The Highland Council’s Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellowship will, for the third year running, be sponsoring major competitions at the Royal National Mod which opens in Stornoway on Friday 14th October.
The Fellowship will be providing prizes especially commissioned by South Uist jeweller, Roddie Johnson, now based in Dingwall. Fiona Mackenzie, the Màiri Mhòr Fellow said: "We will be providing prizes of silver kilt pins incorporating the Màiri Mhòr logo, to the winners of both the Junior and Adult Learners Traditional Singing Competitions. Winners and runners up will also be presented with volumes of the works of Màiri Mhòr nan Òran herself. The Fellowship wanted to encourage Gaelic Learners to sing in the Traditional fashion – or "Seann Nòs"- as Màiri Mhòr would have done - and the numbers of competitors participating in the competition have certainly grown quite substantially, since the first year at the Mod in Oban in 2003."
The prizes will be presented by Chairman of the Gaelic Select Committee, Councillor Hamish Fraser and Councillor Andy Anderson, Chairman of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee
Fiona Mackenzie will also be carrying out workshops for children during Mod week, teaching songs from the recent publication " Orain nan Rosach" , a collection of Gaelic songs from Ross-shire and mounting an exhibition of the work of the Fellowship.
Councillor Andy Anderson said: "The Highland Council is glad to support new initiatives such as this project and to encourage the singing of Gaelic songs throughout the Highlands and further afield. We hope that the National Mod will be a great success and look especially forward to its return to the Highlands in 2007"
The Fellowship will also be working with An Comunn Gaidhealach during Mod week to launch the new CD of the prescribed songs for Juniors, for Mod 2006 in Dunoon.
Murdo Morrison, Promotion Manager for the Royal National Mod welcomed the continuing support from the Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellowship and the council. He said: "The Highland Council and the Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellowship have been strong and committed supporters of the Mod over many years. Their support has included not just the Royal National Mod but has also included helping to promote the Mod and the Gaelic language and culture abroad.
Most recently this has included attendance at the International Eistedfodd Festival in Llangollen ,through the Fionnar group of musicians and singers where the group were very successful. With a representative from Llangollen attending the Mod in the Western Isles we hope to build on that link.
In partnership with the Highland Council and the Mairi Mhor Fellowship we are already working on planning for Mod 2007 in Lochaber which will feature as part of the Highland Year of Culture in 2007."