Date: Monday, Jul 5th, 2021 - Thursday, Jul 8th, 2021

Time: All Day

Location: Virtual

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This year ACGA’s Scottish Gaelic Song & Language Week will be held virtually, through Zoom, for the second year. The GS&LW features four days of instruction with six classes a day to choose from. This year’s instructors are Christine Primrose (song) of Lewis and Alec “Valtos” MacDonald (language) of Skye. The total cost is $125 per student. The GS&LW will be followed on Friday by the North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd, a song competition.

Every year, ACGA holds a Scottish Gaelic Song & Language Week, an intensive program with four days of classes, workshops, and cèilidhs with two to three instructors at three levels, from new beginners through intermediate and advanced learners.

The Gaelic Song & Language Week traditionally has been held at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, the week before the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

This year, as in 2020, the GS&LW will be held virtually through the Zoom video conferencing software, which is free and available at

The event will be held July 5-8 (Monday-Thursday), followed by an online North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd on Friday, July 9. Our 2021 instructors are Christine Primrose of Lewis and Alec “Valtos” MacDonald of Skye.

This year’s event will revolve around two basic tracks:

  1. Language – using Scottish Gaelic for communication
  2. Singing – everything from teaching songs to the history of songs to the details of ornamentation and technique.


All times are in American Eastern Daylight Time:


LANGUAGE: BLOCK 1 = 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM; BLOCK 2 = 1 PM – 2:30 PM; BLOCK 3 = 3 PM – 4:30 PM

SONG: BLOCK 1 = 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM; BLOCK 2 = 1 PM – 2 PM; BLOCK 3 = 3 PM – 4 PM

  • Monday
    • Block 1 – Intermediate Language; Beginner Song
    • Block 2 – Advanced Language; Intermediate Song
    • Block 3 – Beginner Language; Advanced Song
  • Tuesday
    • Block 1 – Advanced Language; Intermediate Song
    • Block 2 – Beginner Language; Advanced Song
    • Block 3 – Intermediate Language; Beginner Song
  • Wednesday
    • Block 1 – Beginner Language; Advanced Song
    • Block 2 – Intermediate Language; Beginner Song
    • Block 3 – Advanced Language; Intermediate Song
  • Thursday
    • Block 1 – Intermediate Language; Beginner Song
    • Block 2 – Advanced Language; Intermediate Song
    • Block 3 – Beginner Language; Advanced Song



Christine PrimroseChristine Primrose

Rugadh agus thogadh Christine Primrose ann an Càrlabhagh ann an Eilean Leòdhais far an robh a’ Ghàidhlig mar chànan làitheil, agus tha i air a bhith a’ seinn bho ’s cuimhne leatha. Tha an t-seinn aice air a toirt air feadh an t-saoghail, gu h-àraid ann an Ameireaga, Canada, Astràilia, Èirinn agus pàirtean dhan an Roinn Eòrpa. Tha i a’ teagasg òrain Ghàidhlig air a’ chùrsa BA (le Urram) Gàidhlig agus Ceòl Traidiseanta aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a’ Cholaiste Ghàidhlig anns an Eilean Sgitheanach agus cuideachd air na cùrsaichean goirid aig a’ Cholaiste. Tha i air iomadh duais a thogail airson a cuid seinn, nam measg Seinneadair Gàidhlig na Bliadhna aig na ‘Trad Awards’ ann an 2009. Ann an 2017 chaidh àite a thoirt dhith ann an Talla Deagh-chliù Ceòl Traidiseanta na h-Alba agus chaidh urram MBE a bhuileachadh oirre airson an t-seirbheis a thug i, agus a tha i a’ toirt fhathast, do cheòl Gàidhlig, Cultar agus Fòghlam ann an Alba agus gu h-eadar-nàiseanta.

Christine Primrose was born and brought up in Carloway in a Gaelic-speaking community on the Island of Lewis and has been singing for as long as she can remember. She has toured in America, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Europe. She is Head of Gaelic Song at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye, where she teaches short courses and full-time classes on the BA (Hons) Gaelic & Traditional Music Programme. She has won many awards for her singing, amongst them ‘Gaelic Singer of the Year’ at the Traditional Music Awards in 2009. She was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2017 and was awarded an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List for “Services to Gaelic Music, Culture and to Education in Scotland and internationally”.

Alec Bhaltos MacDonaldAlec Bhaltos MacDonald

Alec MacDonald is known locally as Alec ‘Bhaltos’, Bhaltos being the village where he comes from. He was born and bred on Skye, with Gaelic being the language of the home and its crofting community.

Although Alec still has the family home there, today he lives and works in Aberdeen. He is a Teaching Fellow at Aberdeen University and he also works at translating scripts and doing voiceovers for children’s cartoons, which can be seen on BBC Alba.

He has been teaching Gaelic to adults for over thirty years; the majority of those years in Scotland itself but some also in America, Canada, and Germany. He teaches regularly at Ceòlas in South Uist, at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye, and at evening and weekend classes throughout Scotland.

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