Register now for ACGA’s Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Week

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Registration is now open for the 2019 ACGA Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song & Language Week, a five-day intensive exploration of Scottish Gaelic song, language and culture in the western mountains of North Carolina. This year’s program will run from Sunday, July 7 through Friday, July 12, followed by the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd.

Go to the GS&LW landing page for detailed information and to our online registration form.

The GS&LW returns to Lees-MacRae College for its 21st year, featuring instructors James GrahamTiber Falzett and Jamie MacDonald. James is a native of Scotland and winner of the men’s gold medal at the Royal National Mòd, while Tiber hails from Prince Edward Island and is the visiting lecturer of Scottish Gaelic Studies at the University of North Carolina. Jamie is a native of North Carolina with a Ph.D from the University of Edinburgh. He is a founder of the GS&LW week, a frequent teacher at the event, and organizer of the North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd that takes place during the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

All three will offer instruction in Scottish Gaelic song and language, with classes running from Monday morning through Friday at noon. Lessons will be available for everyone from beginners to fluent speakers. There will be workshops as well focused on specific aspects of Gaelic culture, whether dance, music, song or story. We hope you will join us for what promises to be an exceptional program.

Glasgow Gaelic School Keeps Growing

Critics of Gaelic-medium education often decry it as serving “the middle class,” but the headteacher of Glasgow Gaelic School/Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu says that’s not true.

In a recent article in Scotland’s The Herald newspaper, Donalda McComb, said 15 percent of the Gaelic-medium school’s pupils come from neighborhoods classed as the poorest in Scotland, though 17 percent come from wealthy neighborhoods.

“Some 19 per cent of our school population are eligible for free school meals and every year that is increasing,” McComb told The Herald. “By now we should be over the perception of Gaelic as for middle class families. … “We encourage all families from the local area and beyond so that parents know what is ahead and it is unfair if people still see us like that.”

The school, which had 33 pupils when it was established in 2006, now has 343 students.

Help Wanted at An Naidheachd Againne newsletter

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One of the benefits of membership in ACGA is our quarterly bilingual e-zine, An Naidheachd Againne. It is often the only connection that geographically isolated members have with ACGA and Scottish Gaelic. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as the editorial team enjoys putting it together for you.

If An Naidheachd Againne is something that you consider worthwhile, we wonder if you would consider joining our volunteer editorial team. Gaelic is not a requirement in order for you to volunteer your help.

We are looking for volunteers for the following positions to supplement the current editorial team. Please note that we work cooperatively so that no one person is left with too much of the work.

English Proofreaders

  • Must be able to work carefully according to our guidelines to proofread content for spelling, typographical and formatting errors. No particular computer skills required beyond a general ability with Word, Apache Open Office or Pages.
  • A willingness to join the ACGA forum, where discussion about the current issue takes place.
  • Availability in the two weeks before publication (not necessarily for every issue). Publication dates are March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15.

Content Editor

  • Someone willing to shadow the current content editors for the next few issues to acquaint themselves with our process and be ready to take on the job of content editor for one issue per year. We currently have 3 editors who take turns being content editor. Work on a particular issue begins approximately a month after the publication of the previous issue (March 15, June 15, September 15, December 15)
  • A willingness to join the ACGA forum, where discussion about the current issue takes place

Content editors are the “shepherds” who co-ordinate an issue by:

  • Deciding with the other editors on a lead article and contacting potential authors.
  • Contributing ideas for other articles / content of a particular issue and contacting authors.
  • Keeping track of article submissions and deadlines.
  • Co-ordinating the proofreading schedule.

Layout Editor

  • Should have experience with Microsoft Word and Publisher, especially with creating and using styles.
  • A sense of design is helpful.
  • Expectation of doing one issue per year and taking over at some point.
  • Availability at least 2 weeks prior to publication (March 15, June 15, September 15, December 15).

If you are interested in any of these positions, please email membership@acgamerica.org.

leis gach deagh dhùrachd, 

An Sgioba Deasachaidh/The Editorial Team, ANA

Young Scot group promotes Gaelic

Young Scot launches a national campaign last month to interest young people in Scottish Gaelic.
Young Scot launched its Gaelic campaign in Edinburgh last month.

Youth organization and charity Young Scot wants to interest more young people in learning and using Scottish Gaelic. The group launched a national campaign last month that will provide a variety of services, resources and information online in Gaelic on topics from managing money to puberty.

“We know developing language skills is a great way to strengthen career prospects available to Scotland’s young people,” Ruairidh Hamilton, Gaelic Development Officer at Young Scott, said in a statement.

“This project is a really exciting way for Young Scot to give Gaelic speakers the resources that they need and to showcase the benefits of adopting the Gaelic language in everyday life,” he said. “We want young people to have easy access to advice and support that can help them achieve their future ambitions.”

The group, which has 675,000 members aged 11 to 26 in Scotland, has published information in Gaelic on several topics on its website, including a “Simple Guide to Learning Gaelic” and a section on “Cothroman Gàidhlig: Gàidhlig Opportunities.” It also offers discounts on books and travel and rewards for completing activities, such as writing a biography in Gaelic.

There’s growing demand for opportunities to learn and use Gaelic among young Scots, said the organization. Young Scot also wants to encourage members to pursue career opportunities through Gaelic.  A 2014 survey estimated the Gaelic language is worth almost £150 million to the Scottish economy and offers career prospects in industries ranging from tourism to education.

The national campaign was launched at the Young Scot head office in Edinburgh, where first-time speakers and young Gaelic enthusiasts took part in an interactive Q&A with a panel that included representatives from the Scottish Parliament. The event highlighted the benefits of young people learning the historic and culturally rich language in the modern world.

Visit the Gaelic campaign at https://young.scot/gaelic

Follow Young Scot on Twitter at @YoungScot

— Liam Ó Caiside

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ACGA is looking for correspondents interested in contributing short news items about Scottish Gaelic events and activities. Would you like to contribute?  Send an email to Liam.

Mòd Ligonier Puts US Spotlight on Scottish Gaelic Song, Language

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Scottish Gold Medalist Alasdair Currie sings at Mòd Ligonier and the Ligonier Highland Games.


Scottish Gaelic song, story and poetry rang out at the Ligonier Highland Games this year when ACGA held its latest Mòd — a day-long competition in Gaelic language arts and tradition. The popularity of the Mòd — ACGA has held one in Ligonier each year since 1995 — demonstrates how important Gaelic song is to learning, teaching, and promoting Scottish Gaelic in North America.

Mòd Ligonier, held at the games Saturday, Sept. 22, featured singers, musicians, storytellers, a Gaelic choir, and special guest Alasdair Currie, winner of the 2017 men’s gold medal at the Royal National Mòd in Scotland. Alasdair and Mike Mackay, ACGA president, adjudicated the competitions.

AA Scottish Gaelic song competition will be held as well at the Central Virginia Celtic Festival Oct. 27, held in Richmond. That competition is sponsored by the Learned Kindred of Currie and Currie Family Cultural Tent.

The US National Mòd is expected to return next year in a larger format, and perhaps in a new location. Contact Michael Mackay for more information or if you would like to help with the event.

The results of Mòd Ligonier 2018 competitions are as follows:

Bàrdachd (poetry recital):

First place, Anne Alexander; Second place equal Cam MacRae and Hilary Rosado

Sgeulachd (storytelling):

FFirst place, Cam MacRae; Second place, Hilary Rosado

Sight reading:

First place, Hilary Rosado; Second place, Cam MacRae, Third place, Anne Alexander.

Open song:

First place, Anne Alexander; Second place, Hilary Rosado; Third place, Sharon McWhorter

Combined (one prescribed, one self select song):

First place Anne Alexander; Second place, Mary Wake

Accompanied song:

First place, Carol Kappus, Second place, Anne AlexanderK

Còisir (choir):

Còisir Ghàidhlig Ohio

Harmonized singing:

First place, Sharon McWhorter and Anne Alexander.

Photo of Alasdair Currie, top, by Michael Mackay; Photos of Mòd competitions and competitors (Còisir Ghàidhlig Ohio, upper left, seated, Cam MacRae; lower right, standing, Sharon McWhorter) by Thomas Ashby McCown.