Posted by: liamcassidy | October 11, 2012

Special Awards at 25th U.S. Mòd

Two of our special awards, the Duais Daibhidh Mhic Risnidh (storytelling) and Searrag-Ghloinne nam Bàrd (poetry).

Since its inception 25 years ago, the U.S. National Mòd has presented special awards to its top competitors and for special achievement in Scottish Gaelic language arts. Over the years, the list of awards has expanded from the core prizes for the best male and female singers to include awards for storytelling, poetry, songs from a particular region’s tradition, and original writing.

Although we are still waiting for a final decision on three of our special awards, several of them have been awarded to competitors both at the Mòd and contributors who submitted materials for adjudication. Here is the list of the awards and winners for 2012:

The Marietta MacLeod Memorial Quaich: This award goes back to the founding of the U.S. National Mòd in 1988. The quaich is presented annually by Donald F. MacDonald in memory of his wife, the late Gaelic singer Marietta MacLeod, or Màiri Oighrig nic Choinnich MhicLeòid, and her sister, Kitty MacLeod, to the highest scoring female singer, our U.S. Mòd gold medalist.

This year, for the first time in our history, it went to two women who tied in scores for Gaelic and music and share the honor, Erin Park of Pennsylvania and Anne Alexander of Ohio. Mealaibh an naidheachd, ‘s bu mhilis an òrain!

Erin Park, left, and Anne Alexander, both winners of the Marietta MacLeod Memorial Quaich for 2012.

The Herbert P. MacNeal Memorial Quaich: This award has been presented by the Clan MacNeil Society to the highest scoring male singer at the Mòd since 1989 in memory of Herbert P. MacNeal, a founder of the Council of Scottish Clans Association and former president of the Clan MacNeil Society who died in 1988. MacNeal was a patron of the Scottish arts, and was instrumental in establishing the Scottish Harp Society of America. This year the MacNeal Quaich went to Micheal Mac Aoidh of Virginia.

Searrag-Ghlainne nam Bàrd: This prize, in the form of an Edinburgh Crystal Decanter, is presented each year by Donald F. MacDonald for the best poetry recitation at the Mòd. MacDonald, along with Catrìona NicÌomhair Parsons, is a co-founder of the U.S. National Mòd. This year the award was presented to Micheal Mac Aoidh of Virginia.

Micheal Mac Aoidh recites a poem at the U.S. National Mòd.

The S.C.O.T.S. Shield: This award is presented by the Scottish Club of the Twin States (Vermont & New Hampshire) to the winners of the Òran Luaidh/Waulking competition. This year the prize went to an impromptu group, Waulkers Without Borders. The group included singers from several states and Canada.

Duais Leòdhais agus na Hearadh: The Lewis and Harris award is presented by the Lewis Highland Dance Society in memory of Donaidh M. MacIlleathain, Gaelic playwright and activist from Bac, Lewis, for best presentation of a Lewis and Harris song. This year the award went to Erin Park of Pennsylvania.

Duais Daibhidh Mhic Risnidh: The David MacRitchie award is a fairly new prize, presented by former U.S. National Mòd chair Neacail Freer in memory of his great-uncle for the best traditional story told during the Mòd sgeulachd competition. This year the award was won by Caitlin Nic Aoidh for “Tàillear nam Manachan.”

Duais Iain Mhic Mhurchaidh: The John MacRae award is one of two prizes meant to encourage original writing in Scottish Gaelic in North America. The award is presented by the U.S. National Mòd for the best original poem submitted to the Mòd. This year the award went to Michael MacIntyre. Iain Mac Mhurchaidh was an 18th century bàrd who emigrated to North Carolina.

These awards are a special part of the history and heritage of the U.S. National Mòd. Look for blog posts about the individual prizes, their histories and this year’s winners on A’ Seinn Còmhla throughout the year.








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: