Interested in Scottish Gaelic, the ancient and revered tongue of Scotland that’s still spoken today? Please join us for the 15th Annual Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, July 7-12, 2013, at Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, NC.

An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (The American Scottish Gaelic Society, ACGA) brings you three distinguished Gaelic Instructors for a week of educational and fun-filled classes. James Graham and Kirsteen MacDonald are both Scottish Royal National Mòd gold medal winners for song. They will be teaching the intermediate and advanced classes. Dr. Jamie MacDonald, who was instrumental in founding the Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week and the NC Provincial Mòd, will be teaching the beginners’ classes.

This year’s instructors:

James Graham is from Lochinver in the far Northwest corner of Sutherland. In 2004, James won the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award – the first male and first Gaelic singer to do so. In 2007, James won the gold medal in Gaelic singing at the Royal National Mòd in Lochaber. James is a talented singer as well as an accomplished piper and he has released two acclaimed solo albums. Here’s a sample: James works with many artists in the Gaelic music scene, including Mary Ann Kennedy, Fiona Mackenzie, Brian Ó hEadhra, and Rachel Walker.

Kirsteen MacDonald is an award-winning singer and is a well-known BBC Gaelic television broadcaster. She has worked on the children’s show Dè a-nis? and is now BBC’s first ever Gaelic weather reporter. Kirsteen also presents the weekly news review programme, Seachd Là. In addition to teaching language and song, Kirsteen will also be covering the week’s activities and the Highland Games for the BBC.
Here’s a sample of Kirsteen’s music:

North Carolina’s own Dr. Jamie MacDonald will be teaching the beginners’ classes this year. Jamie holds a Ph.D. in Scottish Studies from the University of Edinburgh and a DipHE in Gaelic and Related Studies from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in the Isle of Skye. Jamie has taught Gaelic language and song in the U.S. and Scotland, and was Professor of Celtic Studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada.

Gaelic song and language classes will range from absolute beginners to advanced, so everyone can join in the fun. Every afternoon there will be additional activities, such as special topic workshops and hikes along the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain Trails.

For those who choose to stay on for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games the following weekend, there will be plenty of Gaelic heard at the Gaelic Tent, including the Gaelic sing-alongs. The 17th Annual North Carolina Provincial Gaelic Mòd will be held Saturday afternoon. The Mod is a Gaelic song competition that is open for anyone who wishes to take part.

More detailed information, including cost and registration form, is available at

To find out more about the Gaelic Week, you can contact Dr. Jamie MacDonald at 902-386-2072 or John Grimaldi at 917-756-3643. You may also contact us by email at or

Please join us!
A’ cumail na Gàidhlig Beò – Keeping Gaelic Alive!