Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop has an enviable record of bringing top quality tutors and class traditional music acts to Cowal. Their new tutor combines wide experience as a performer with accolades as a composer and tutor.
Mike Vass has been a finalist in the prestigious Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, which attracts Scotland’s brightest and best young musicians. Despite his youth, he is an ‘old hand’ on the touring and festival scene. In addition he has earned his credentials as a tutor, in past work with the Edinburgh-based Scots Music Group and the Fèis movement centred in the Highlands.
We are delighted that from September 2010 he is taking over local tuition from the popular Sarah Naylor. In a project organised in partnership with Argyll and Bute Education Department, Mike will be continuing the teaching of traditional fiddle in four Argyll primary schools and Dunoon Grammar School. He will also run Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop’s community fiddle classes for adults. These midweek evening classes are held in Strachur, as its central location is accessible to members and players from around Cowal and Mid Argyll, many of whom travel long distances for the experience.
Mike comes from Nairn, in Scotland’s tradition-rich north-east, and he is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s finest young fiddlers. For many years he has performed with his pianist/singer twin sister, Ali. In 2007 the duo were nominated as ‘Best Up and Coming Act’ in the Scots Trad Music Awards, and played at Lochgoilhead Village Hall, delighting the audience with their music and engaging patter. Mike is now a member of Malinky, one of the most accomplished bands on the Scottish folk scene, and he is currently touring with them in Canada and the USA before starting work with FiddleFolk and Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop. He is also a talented composer and in 2008 he won the inaugural International Niel Gow Fiddle Composition, with his tune ‘Cavers of Kirkcudbright’ which is featured on Malinky’s ‘Flower and Iron’ album.
Local schoolchildren and members of the Fiddle Workshop will certainly find it exciting to be taught by such an engaging and experienced tutor and performer, who is recognised as being in the forefront of our young traditional musicians.
Please visit Mike’s website: www.mikevass.com