Registration Open for Gaelic Singers, Storytellers at Mòd Ligonier 2019

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The Ligonier Mòd will take place in the town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, at the Ligonier Highland Games Sept. 13-15, 2019, as it has many times in the past!

Please click on the following link to download the Mod Ligonier Registration form for competitions and return your entry to Anne Alexander. Prescribed pieces will be emailed after you send in your registration.  You can pay your entry fee at the event.

We will gather Friday night, Sept. 13, for those who wish, for a cèilidh at the Ramada Ligonier, situated in the heart of the town near Fort Ligonier. The competitions will take place at the Ligonier Highland Games Sept. 14. There will be a workshop Sunday morning, Sept. 15, at the Ramada Ligonier as well.

Follow the link above to book a room at the Ramada, or choose a different option, but remember hotels fill up quickly during the Highland games.

Scottish singer and composer Rachel Walker will adjudicate the competitions at the Mòd, which will include poetry, songs, storytelling, and more.

Please email Mike Mackay (macaoidh88@gmail.com) with any questions.

Rachel Walker coming to Ligonier Mòd in September

 

Rachel Walker won the women's gold medal at the 2017 Royal National Mòd.
Rachel Walker won the women’s gold medal at the 2017 Royal National Mòd. Photo courtesy Rachel Walker.

Acclaimed Scottish Gaelic singer Rachel Walker is returning to America, this time to judge the Gaelic song competition at Mòd Ligonier 2019 in September.

The Mòd is a celebration of Scottish Gaelic song, music, poetry and storytelling based on Scotland’s Royal National Mòd and provincial Mòds. ACGA has held 30 National U.S. Mòds, many of them at Ligonier in western Pennsylvania.

Mòd Ligonier will be held Sept. 13-15, with the song competition taking place at the Ligonier Highland Games Sept. 14. More information will be available soon.

The Mòd continues ACGA’s tradition of welcoming Royal National Mòd Gold Medal winners to the United States. Walker, a singer, songwriter and tutor, won the prestigious medal in 2017. She was voted Gaelic Singer of the Year at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards in 2013 and nominated as Composer of the Year in 2015.

She is the conductor of the Lochaber District Gaelic Choir, which has won the Margrat Duncan prize for District Choirs at the last three Royal National Mòds.

In addition to teaching music at the West Highland College, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI,) Walker performs with the groups Cruinn and Skippinish.

She recently adjudicated the song competition at Mòd nan Lochan Mòra/The Great Lakes Mòd in Ohio.

 

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.

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.

Cracking the ‘Halloween Nut’ in North Carolina: A Free Public Event

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You may be aware that Halloween is derived from the Gaelic (and more broadly, Celtic) festival of Oidhche Shamhna and Samhain. The festival, with its pre-Christian roots, commemorated the last phase of the harvest season, ancestors, and the end of the old (agricultural) year. But how much do you really know about the Samhain customs and beliefs of the Scottish Highlanders?

To dig past the commercial trappings of the modern holiday (and modern misconceptions) and get at its roots, plan to attend a free public lecture at the University of North Carolina Oct. 26 called “A’ Cnagadh Cnù na Samha: Cracking the Halloween Nut: Sensing and Making Sense of a Scottish Highland Calendar Custom.” The lecture will be delivered by Dr. Tiber Falzett, the inaugural visiting lecturer in Scottish Gaelic Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Falzett will explore the unique and universal aspects of Halloween folkways among Scottish Highlanders in North America and in Scotland, using field recordings of custom and belief within Gaelic-speaking communities, newspaper editorials, and song compositions. Together, these Gaelic voices will bring to life the cultural significance of Halloween for Highland immigrant communities, providing valuable insights into the reasons for Halloween’s near-universal appeal.

Learning more about the Gaelic customs of Oidhche Shamhna will help attendees compare Halloween’s many divergent re-interpretations as it has become popularized around the world. It will also help Gaelic learners and speakers reconnect with the holiday as Scottish Highlanders and their descendants in North America celebrated it yesterday and today.

The lecture is scheduled for 6:30 pm to 8 pm in UNC’s Kenan Music Building, room 1201, at 125 S. Columbia Street in Chapel Hill. There will be a celebratory reception afterward.

The lecture also celebrates the the first Scottish Heritage USA Scottish Gaelic Visiting Lectureship at UNC, a major step in advancing Scottish Gaelic Studies in the United States. The lectureship is funded by Scottish Heritage USA and is the result of a two-year campaign by the Scottish Gaelic Foundation of the USA or Gaelic USA.

Before coming to UNC this fall, Falzett, a fluent Scottish Gaelic speaker, lectured in the Department of History at the University of Prince Edward Island. He previously lectured at St. Francis Xavier University, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where he taught courses on the folklore and ethnology of the Gaelic communities of Scotland, Ireland and Canada.

For more information, visit the lecture’s event page on Facebook.