Registration Open for Gaelic Singers, Storytellers at Mòd Ligonier 2019

IMG_5993

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.

 

ACGA ‘Mini-Mòd’ Coming to Ligonier Sept. 21-23

Celebrating after a recent ACGA Mòd in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Join us this year Sept. 21-23 in Ligonier for a "mini-Mòd" as we prepare a bigger event for 2019.
Celebrating after a recent ACGA Mòd in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Join us this year Sept. 21-23 in Ligonier for a “mini-Mòd” as we prepare a bigger event for 2019.

ACGA’s National Mòd in Pennsylvania is on hiatus for 2018 as we re-tool for an expanded event in 2019, but we’ve gotten a large number of inquiries and requests to get together in Ligonier again this year, to have a smaller, informal Mòd.

We just can’t let the year go by without keeping the tradition of singing, storytelling, poetry, and good times going in some form! We are very fortunate to have Alasdair Currie, the An Comunn Gàidhealach Royal Mòd men’s Gold Medal winner from 2017, come visit us for the event – and the women’s Gold Medalist, Rachel Walker, is working with us to come over at a future date! 

We will be in Ligonier , Pennsylvania, Sept. 21-23, 2018, just like always, but we’ll be gathering on Friday at a nearby hotel, and anyone who wants to come to the Mòd can find accommodations in the area — whatever works for your budget! More details to come soon!

Briathrachas nan Cèilidhean: Cèilidh Talk!

Dannsa2

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.

 

 

 

Harper James Ruff to teach at ACGA Fèis

James Ruff with Anne Lorne Gillies at the 2016 US National Mòd.
James Ruff with Anne Lorne Gillies at the 2016 US National Mòd.

Last year, James Ruff won the men’s gold medal for Gaelic song at the U.S. National Mòd. This year, he will return to Ligonier, Pennsylvania, to lead a special harp workshop at the inaugural ACGA Fèis, a one-day program of workshops in Scottish Gaelic culture.

Ruff will lead a workshop Sept. 22 on the role of the clàrsach, the wire-strung harp, in Scottish Gaelic and Irish tradition. The workshop will combine a discussion of the clàrsach in Gaelic culture and songs from the harping tradition, as well as technical advice on ornamentation and technique suitable for wire-strung and nylon-strung harps alike.

“We’re delighted to welcome James to our first ACGA Fèis and back to the U.S. National Mòd,” Liam Ó Caiside, a member of the Mòd and Fèis committee, said.

“James’s workshop is particularly appropriate for this inaugural educational event about Gaelic culture. The harp is perhaps the oldest instrument associated with the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland. This special workshop will offer insights to harp players and those who simply have an interest in Gaelic tradition alike,” he said.

Since 2005, Ruff has researched and performed Scottish Gaelic songs accompanied by the wire harp.  He has performed at festivals and music series such as Boston Early Music Festival Fringe, Gotham Early Music Scene Midtown Concerts in New York, Beacon Hill Concerts in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Stone Church Arts Concert Series in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and the Vassar College Concert Series in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Ruff has studied Scottish Gaelic song with Kenna Campbell, Mary Ann Kennedy and Christine Primrose, and early harp techniques with noted Irish harpist Siobhan Armstrong.  He has spent two summers studying at the Scoil na gClàirseach Harp School in Kilkenny, Ireland.  He enjoyed a month researching & studying early Gaelic Song in Edinburgh and Glasgow in 2012, funded by a grant from Vassar College.

In 2016, he won First Place/Men’s Division and Highest Overall Score in Gaelic Song at both the North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd and the U.S. National Gaelic Mòd. He was also a finalist in the Silver Pendant Gaelic Song Competition at the 2009 Royal National Mòd in Oban, Scotland.

The ACGA Fèis is a day-long series of workshops on Gaelic song, language, music and culture preceding the U.S. National Mòd. The Fèis is a non-competitive event focused on learning and instruction. The Mòd is a series of competitions in Gaelic language arts, including song, poetry and storytelling.

In addition to Ruff’s harp workshop, the Fèis will feature workshops on Gaelic song by Margaret Stewart and Murdo “Wasp” MacDonald, both of Lewis. Stewart and MacDonald will judge the US National Mòd competitions. The Fèis will also feature a “Cèilidh 101” session that will teach tunes to musicians of all types, and other special events.

Check back here for more information on registration, lodging and costs for the Fèis and the Mòd. The events will begin Thursday, Sept. 21, and run through Sunday, Sept. 24.