Posted by: liamcassidy | August 5, 2009

Great Times at Great Lakes Mòd

Mòd getes top billing at the Ohio games

Mòd gets top billing at the Ohio games

The 2009 Great Lakes Mòd was held in Medina, Ohio and at the Ohio Scottish games on June 26th and 27th, with a song workshop on Sunday morning the 28th. Those of you who have attended the Mòd will remember it as a close-knit group of people enthusiastic in their pursuit of singing, stories and poetry, and this year was no exception.

We began the weekend by gathering in the meeting room of the Roadway Inn hotel, where we were staying for the Mòd, for the poetry and storytelling competitions.  Michael Mackay was the only competitor for the poetry recitation competition, but he received some very good advice from Beathag Mhoireasdan, our adjudicator.  This is a great example of why you should go to a Mòd – the competition is one aspect of the event, but the real benefit comes from being able to get advice from a native speaker on your Gaelic and your singing!

The storytelling competition was next at the hotel, and the two competitors, Cathleen and Michael Mackay, were ready to perform their best.  In the end, Beathag gave them an equal score to make them tied for first.  Both were pleased with the outcome, and, again, there was much in the adjudications to think about for next time.

On Saturday, the group headed off to the Lorain County fairgrounds, where the Ohio Scottish games take place, to settle into our room for the singing competition.  Participants this year were Stan Gerchak, Anne Alexander, Betsy Bond, Michael Mackay, Richard Lidke, and Susan Luse.

In previous years, we’ve had issues on and off with the piping competitors coming up to the walls and doors to practice for their competitions, but this year we hardly heard from any of them.  Perhaps word is spreading about our fearsome “piper snipers”, who send any prospective piper scampering with one withering look?  At any rate, we ran through the competition, and it seemed very quick this year — in part, thanks to Beathag for her quick writing on the adjudication sheets — and of course because time flies when you’re having a Mòd!

Frances and Beathag at the adjudication table

Frances and Beathag at the adjudication table

In the end, since we must have scores and rankings, the outcome was as follows:  Susan Luse came in first for the ladies, as well as first overall for music scores.  Second for the ladies was Anne Alexander, and third was Betsy Bond. Michael Mackay was first for the men, and first overall for Gaelic scores, and Stan Gerchak placed second.

Our usual Mòd banquet was full of song and dance, with participation from just about everyone in the group.  There was even a little English heard from the attendees as we tried out our party pieces on the gathering.  Susan’s daughter Miranda performed Irish step dancing for the ceilidh, which was a special treat.  Anne Alexander and Mickey Hurray did an outstanding job playing music for us at the dinner, and we look forward to more of the same at the National Mòd in September!

Sunday, we had another fine Gaelic song workshop with Beathag, followed by lunch and the drive home – a little longer for some than for others!  Remember to mark off next year’s Mòd in Ohio on your calendars – it will be near the end of June, and Frances will be sure to let everyone know the particulars when the time draws near.


  1. Meal ur naidheachd a h-uile duine! ‘S mòr am beud nach robh mi ann!

    Congratulations everyone! I’m sorry I wasn’t there!

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