 07981 298 541