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PICTURES MOD 2021: Inverness performers bring home gold, clàrsach showcase and Gaelic choirs come together in the Highland capital


By Louise Glen

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John Joe MacNeil and Màiri Aisling Callan.
John Joe MacNeil and Màiri Aisling Callan.

Singers crowned at the Gold Medal and Silver Pendant competitions and groups take to the stage at today's choirs concert.

An amazing showcase of talent was on display on Wednesday, with the Silver Pendant and An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal competitions taking place throughout the day.

Competition was strong during the evening’s Gold Medal Final, with Màiri Aisling Callan from Annathill near Coatbridge and John Joe MacNeil from Barra taking home the prestigious prize at the women’s and men’s events respectively.

Màiri Aisling Callan.
Màiri Aisling Callan.

Meanwhile, incredible vocalists Inverness’ own Shona MacQueen, now living in Drumnadrochit, and 23-year-old Peter MacPherson, from Inverness and living on Skye, took home the women’s and men’s Silver Pendant on Wednesday afternoon, with beautiful renditions of classic Gaelic tunes.

There was something for everyone as online ticket holders enjoyed the celebration of 90 years of friendship between the Clàrsach Society and An Comunn Gàidhealach during the The Clàrsach At The Mod. The Wednesday evening event featured some of Scotland’s finest performers, with BBC’s Joy Dunlop taking viewers from the 1930s to the present day and showcasing the new generation of talented, young clàrsaireans.

John Joe MacNeil.
John Joe MacNeil.

This afternoon at 2pm, the Thursday choirs concert will see choirs from throughout the country take to the stage at Empire Theatre in Eden Court to perform their favourite songs. This will be an extra special event as there are no choir competitions this year. Those enjoying the festival from around the world can stream online, while anyone watching from home can tune into BBC Alba.

The entertainment isn’t stopping there at Empire Theatre, with the Traditional Gold Medal competition set to take place at 7.30pm tonight, also broadcast live on BBC Alba.

The wee ones will be kept entertained this morning with a Gaelic Bookbug Session at Culloden Woods, meanwhile live music from home-grown artists at Eden Court’s outdoor venue will get revellers on their feet between 4pm and 6pm.

Other events taking place include an evening of traditional music with musical trio Marloch at The Botanic House from 9.30pm and a compilation of performances across the senior categories at Thursday’s Mòd Programme from 6pm online.

James Graham, chief executive officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “The Gold Medal and Silver Pendant are two of our most prestigious competitions and the talent on show was outstanding. It was a delight to see them return and to see the standard to be so high, I would like to congratulate the winners who all sang beautifully. We now look forward to this afternoon’s Thursday Choirs Concert as groups from across Scotland perform more amazing renditions of classic gaelic songs before the Traditional Gold Medal Final makes its return.”

Shona MacQueen, who is from Inverness and stays in Drumnadrochit won the ladies Silver Pendant Final at The Royal National Mòd 2021
Shona MacQueen, who is from Inverness and stays in Drumnadrochit won the ladies Silver Pendant Final at The Royal National Mòd 2021

Chairman of Highland Council’s Gaelic committee, Cllr Calum Munro said: “It’s now two years since the Gold Medal and Silver Pendant were last competed for so it was fantastic to hear these premier competitions taking place ‘live’ in Eden Court. I would like to congratulate all the winners on their success and commend them for the high standards they reached.

"Thursday is a very busy day at the mòd with the choirs concert taking place and the Traditional Gold Medal competitions reaching a conclusion this evening. For many Mòd followers this is a highlight event and I’m sure many will be watching live in Eden Court or on BBC Alba.”

John Joe MacNeil and Màiri Aisling Callan.
John Joe MacNeil and Màiri Aisling Callan.

Shona MacLennan, ceannard, Bòrd na Gaidhlig said: “We congratulate the winners of today’s medals and welcome the return of the choirs to the mòd.

"During lockdown, Gaelic language and culture provided continuing opportunities for communities to meet online and maintain a sense of community, at times across the globe.

"The importance of Gaelic to people’s sense of wellbeing and belonging has been demonstrated very clearly and its importance to Scotland as a nation has been strengthened. ”

Màiri Aisling Callan and John Joe MacNeil.
Màiri Aisling Callan and John Joe MacNeil.

The Royal National Mòd will run until October 16 2021.

View the full programme and purchase tickets now at https://www.ancomunn.co.uk/.

READ: PICTURES MOD 2021: Inverness and Drumnadrochit winners for the prized Silver Pendant at the Royal National Mod in the Highland capital


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