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!
There’s still time to reserve a place at the 20th Annual Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, which will be held by ACGA July 9 to 13 in Banner Elk, North Carolina, just before the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 12 to 15.
We’re working on getting everything ready for the weeklong event at Lees-MacRae College, which will feature Scottish Gaelic language song classes taught by Margaret Bennett, Catrìona Parsons, and Jamie MacDonald, with check-in beginning Sunday, July 8.
The week is an unparalleled opportunity to dive deep into Scottish Gaelic song and language, with classes at three levels for learners ranging from absolute beginners to fluent speakers. Students can mix and match classes and teachers and subjects as they please.
The week also features special events such as sessions on Highland folklore, movies in Gaelic, hiking and evening cèilidhs and song sessions. We hold a popular silent auction. In recent years we’ve had sessions on dance, types of songs and songs from specific places.
We hope you’ll join us! Tiugainn leinn! Spaces and beds fill up quickly in June, so register early. For more information, go to the Events section this website and the Grandfather Mountain GSLW page. To register, click here. And look for more information here soon.
This past Friday, April 6, was Tartan Day in the United States, and people around the country celebrated Latha an Tartain. New York City hosted its annual Tartan Day Parade on Sixth Avenue, with more than 4,000 registered marchers, including Còmhlan Pìoba Sgoil Lìonacleit, the student pipe band from Sgoil Lìonacleit in the Outer Hebrides.
(See a BBC video report on the band’s trip in Gaelic here).
ACGA director Barbara Lynn Rice had the chance to meet with the students and officials from Sgoil Lìonacleit and e-Sgoil, a distance-learning initiative launched in 2016 by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Western Isles Council. We’ll have more to report later, but for the moment, enjoy this short video from the Tartan Day Parade. Watch for Niseag (Nessie)!
Gaelic songs can tell us a huge amount about life in Scotland and the surprisingly modern ways in which Gaels saw the world. Even when working with English translations, they reveal the words and thoughts of people who are not normally visible in written histories.
So writes Kevin Grant at the start of his blog for Historic Environment Scotland on “Three Gaelic Bards” and the insight their work provides into Gaelic culture and life in their day.
In the blog, Grant, a casework officer with Historic Environment Scotland, examines the poetry of Mairearad Chaimbuel, Seumas Mac an t-Saoir, and Perthshire poet Domhnall Dubh — 18th and 19th century poets.
Grant wrote the blog for International Poetry Day, March 15, but at ACGA we think it’s worth reading year-round.
To read the blog on the Historic Environment Scotland website, click here.
The premiere Scottish Gaelic song event of the Midwest — Mòd nan Lochan Mòra or The Great Lakes Mòd — returns to Akron, Ohio, June 8-10.
This year’s adjudicator will be Seumas Greumach (James Graham) of Sutherland, Scotland, winner of the men’s Bonn Òr a’ Chomuinn or Gold Medal at the Royal National Mòd. James has been an instructor at ACGA’s Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week and a guest at the ACGA US National Mòd.
Mòd events will include singing competitions, storytelling, poetry recitations, and a workshop. This year we have some exciting events, including an all new competition — a Folk Band Challenge. You don’t need to already have a folk group; any singer or musician can learn the prescribed piece and we will randomly select groups to compete together.
Kids are especially welcome to come take part in the Mòd. We have a competition for Youth age 14-17, and one for children 13 and under.