Fàilte gu Carolina a Tuath – [Welcome to North Carolina]

An Comunn Gaidhealach – America (ACGA) presents the Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, from July 2 – July 7, 2023.

The Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week will be located at Lees-McRae College, in Banner Elk, NC, in what is known as the “high country.” It is roughly half an hour’s drive from Grandfather Mountain where the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are held every year the second weekend in July (immediately after the Gaelic Song and Language Week). The nearest airports are Tri-Cities Airport near Blountville, TN and Charlotte International Airport, at Charlotte, NC.

Come to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, a state where Gaelic was still spoken at the end of the nineteenth century. Enjoy language classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced Gaelic speakers and singing classes covering a range of traditional Gaelic song forms, including waulking or milling songs and mouth music. Scottish Gaelic Language classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced speakers will be offered.

The week will consist of language and song classes at graduated levels. Other activities will include a cèilidh, a silent auction, viewing Gaelic videos (if any are brought), and hikes in the beautiful surrounding mountains (if you choose). The workshop ends just as the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are getting underway at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain. As usual there will be a Gaelic Tent at the games, and the North Carolina Gaelic Mòd will take place there on the Saturday.

For the registration form click here.

For more information, contact Shannon Duncan at shannon.duncan01@gmail.com or Jamie MacDonald at gaelteach@gmail.com.


Cò bhitheas a’ teagasg? [Who’s teaching?]


Catrìona NicÌomhair Parsons

Catrìona is a native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Lewis. She was a professor in the Celtic Studies Department at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S. for many years.

In addition, she regularly teaches the language at immersions and workshops throughout North America. Catriona is an accomplished Gaelic singer, and has produced a Gaelic course for students learning the language.

Colin Watson

Colin Watson hails from Valley Mills, Inverness County. Growing up surrounded by nature has led him into studies at St. Andrews, NB and Corner Brook, NL in the Outdoor Recreation field. Kayaking, canoeing, hiking ,and biking are some of his favourite past times. Having Gaelic influences from an early age has encouraged another favourite pastime, Gaelic singing. Colin currently resides in Jamesville, Cape Breton and is employed at the Highland Village living history museum in Iona as a Gaelic mentor and an animator of the Gaelic culture.



Cìsean – [Fees]

Full tuition, room, and board is $550; Day Student tuition is $350. A link to the registration will appear HERE when registration opens.


Cuid Oidhche – [Room and Meals]

Cafeteria meals are quite good and provide a good selection to cater to most diets. Meals provided are from Sunday evening dinner to Breakfast and Dinner on each day thereafter, ending at Friday Breakfast. Accommodations and food for the workshop begin with dinner on Sunday, July 2nd and end with breakfast on Friday, July 7th.


Games Accommodation and Cancellation/Refund Policy

Additional accommodation is available through the college. More details on how to obtain these will be provided closer to time. Registration closes at Midnight on June 15, 2023. No refunds will be issued after registration closes.


Thoir – [Bring]

Dorm Room Items:

  • Bed linens and pillow
  • Blanket for your bed
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Fan for your dorm room
  • Desk lamp

Personal Items:

  • Casual clothing for both cool weather and warm (see the weather section)
  • Walking or hiking shoes
  • Raincoat
  • Camera
  • Flash light (needed for both the Opening Ceremonies of the Games and at top of mountain for fireworks display)

Classroom items:

  • Gaelic reference books
  • Laptop, tablet, or phone for viewing digital class files and note-taking

Other items:

  • Props for cèilidh
  • Musical instruments
  • Items to donate for Silent Auction
  • Cash or checkbook for Silent auction—great bargains!
  • Gaelic books to share with the group at night


Clàr-Ùine – [Schedule]

Check in will take place from 12:00 to 5:00 on Sunday afternoon. Dinner will be available for those who arrive before 6 pm. Welcome and Introduction Meeting will be at 6:30 pm (and be relatively short). Classes will begin Monday and run through noon on Friday. Class schedule will be posted here at a time closer to the event date.

Those paying for full tuition, room, and board, please note that lunch each day is not included in the pricing for the workshop.


Siubhal – [Travel]

If you will be flying, the nearest airports are Tri-Cities TN and Charlotte NC.


Roimh-innse na Sìde – [Weather Forecast]

Temperatures usually range in the low 60’s to mid 80’s during July. The weather is normally beautiful and cool. However, it can be hot, and it can be cold. It is advisable to bring both a fan for your room and a blanket for your bed. Shorts and lightweight long pants are both appropriate as are short sleeved t-shirts and light weight sweaters. However, if you’re planning on joining the group going to the top of Grandfather Mountain (a mile high) to view the Opening Ceremonies for the Highland Games on Thursday evening of the Week, you’ll need a heavier sweater or jacket and a blanket to sit on. A raincoat or umbrella is also advised just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.