Posted by: liamcassidy | August 28, 2011

Attending the Mòd, Part II

In my last blog post, I wrote about arriving at the Mòd and the events we hold on Friday night. Saturday, however, is the big day, with all of our song competitions taking place at the Ligonier Highland Games from about 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

For those of us staying at the Antiochian Village, the day begins with a hearty breakfast in the cafeteria. Some feel they need a full stomach to sing, others would rather starve their nerves, but there’s plenty of variety there for all – most important, from my perspective, lots of coffee.

We drive down to Idlewild Park and the Ligonier Highland Games in groups, parking near our own Mòd pavillion, not far from the Main Stage. The pavillion provides comfortable outdoor seating, a large stage and a roof over our heads, in case of inclement weather.

We begin the day with our prescribed song competition – these are the songs that every competitor has to learn. There’s one song for men and one for women, both chosen because they are prescribed songs in the main competitions at the Royal National Mòd in Scotland.

After that competition, we move on to work songs, puirt-à-beul or mouth music, and group competitions, both unison singing and waulking.

We break at noon for lunch. For several years, U.S. Mòd veteran and Ohio Mòd organizer Frances Acar has provided a healthy and delicious lunch for the group for a very reasonable fee. You may also walk through the games and purchase food and drink from various vendors.

The last competition of the day is the song final. Only competitors who have sung their prescribed song and at least one other song may compete in the finals. At the end, the man and woman with highest overall marks in music and Gaelic win our gold medals.

With the competitions behind us by 3 or 4 p.m., there’s time to tour the games, or head into town or back to the Antiochian Village.

Our dinner at the Ligonier Tavern usually begins with a cocktail hour and music session around 6 p.m. and runs until 10 or 11 p.m.

The end of the dinner officially ends our day, but not our night. Search out the after-hours cèilidh back at the village!

— Liam Ó Caiside


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