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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 27th October 2016 > Audiences and judges blown away by Gaels

Audiences and judges blown away by Gaels

Dingwall Gaelic Choir, winner of Lovat and Tullibardine Shield.
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Islay Gaelic Choir won the Queen Elizabeth Coronation Trophy for the puirt and the unison singing trophy.

THE ROYAL National Mòd in Stornoway was resounding success – not only for everyone who took part in competitions but also for those who enjoyed the friendships and forged alliances between Gaelic speakers across the globe.

Dingwall Gaelic Choir lifted the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield. This is a prized possession for any chorister but among the strong competition from this year’s choirs – in particular, from a much talked about arrangement from Oban Gaelic Choir – it was a testament to the hard work and determination of conductor Kirsteen Menzies and Gaelic tutors Steven MacIver and Father Don R MacIver and singers.

Anyone lucky enough to have a ticket for the Lovatt and Tullibardine competition will know that the day itself is very special.

Among the hotly contested prescribed songs and own choice pieces, the audience often responds itself by singing some of the favourite ‘hits’ of the Royal National Mòd’s back catalogue.

To the infamous words of Raibert MacCallum’s ‘let the song sing itself’, the packed audience sang their favourite Gaelic songs while the adjudicators deliberated both the Gaelic pronunciations and the music of the outstanding pieces they had heard.

Lochaber Gaelic Choir gave a stunning performance in the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy competition and subsequently were rewarded with a well-deserved first place. Second were Portree Gaelic Choir.

Mull Gaelic Choir had a good outing in all competitions, winning the John Lockie Trophy for the highest marks in Gaelic in three competitions (A303, A305 and A306). Many of their solo choristers also had exceptional performances.

Barra Gaelic Choir, conducted by former Oban woman Lisa MacNeil, won the Lorn Shield along with the Mrs C MacDonald Silver Baton for the conductor of the winning choir and Captain Angus Steward Trophy for highest marks in music.

Islay, who deserve a special mention, chartered three flights between Islay and Stornoway and brought the largest contingent of choirs from off the island.

Organisers’ determination paid off with performances for Prince Charles, Lord of the Isles, and winning trophies in the junior, senior and adult singing competitions.

Full results on page 16.

It’s time to celebrate

Coisir Ghaidhlig Loch Abir, winner of The Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy.
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Barra choir conductor Lisa MacNeil with the Lorn Shield for rural choirs, presented by Norman MacDonald, convener of the Mòd.

Winners all the way

This year’s winners of the prestigious Traditional Gold Medals at the Royal National Mòd in the Western Isles were Claire Macaulay from Ness, now living in Glasgow, and Torquil MacLeod of Stornoway.
Fiona Ross and Fergus Muir with the silver pendants.
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Ceitidh Nic Dhomhnaill receiving the Lighting Electrical Cup from its donor, Alena Maclean.
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Isla MacKechnie and Robert Robertson

Isla MacKechnie pictured with singer Robert Robertson.

IT CAN be really boring going for a week away with your mum and dad when they are singing in choirs at the Royal National Mòd.

But not for this young Morvern girl who made the most of what could have been a terrible week, including having a selfie with Robert Robertson.

She made friends with some of the older girls from the choirs staying in her hotel.

But all her patience paid off when her daddy, Hector, won the Gold Medal singing competition. It meant staying up way past her bedtime, and allowed her to awake until, well, at least midnight.

Fifteen-year-old Anna Nicolson won the junior advanced clarsach competition at today’s Royal National Mòd in the Western Isles. Anna also won the intermediate two competition at the Mòd in Oban last year.
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Carol Maclean and Hector MacKechnie were winners of this year’s coveted Gold Medals at the Royal National Mòd in the Western Isles on Wednesday night. The Gold Medal competition is open to fluent Gaelic speakers who sing one song of their own choosing and one prescribed.
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Pure gold as coveted medals are awarded Competition praise from president John

THE coveted Gold Medal competition saw Carol Maclean and Hector MacKechnie, members of Mull Gaelic Choir and Burach Gaelic Choir, walking away with the awards.

Carol had travelled from Tobermory, while Hector came from Lochaline to compete in the event in Stornoway.

Wednesday also saw the prestigious Silver Pendant competition take place at the Lewis Sports Centre, as Fiona Ross from Glasgow won the ladies award and Fergus Muir of Bowmore won the men’s title – turn to page 14 for photographs.

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