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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Young Voices Will Fill The Air As The Junior Competitions Get Underway At The Royal National Mòd

The sound of young voices will once again fill the air as the junior competitions get underway at the Royal National Mòd in the capital of the Highlands today, Tuesday 12th October.

Competition results in full can be viewed here:

The girls Silver Pendant and the boys Silver Kilt Pin kick off proceedings live from Eden Court Theatre from 11am, with youngsters performing a selection of Gaelic material set by an esteemed panel of judges.

The afternoon will see the girls Traditional Silver Pendant and boys Traditional Silver Kilt Pin, with 13–15-year-olds singing their own choice of heartfelt Gaelic songs, with competitors from towns across Scotland, from the Isle of Lewis to Mull, travelling to Inverness to take part.

Fringe events today include the Là Spòrs Do Chlann at Cathedral Church of St. Andrew Hall, giving pre-school children the chance to join in with a range of fun activities including Gaelic stories, games and art, Mini Fèis at Inverness Gaelic Primary School, live music at Eden Court’s outdoor venue between 4pm and 6pm and a Family Ceilidh at Fairways, Inverness from 6.30pm.

Tonight’s entertainment, bringing together valued heritage with innovative composition, comes from Lauren MacColl who presents her newly commissioned work, ‘An Ear / East’.

This local fiddler and composer will perform a piece inspired by coastal happenings and stories from around the Moray Firth as part of the celebrations for Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

Lauren will be joined by Mairearad Green, Anna Massie and Rachel Newton with songs from Arthur Cormack and Emma MacLeod. The concert also features exciting visuals by filmmaker Zoe Paterson MacInnes.

James Graham, Chief Executive Officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “The children's competitions are a very important part of Mòd week. They showcase the young talent that is starting to break through, and give an encouraging insight into the health of the future of Gaelic culture and song. We also have a lively programme of fringe events for all the family and are greatly looking forward to welcoming Lauren MacColl to the Empire Theatre stage for the long-awaited debut of ‘East’.”

Chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Committee, Cllr Calum Munro said: “Good luck to all the young competitors in the junior competitions starting today. Participation in the local and national Mòds is an extremely valuable life skill which inspires confidence for our young people in public speaking and performing while continuing to foster cultural pride and growth in the Gaelic language.”

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “We are pleased to see the wide-range of events that the Mòd Inverness 2021 has arranged for children, which complement the competitions running on Tuesday. This aspect of the Royal National Mòd provides great fun and strengthens the children’s attachment to Gaelic, encouraging them to continue using it as they grow older. The events also contribute to the National Gaelic Language Plan aim that more people use Gaelic more often and in a wider range of situations.”

The Royal National Mòd is supported by EventScotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Highland Council, Events Scotland, The Scottish Government, HIE, Caledonian MacBrayne and SQA.

A number of COVID safety measures are in place for this year’s Mòd in line with government guidelines to keep audiences and performers safe, including extensive cleaning and ongoing COVID safety checks, enhanced hygiene measures, use of face masks and track and trace check-ins.

The Royal National Mòd will run until 16th October 2021.

The Gaelic word “mòd” means “a gathering of people” and this festival was first held in Oban in 1892, and it has grown to become Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival famous for celebrating our Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage. Following Royal assent and now known as The Royal National Mòd, it provides opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive disciplines including Gaelic music and song, highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature.

Restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic over the past eighteen months have made it necessary for the organisers to design a hybrid programme for the 2021 Royal National Mòd.

Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased throughout 2021 and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.

Following input and feedback from the tourism and events industry, there was strong support and a commitment from Scottish Government to rollover the celebratory year into 2021. Work is currently ongoing to rescope and reshape the supported events programme.

The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.

Join the conversation using #YCW2021

Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years are planned to take place every second year to enable more time for planning and collaboration. Given the impact of COVID-19 an exception will be made in 2021 with the 2020 year rolling forward. 2022 will celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories.

Duncan Chisholm, fiddle player and Anna Macleod, Gaelic singer perform at Inverness Castle for the opening of the 2021 Mòd


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