Cath fiddles to the top for second time

Cath James with her fiddle
Cath James with her fiddle

SHEFFIELD fiddler Cath James will compete in an international competition next week.

For the second time in four years, she will perform one of her compositions in the contest in Perthshire, having made the final six.

Cath, who plays fiddle with the Sheffield-based trio Skyhook and teaches jigs, reels and other tunes, is aiming to win The Amber Fiddle Award, formerly known as the Niel Gow International Fiddle Composition Award.

“I’m really chuffed,” she said. “I’m nervous but well prepared and this time I’m hoping to win.”

Her composition in the final on Wednesday is called Snowing up the Hill, and was recorded at her home in Walkley, then a CD was sent to the judges.

“I’ll be in the car for ten hours to play a gig of one-and-a-half minutes,” added Cath, aged 40, who was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Award in 1995 and whose Sheffield pupils range in age from seven to 70.

Skyhook also features Martin Harwood (fiddle, guitar and bouzouki) and Eoin Teather (guitar, bouzouki and vocals) and they play traditional tunes and songs from Scotland, Ireland and Nova Scotia, along with compositions by Cath.

They are appearing at The Greystones in Greystones Road on November 24 when support will come from Sheffield acoustic guitarist Keith Hinchliffe.