FiddleSTART: 09 March 2019
END: 10 March 2019
COST (STUDENT): £80
On this short course weekend, you will get the opportunity to immerse yourself in the means and technique of fiddling for step dancers. Taught by the extremely talented Ronan Martin and Mike Vass, this course will cover a range of repertoire including strathspeys, jigs and reels, stimulating you to play with more confidence whilst accompanying for step dancing. As part of this course you will get the opportunity to play alongside dancers as this course runs alongside a step dancing weekend with Sophie Stephenson which means there will be plenty of opportunities for tunes and dancing in the evenings! What could be better than a weekend on the beautiful Isle of Skye with music, dance and merriment?
This course is aimed at players of lower intermediate and upper intermediate level.
Teaching will be by ear with music given at the end.
On the Saturday night there will also be an opportunity to see the fiddler Mairi Campbell’s one woman theatre show with live music,animation and movement, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which premiered at theEdinburgh Festival Fringe last year (tickets available via SEALL).
Ronan Martin is one of Scotland’s finest fiddlers. Brought up in a musical family on the Isle of Skye and with a fiddle in his hands by the age of three, he plays the classic dance music of the north and west with toe-tapping energy and an uplifting and joyful style.
Playing for step-dancing has been a strong feature of Ronan’s playing having worked with many Scottish step-dancers and groups including Dannsa, Fred Morrison’s Ceòlas and the Scottish step dance company. He has taught fiddle at the traditional music course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and for many years played for their summer step-dance classes working with dancers Harvey Beaton (Cape Breton) and Keri (Scotland).
Ronan has toured in Germany, Ukraine, Norway, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America, Libya, India, South Korea, Uganda and the Middle East. Most recently he performed in Quebec for dancers Caroline Reagh (Scotland) and Mac Morin (Cape Breton) at the 350 year celebrations of the Cree community of Waskaganish. In 2008 Ronan released his debut solo album to great critical acclaim. The album was a celebration of Highland traditional fiddle music and featured the fantastic playing of Jonny Hardie from Old Blind Dogs on guitar. Fiddler Magazine (USA) called it “astonishingly crisp and powerful” and “a masterful work of splendour that will endure”.
Mike Vass is one of the most creative forces on the Scottish music scene. As a musician, composer, producer and arranger Vass has amassed a body of work that encompasses early appearances as a livewire young fiddler, collaborations with many of the leading voices among today’s Scots and Gaelic tradition bearers, delivering multi-media performances, overseeing critically acclaimed recordings, and scoring for prestigious ensembles.
2018 saw the release of ‘Notes from the Boat’ featuring ten of Scotland’s finest musicians including Duncan Chisholm, Corrina Hewat and Anna Massie; and a commission for the Scots Fiddle Festival ‘The Four Pillars’ featuring Lauren MacColl, Patsy Reid and Jenna Reid. 2019 will see the launch of Vass’ brand new song cycle ‘Save His Calm’ at Celtic Connections.