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.

 

Still time to support ‘Anna Ruadh’

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The clock is ticking on the Kickstarter campaign supporting Anna Ruadh, a translation of Anne of Green Gables into Scottish Gaelic. Supporters have until midnight June 30 (Maritime time) to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign (click here).

As a stretch goal incentive, if the campaign raises CA$2,000 more than the original CA$15,000 goal, the cover illustrator will create original pen-and-ink chapter heading illustrations for the book.

Anna Ruadh is the latest Gaelic publishing project from Bradan Press of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and its founder, president and editor, Emily McEwan. Bradan Press came to life in 2016, with the publication of the Scottish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook, a “think before you ink” guide written by McEwan.

Since that colorful start, Bradan Press has produced several works, including two volumes of bagpipe music by collected by Barry Shears, and collections of Scottish Gaelic poetry by Lodaidh MacFhionghain, Marion F. NicIlleMhoire, Calum L. MacLeòid, and Marcus Mac an Tuairneir.

Canadian author L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables has been translated into more than 30 languages, but not into Scottish Gaelic, even though Gaelic has close cultural and historical connections to the author and Prince Edward Island. “We feel this is a major oversight, connected to the way that Gaels and Gaelic have been deliberately erased from Maritime and Canadian culture and history,” McEwan said in launching the crowdfunding campaign.

Bradan’s goal is to create a translation imbued with the charm and appeal of the original, while subtly localizing the story to represent Maritime Canadian Gaelic culture as well.

Mòrag Anna NicNèill, originally from the Isle of Harris and now a resident of the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, will translate Anne of Green Gables for the publisher. NicNèill has translated five children’s books from Scottish Gaelic to English and has written four original children’s books in Gaelic.

The planned publication date for Anna Ruadh is June 30, 2020. Bradan hope to launch the book in Prince Edward Island following the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Fourteenth Biennial Conference, 25-28 June, 2020. Contributors to the Kickstarter campaign will receive a variety of rewards, based on their contributions.

Visit Bradan Press and Kickstarter for more information.

 

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.

Òran Bagraidh: Reimagining a song and a language

It’s well-known, or should be, that Scottish Gaelic was once spoken well beyond the Hebrides and Highlands, as far south as the Scottish borders during the Middle Ages. That’s been obscured by history and historical myth-making that sought to de-emphasize the role of the Gaels in Scotland (how many times have researchers heard “Gaelic was never spoken here” from people in parts of Scotland pocked with Gaelic place names, and in some cases where Gaelic was alive within living memory or just beyond it? The answer, too many times.)

An ambitious artistic project last year attempted to leap and blur some of the dividing lines of history and revive a song called Òran Bagraidh, possibly a relic — the only one — of the Gaelic once spoken in Galloway in southwestern Scotland. Galloway. The song came to light in the book “From the Farthest Hebrides,” (MacMillan Company of Canada, 1978) a collection of songs edited by Donald A. Ferguson of Cape Breton and Aonghas Iain MacDhomhnaill, or Angus John MacDonald, originally of Knockline, North Uist.

(Although some of the songs in the book were later found to be inventions of MacDhomhnaill, scholars have given Òran Bagraidh “serious consideration.” Read this informative blog by Michael Newton for more background.)

Medieval Galloway was a place where many languages met — a form of Cumbric or Welsh, Irish or Gaelic, English and Norse. It’s fitting that the Òran Bagraidh project involved musicians and poets drawn from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. They met for a week-long collaboration at Barscobe House in Galloway last September, using the song as a “springboard” to explore “commonalities and differences between musical styles and languages, within the context of the historical diversity of Galloway.”

The group has since performed their version of Òran Bagraidh in concert and an album featuring the song and other original works by the artists was released February 2. The album, more information, and a longer video on the project is available on https://www.oranbagraidh.com/