CARDROSS fiddler Ryan Young has been clocking up plenty of miles in 2020 so far – but this weekend he’ll be entertaining an audience rather closer to home.

The former Hermitage Academy pupil is part of a top-drawer line-up of musical and speaking talent on the bill at the Helensburgh Garelochside Rotary’s Burns supper at the Rosslea Hall Hotel in Rhu this Friday, February 21.

It’s a welcome return home for the hugely talented folk musician, who landed back in the UK last week after a tour of Brittany which included performances in Bouguenais, Langonnet and Rennes.

Looking ahead to Friday’s event, Ryan told the Advertiser: “I’m really looking forward to it! I was asked to play by Sheenah Nelson, who was my primary four teacher at Cardross Primary School.

“It was actually in primary four that I was first given the opportunity to play the violin, learning with local teacher and musician Helen Reid-Foster.

READ MORE: Ryan Young's rubbing shoulders with some big names in the folk world

“I was, and still am fairly shy. I still remember Mrs Reid-Foster saying that she knew the violin was for me because I sang for her, in spite of being so quiet.

“I’m just back from a tour of Brittany in France and have several concerts lined up all across the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland; so I’m keeping busy.”

Add to that sessions at Celtic Connections in Glasgow last month, and gigs in Halifax and at the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh since his return home from France, and it’s clear that there’s no such thing as a winter ‘off season’ for big names on the folk scene.

“Last year was brilliant, and very busy,” Ryan continued.

“I was the only UK artist, alongside my regular accompanist, Jenn Butterworth, to be selected to perform at WOMEX [the World Music Expo], which is a a huge world music event with representatives from just about every country around the globe.

READ MORE: Fiddler Ryan to show he's the Finnish article at World Music Expo

“It was a huge honour to have been chosen.

“I toured all over Germany and the UK, and had concerts across Belgium, Norway, Finland and Ireland.

“When I’m not away playing, I’ve been teaching my own pupils from my family home in Cardross. It’s really lovely to be able to give back - even if it does also feel strange being the teacher!

“Some of my own pupils are quite shy, like I am, or was, and I can definitely see the violin is for them too. It speaks for you really.

“I am incredibly grateful to Helen Reid-Foster for choosing me to play and for teaching me the violin all those years ago.”

Ryan won’t be the only talented local face on the bill at this Friday’s Burns supper – the programme of entertainment also includes recitations by present-day pupils from Cardross Primary, while the Immortal Memory will be given by Fergus McLellan.

READ MORE: Cardross Primary pupils set to entertain at Burns supper this week

The Rev Ian Miller will give the Toast to the Lassies, with the reply being provided by Helen Watt.

All proceeds from Friday night’s event will go to the local Rotary club’s ongoing support of groups and individuals in the Helensburgh area.

Tickets, priced £25, are available from Rotary members or by calling Sheenah Nelson on 01389 752221.

Doors open at 6.30pm and the evening’s proceedings start at 7pm.