Three highly acclaimed Scottish Gaelic singers and educators will be instructors at this year’s Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song & Language Week (GS&LW): Catriona MacPhee, Wilma Kennedy, and Màiri Britton. Registration for the GS&LW is now open, and may be completed online here.
The GS&LW will be held from Sunday, July 5, through Friday, July 10, at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Information on accommodations and costs is available on our 2o2o GS&LW page.
We are delighted to welcome Britton, Kennedy, and MacPhee to this year’s Gaelic song and language week.
Màiri Britton, a native of Scotland, now lives in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she teaches at St. Francis Xavier University. A Gaelic singer, step dancer and harpist, Màiri has performed and taught workshops and summer schools in Scotland, Ireland and North America. She is lead vocalist and step dancer in the Gaelic trad group Fàrsan.
She also is manager of the Nova Scotia Gaelic song project, “Language in Lyrics” (www.languageinlyrics.com), at Cape Breton University.
Wilma Kennedy is an award winning singer and actress originally from Glasgow but whose roots are in Skye and Tiree. She is a native Gaelic speaker who has sung for as long as she can remember and most recently sang with her family as part of “The Campbells of Greepe.”
She is one of the few singers who has won both Gold and Traditional Gold Medals at the Royal National Mòd. Her passion for sharing and teaching songs is evident in her career both as a former Gaelic Song Tutor at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music and as conductor the Dundee Gaelic Choir.
Wilma currently teaches at a Gaelic Medium Primary School, with pupils from age 5-11 in a multi-composite class. She loves teaching her pupils songs as a way of telling social history and also for pure enjoyment. Wilma is particularly interested in waulking songs and sang for many years with the Glasgow Waulking group Bannal.
As the daughter of Mòrag and Finlay MacNeill, Catriona MacPhee grew up with Gaelic and the Highland Bagpipes, and they have remained lifelong passions. She won the Traditional Gold Medal at the Royal National Mòd in Lochaber in 1999, and represented Scotland at the Pan-Celtic Festival in Tralee, Ireland, in 2000.
Catriona has been a teacher for 28 years, the last 11 of them at the Inverness Royal Academy, and she is the chair of the Gaelic Teacher’s Association. She also is a member of the City of Inverness Pipe Band and has sung for many years with the Inverness Gaelic Choir and the group Siaban. “Gaelic, teaching, singing and piping have enhanced my life at all stages and I don’t intend to change that any day soon!” she said.