Posted by: liamcassidy | September 9, 2009

North Carolina’s Provincial Mòd

Grandfather Mountain and North Carolina have a long history of connections with the Gaelic speaking emigrants of the United States. In fact, the uncle of one of North Carolina’s most well-known natives – well known to all of us, anyway – is responsible for establishing the Grandfather Mountain games.

Jamie MacDonald’s uncle Donald MacDonald sets up a Gaelic tent set up every year at Grandfather, and many of the participants in ACGA’s Grandfather Mountain Song and Language Workshop week, which takes place directly before the games, are present at “Donald’s Gaelic Tent” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to support the language, talk to people about learning, and to sing along with Jamie.

On Saturday, at the end of the day, Grandfather Mountain hosts a regional Mòd, set up in a much more informal way, but just as fun. Each contestant sings a single song, from any category, and the adjudicators — our guest instructors from the Song and Language week — have the decidedly difficult task of picking a winner.

This year, the Mòd had several contestants from every age, and John Grimaldi, a juggler from New York who attended the week’s song workshop, came out on top.

John earned his keep, though, and kept everyone entertained with juggling and funny antics while the adjudicators — Ann Lorne Gilles and Margaret Callan — racked up the final scores. You don’t have to be as talented as John is to do well at the Mòd, but, if he comes next year, be prepared to sing with him at the Mòd, and to be entertained!

Mike MacKay

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