Candy Butcher's Mike Viola to Give Master Class, Concert

Candy Butcher's Mike Viola to Give Master Class, Concert
Mike Viola, of the Candy Butchers, will give a master class and concert on Feb. 22.

Mike Viola, singer-songwriter of the Candy Butchers will give a master class and concert to benefit the Music Industry Studies' scholarship program on Thursday, Feb. 22.

According to Erik Philbrook, editor of Playback magazine, Viola is one of Manhattan's musical treasures. As a child rock prodigy growing up in Stoughton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, Viola got an early boost when he opened for the likes of Billy Idol, The Plasmatics and Quiet Riot while still in his teens. Then came a move to New York City, where his acoustic duo, The Candy Butchers (Mike on guitar; his boyhood friend, Todd Foulsham, on drums), built a rabid following and made a musical home at New York City's Fez cabaret, where they performed Viola's lively, dark and endlessly catchy pop songs while evoking the music of The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and other classic pop craftsmen.

Philbrook adds that success came knocking after Viola sang the title track to the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do. The Candy Butchers expanded to become a full rock band and Viola recorded three critically acclaimed albums on a major label, RPM/Columbia, and toured the country, sharing stages with acts such as The Barenaked Ladies and They Might Be Giants.

Viola will give a free master class from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. and concert at 8 p.m. in Music Recital Hall. General admission tickets are $15 and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at the music publicity office, Bldg. 24, Room 142. For more information, call (909) 869-3554.