About

Key Highlights:

I am a Michigan-based violinist, fiddler, and mandolin player.  I primarily play Celtic and Christian worship music, both individually and with bands. I also perform at numerous weddings every year and will make occasional guest musician appearances at churches. I also teach violin and mandolin.

Notable Awards:

2013 Audience Prize-White Lake Chamber Music Festival Young Artists Competition

MIIrish.com “Shammy” Award Nominee for favorite solo Irish performer

Featured Previous Shows:

The Peoria Irish Fest (2015,2016)

Jackson Coffee Company

The Sparta Celtic Fest (2015)

The Raven Cafe

Quinn and Tuites

My Bio:

I was home schooled and graduated highschool in 2007. In 2008, I entered Grand Valley State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in violin performance in 2013. The following fall, I enrolled at Michigan State University and worked on a Master’s in violin performance, which I did not complete. At GVSU I studied Minghuan Xu and Gregory Maytan, and at MSU, I studied with Walter Verdehr.

I have been studying violin privately since I was 10, and playing mandolin since I was 18. In March, 2007, I was awarded the Director’s Choice Award for the Holland Area Youth Orchestra. In the spring and summer of 2007 I was a member of the Holland Symphony Orchestra and performed two concerts with them as a section violinist. I’ve also performed as a section violinist with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to my modern violin ensemble work, I was heavily involved in historically informed performance with the GVSU Early Music Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Pablo Mahave-Veglia. With the EME, I performed numerous instrumental works as well as accompanying vocal works. Also, I was able to perform on baroque violin a Corelli Trio Sonata in a masterclass with violinist Rachel Barton Pine, and I presented a half recital in March of 2012 on baroque violin with a program consisting of Telemann’s Fantasy No.12 for solo violin, Biber’s Passacaglia, and several movements from Bach’s E major Partita for solo violin.

In my spare time, I do perform around the state and beyond playing Irish fiddle and mandolin music. As a result, I’ve been nominated for a “Shammy” Award from miirish.com for 2011 and 2012. I also had the opportunity to start the GVSU Celtic Music Club while I was studying at GVSU.

My career goals are to become the best musician and teacher that I can become, and to make sure that Bach’s quote that “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” is present in my performances, and in the performances of my students.

Copyright © 2021 Zachary Graft | My Music Band by Catch Themes
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