2013 Immersion Weekend, Phoenix AZ, April 18-21, 2013

An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA) is pleased to be jointly sponsoring its 16th Annual Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend with the The Caledonian Society of Arizona (www.arizonascots.com). This will be the second ACGA Immersion Weekend held in Arizona, after a highly successful event last year in Flagstaff. The dates are April 18-21, 2013. A summary of the schedule is shown below.

The immersion weekend is a unique opportunity for learners of Scottish Gaelic to come together with more advanced and native speakers in both a classroom setting and informal gatherings. Whether you are a new learner with no experience or an advanced speaker, the immersion weekend will provide opportunities to speak Gaelic in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

We’ll likely have informal afternoon, or at least evening events on arrival day, Thursday, April 18th. We’ll have a full schedule of classes, workshops, and special events all day on Friday and Saturday, and morning sessions on Sunday, April 21. Extracurricular activities will include an evening events (banquet, ceilidh) on both Friday and Saturday evenings.

Our Teachers

Advanced Class: Michael Mackay began studying Scottish Gaelic in 1997 and has become fluent through the help of ACGA-sponsored events and through the teachers and native speakers he has met through the organization. He has appeared on the BBC Radio nan Gaidheal station for occasional news interviews on Aithris na Maidne and the Coinneach Mòr program, and contributes to the Internet podcast program Gaelcast, together with Liam Cassidy and Ed Bradshaw. Michael has been teaching Gaelic to students across the country, both on behalf of ACGA and via Skype on the Internet. We’re especially proud of him, though, for his second-place finish in the Traditional Singing competition at the 2011 Royal National Mòd of Scotland.

Intermediate Class: Muriel Fisher has brought the Gaelic language into the lives of more than a thousand students using her lively style of teaching. She is a native speaker from the Isle of Skye, who founded the Tucson Gaelic Institute in 1983 and developed her own two year Gaelic language learning program — available on Amazon. Currently she teaches at the University of Arizona and at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s summer short course program. Muriel conducts classes online, as well. She works with the Linguistics Department at the University of Arizona on a National Science Foundation grant studying the intricacies of Gaelic. You may also hear her from time to time on BBC Reidio nan Gaidheal.

Beginning Class: Scott Morrison has been studying Gaelic for over eight years. His teachers have included: Nick Freer, Liam Cassidy, Michael MacKay, Angus MacLeod (of Cape Breton), and Gillebride MacMillan (of South Uist).

Mr. Morrison has been teaching Gaelic through the Atlantic Gaelic Academy for the past three years and has been teaching his four children Gaelic since he started learning. He also taught at this event last year. An accomplished musician, Mr. Morrison teaches percussion and Celtic Traditional music in his studio called Rimshots. In particular, he teaches the Bodhràn, the Tin Whistle, the Bones, and the Spoons. Mr. Morrison also sings many Gaelic songs (learned from Gillebride) and won the men’s traditional singing contest in the US National Mòd in 2011. Mr. Morrison has also won numerous awards at previous Mòds for Gaelic poetry writing, poetry recitation, and story telling including the coveted Argyll Cup for outstanding scholarship three times.

Our Venue:

Classes and workshops will be at the Irish Cultural Center. This pleasant building is the center of culture for all of the Celtic organizations in Phoenix.

The Irish Cultural Center
1106 North Central Avenue
Phoenix Arizona 85004

Our Official Residence Hotel:

It is recommended that attendees book rooms at the Phoenix Place Hotel & Suites. We have arranged special group rates here, and transportation will be provided between this hotel and the classes and other events. Call 602-604-4906 to reserve a room. Ask for the ACGA Gaelic Weekend rate ($79/room/night, multiple occupancy allowed). Contact the Registrar (see below) if you would like help finding a roommate.

The Phoenix Place Hotel & Suites
3600 North 2nd Ave Phoenix, Arizona 85013
Phone: 602.604.4900
Toll Free: 800.726.9969
Fax: 602.604.4901

The hotel website (http://www.phoenixplacehotel.com/) also contains useful information about local attractions, events, transportation, etc.

Event Schedule

Attendees should arrange to arrive the afternoon or evening of Thursday, April 18. We will have some sort of informal evening event on Thursday for those who arrive early enough. Classes will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, and workshops on Friday and Saturday afternoons. There will be a ceilidh on Friday evening, and a banquet/ceilidh on Saturday evening.

The banquet on Saturday will be provided by the Caledonian Society.

We will be offering workshops on Friday and Saturday on Scottish History, Ceilidh Dance, Celtic percussion and Gaelic song which will be open to the public.

Registering for the Event

You’ll find the registration form, including all costs and special arrangements, here.

For Additional Information

For other information about the event, the venue, the local area, etc., contact either of: