‘S e Nollaig a th’ ann! Students release Gaelic Christmas song

A Scottish Gaelic Christmas song performed by a high school rock band is spreading not just throughout Scotland but worldwide.

“‘S e Nollaig a th’ ann! (It’s Christmas!”) was recorded by Làn Chomais, a Gaelic rock band from Greenfaulds High School, and released Dec. 7.

Làn Chomais (which means full of ability or power), recorded the song with the backing voices of 1,000 students from Gaelic language programs at schools across North Lanarkshire.

“This experience has been awesome and has given us an amazing opportunity to promote the Gaelic profile of North Lanarkshire while working at a professional level with hugely inspiring musicians,” said Emily Robertson, the band’s lead singer.

“We have been searching for a way to make people more aware of the fact that Gaelic is alive and well in our area,” said Kevin Rogers, a Gaelic teacher at the high school, located in Cumbernauld, northeast of Glasgow.

“We’re Gaels like anybody else who speaks the language and is involved in the culture,” he explains in the YouTube video.

‘S e Nollaig a th’ ann! is available to download on iTunes, Amazon, Google, and Spotify.

Click here to learn more about the Gaelic-medium education program at Greenfaulds High School.

Christine Primrose to hold Scottish Gaelic Song Workshop in NYC Dec. 13

Primrose photo

Scottish Gaelic learners and fans of Gaelic song in the New York area will have a unique opportunity to meet and study with one of the leading exponents of Gaelic song in Scotland this December, Christine Primrose. The New York Caledonian Club will present a workshop with Primrose on Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 7-9 pm, at Studios 353 (353 West 48th Street, Manhattan, 2nd floor) near Times Square in New York City. Admission is $40 for ACGA and NYCC members, and $45 for non-members.

Primrose, who was born and brought up in Carloway, on the Island of Lewis, has been singing for as long as she can remember.  “Singing was an ordinary thing to do,” she said in an interview with ACGA board member Liam Ó Caiside in 2002. “My father’s uncle was always making me sing because he was a singer himself. He’d call me into his shed, saying, “Dè na h-òrain a-nis a tha thu ‘g ionnsachadh?” Which songs are you learning now?”

Her first album, Àite mo Ghaoil, was released in 1982. Primrose is credited with “breaking the mould” that had Gaelic singers performing largely for Gaelic-speaking audiences by taking her songs to audiences in folk clubs and concert halls far from the Hebrides.

Since the 1980s, she has travelled the world singing and teaching, blazing a path that many other Gaelic singers have followed, touring the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and Europe. She is Head of Gaelic Song at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye, where she teaches short courses and full-time classes on the BA (Hons) Gaelic & Traditional Music Program. She has won many awards for her singing, amongst them Gaelic Singer of the Year at the Traditional Music Awards in 2009.

Primrose also has been an instructor at ACGA’s Grandfather Mountain Scottish Gaelic Song and Language Week in Banner Elk, North Carolina, most recently in 2014. This year, Primrose was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

This fall Primrose and Temple Records released Gràdh is Gonadh – Guth ag aithris (Love and Loss – a Lone Voice), an hour of unaccompanied Gaelic singing “delivered with the clarity and emotional expression of a true and very natural virtuoso,” as the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame said in a statement. Scottish Gaelic writer Angus Peter Campbell called it “a masterpiece, every note and every syllable here is a note of grace.”

Speakers, learners and friends of Gaelic in New York are fortunate the New York Caledonian Club, which offers Gaelic language classes, will present this unique opportunity to meet and learn from Primrose. Attendees may register and pay via PayPal through the www.nycaledonian.org website, or checks may be sent to: Attn: Christine Primrose Workshop, New York Caledonian Club, PO Box 4542, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-4542.

For more information, call 212-662-1083 or e-mail Barbara.Rice@nycaledonian.org.

 

ACGA President MacKay: “Stay in the Fight”

GaelicUSA, an organization working to endow a chair of Scottish Studies at an American university, interviewed ACGA President Michael MacKay about his own experience as a Gaelic learner and his views on Gaelic and the role of ACGA in the Gaelic world.

https://gaelicusa.org/interview-with-michael-mackay/

Of course, we think Mike is dead on target in discussing the importance of the language. Read the interview and form (and share) your own opinions. This quote from Mike, in particular, stand out as important to us, and to everyone around the globe working to keep Gaelic alive:

” We want to actively work with any and all groups that are leading efforts to educate their members about Gaelic, provide resources to those learning the language, and otherwise supporting Gaelic in their activities, to provide them whatever resources we can ourselves, to help get them in touch with other groups here and in Scotland, and to stay in the fight.”

Tapadh leat gu mòr, a Mhicheal. And many thanks to Michael Newton and GaelicUSA, also known as The Scottish Gaelic Foundation of the USA/Urras Gàidhlig nan Stàitean Aonaichte.

Briathrachas nan Cèilidhean: Cèilidh Talk!

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Going to a cèilidh? You may want to learn or brush up on these phrases, selected and recorded by Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

This vocabulary list teaches you to say where you or someone else is from in Gaelic, how to welcome people, and how to talk about the music that’s being played or songs being sung. And there are some very important incidental phrases thrown in as well.

You’ll especially want to know “Tha na taighean beaga ri taobh an stèids.”

These phrases will come in handy at the ACGA Fèis and US National Mòd Sept. 21-24.

 

 

 

Great Lakes Mòd Celebrates Gaelic Song

Competitors at the Great Lakes Mòd!
Còisir Ghàidhlig Ohio – Ohio’s Gaelic Choir.

Mòd nan Lochan Mòra/The Great Lakes Mod kicked off this year’s North American mòd season at Akron, Ohio, in the middle of June.

Participants gathered Friday night for a pot-luck supper followed by sight-reading, storytelling, and poetry competitions adjudicated by Angus MacLeod, winner of the men’s Bonn Òr a’ Chomuinn at the 2014 Royal National Mòd in Scotland. Saturday saw the singing competitions, which included both a prescribed song competition and open competitions, and a performance by Còisir Ghàidhlig Ohio.

Mike Mackay came in first in the open song competition, followed by Anne Alexander, organizer of Mòd nan Lochan Mòra, and Sharon McWhorter, who tied for second. Hilary NicPhàidein took first in storytelling, followed by Mike; and Hilary and Cam MacRae tied in the poetry competition.

Adjudicator Angus MacLeod.
Adjudicator Angus MacLeod.

Cam placed first in sight-reading, followed by Anne and then Hilary. As is usual in mòd competitions, the adjudicator gave oral and written comments to all participants whether they were competing or auditing.

The North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd will take place at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 8, and the season will end with a flourish with the 30th annual U.S. National Mòd and first ACGA Fèis in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Sept. 21-24.

Keep an eye out for news about the U.S. National Mòd here an in the Events section of our website. Registration should open shortly.

And finally, don’t forget the Scotland’s Royal National Mòd, a ten-day annual event that this year will be held in Lochaber, Scotland, Oct. 13-21.