a former Mackie Academy pupil and native of Stonehaven Mr Richard Michael, received from Margaret Dean, Lord Lieutenant for Fife, his British Empire Medal for services to music education, in a ceremony in the Glen Pavilion, Fife.
Richard is one of the country’s busiest musicians, known for his regular broadcasts on Radio Scotland’s “Jazzhouse”, and his solo performances of “The History of Jazz Piano”, which played to sell out audiences at this year’s Fringe.
His playing career began in his father’s concert party and since these early days playing at Stonehaven Town Hall, Richard has performed all round the world, most recently in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.
“Many of the skills I teach about communication I learned from watching dad lead his concert party (the John Michael concert party) in concerts all round the Mearns. He did it all for charity, and music was a passion throughout his life.
“I’m always delighted to come back to Stoney to see my mum and my old friends from school. One of them said to me I should look up a few of my old teachers and show them the medal after the hard time I got from them resitting exams in the 60s!”
Richard is Visiting professor of Jazz Piano at St Andrews University, a Yamaha education expert and also presenter for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.