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 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


South Uist’s Mary MacMillan joins instructors at Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Week

mary_macmillanWe’re delighted to announce Mary MacMillan, Gaelic teacher and singer from South Uist, will join us this year as an instructor at the Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week.

Mary taught at the 2010 Gaelic Week and now she’s coming back by popular demand. This week’s program runs from Sunday, July 2 through Friday, July 7, 2017 at Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina. (Register here).

Mary MacMillan was born and raised on the island of South Uist in the Western Isles of Scotland. Scottish Gaelic is her first language. She has been singing Gaelic songs all her life and was a regular singer at the local Uist Mòd and cèilidhs from the age of five. As a teen, she competed and sang nationally.

Mary now has a career teaching in Gaelic medium education. Gaelic singing is an important part of her life and she regularly sings at cèilidhs and festivals throughout Scotland and Ireland. She is also an experienced fèis tutor. In 2007, she won the Traditional Singing Gold Medal at the Lochaber Mòd and the following year she was runner up in the Pan Celtic Festival in Donegal Town, Ireland.

Mary sings many songs collected from South Uist tradition bearers, and she is interested in a wide range of contemporary and traditional songs. She is one of the singers featured along with Seumas Campbell, Margaret Callan, and her younger brother Gillebrìde MacMillan,  on the CD “An Lorg nam Bàrd: In the Footsteps of the Bards: Traditional Gaelic Singing from the Uists”. Mary has also sung with the renowned waulking group “Bannal.”

Mary joins two other instructors, Angus MacLeod of Cape Breton and Alasdair Whyte of the Isle of Mull.

We are delighted to welcome Mary back to Beinn Seanair!

Registration for Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song & Language Week is now open!

GFM GS&LW LogoRegistration is now open for the 2016 Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week in Banner Elk NC, taking place Sunday July 3 to Friday July 8, 2016. Please plan to also join us as well, at the North Carolina Provincial Mòd, Saturday July 9, at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in nearby Linville NC.


  • Private room and tuition with meals  $525
  • Private room and tuition without meals $400
  • Day Student with tuition but no lodging or meals  $275
  • Family member with lodging and meals but no classes $350

Register by filling out the form and submitting payment through PayPal. If you wish to pay by (snail-) mail, there are instructions for this, too.

Grandfather Mountain GS&LW 2016 – Our Third Instructor.

We are very happy to announce our third teacher for the 2016 Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week – Màiri Macinnes!

Màiri is one of the most accomplished singers performing in the Gaelic language in Scotland today.

mairi-biogThe beauty and purity of her voice has made her compelling listening for those interested in Gaelic music. She has also become a regular fixture on Gaelic television and radio, with her songs and personality entertaining in equal measure. Career highlights have included entertaining his Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, at Holyrood Palace, and performing as a soloist at the world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Màiri was born in Baghasdail A Tuath, a small township on the beautiful and remote Hebridean island of South Uist. Gaelic was spoken exclusively at the home she shared with six siblings and it was not until Màiri went to school that she learned English. Her love for Gaelic is instinctive and enduring; her desire to share the beauty of her mother tongue has been a theme throughout her career.

Màiri’s latest album Gràs (Grace) was released in January 2015 to rave reviews. Resonating with deeply felt emotion, it tells the story of the past 10 years in beautiful, haunting, but ultimately uplifting phrases.

Beyond her musical career, Màiri is interested in the origins of Gaelic song and its historical content. Màiri loves meeting people and hearing and learning ever more about the human voice. But music remains her lifelong love and she has dedicated her career to the promotion of Gaelic music and culture throughout Scotland and beyond.

Visit Màiri’s website:

See and hear her on YouTube: Scottish Country Dance with Puirt

Subscribe to Màiri’s YouTube Channel:

We are very happy to have Màiri join us for the 2016 Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week. We hope you will join us for a wonderful week of Gaelic songs, conversation, cèilidhs, language lessons and so much more!

Grandfather Mountain GS&LW 2016 – Our Second Instructor.

We are pleased to announce our second instructor for the Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, 2016 (July 3 – 8, 2016), Joanne MacIntyre.

Photo Credit: Ryan MacDonald
Joanne MacIntyre – Photo Credit: Ryan MacDonald

Joanne hails from Mabou Coal Mines, Inverness County, where she was raised in the rich culture of Gaelic language, music, and dance. Since her teen years in Cape Breton, she has appeared on stages throughout the island. For a number of years, Joanne performed regularily as a Gaelic singer, step dancer, and story interpreter at the An Clachan Gàidhealach / Nova Scotia Highland Village. Currently teaching Gaelic language and Gaelic Studies at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou, Joanne is sharing her knowledge and passion for the culture and language with the next generation. She continually studies and adds Cape Breton and Inverness County Gaelic songs to her repertoire.

Joanne received the 2012 Big Sampie Award, a recording studio sponsorship given to young, up-and-coming traditional musicians for their first recording. She released her debut album, Craobh a’ Mhathain, during Celtic Colours 2013. You are sure to enjoy Joanne’s beautiful singing and her expert language instruction during the Gaelic Song and Language Week.

You can listen to Joanne singing O ’s àlainn an t-àite

as well as  promoting  Gaelic and Nova Scotia Tourism:

We are very happy  to have Joanne join us for the 2016 Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week. We hope to see you there!