Two former Royal National Mòd Gold Medal winners — Lyle and Kerrie Kennedy of Oban, Scotland — will adjudicate this year’s US National Mòd, Mòd Naiseanta Aimeireagaidh, on Saturday, Nov. 11. For the fourth consecutive year, the event will be held entirely online, allowing Scottish Gaelic enthusiasts from across North America and beyond to participate.

Click here to register for the event.

Both competitors and any interested in Gaelic language and culture are welcome at the online event. There is a basic fee of $25 for all registrants and an additional $20 fee for competitors. The $25 fee includes online admission to the competitions, cèilidh and workshops. All proceeds go to support the Mòd, one of two major annual events organized by ACGA.

Lyle and Kerrie have been active in the Royal National Mòd, regional mòds, and Gaelic choirs in Scotland for many years. Kerrie and Lyle, now married, won their Gold Medals at the Royal National Mòd in Falkirk in 2008, and both attended the US National Mòd in 2009. We’re delighted to have them join us for our 34th annual celebration of Gaelic song and culture.

“At ACGA. we see the Mòd as a celebration of Scottish Gaelic ‘language arts,’ arts developed through the spoken language such as song, storytelling and poetry,” said ACGA president Liam Ó Caiside. “We’re looking forward to welcoming Lyle and Kerrie to our online event along with many past attendees and competitors, and to meeting new friends as well.

“Our Mòd has a long history, and although COVID prevented us from holding a live, in-person event the past few years, our online event has brought more Gaelic learners, speakers, and enthusiasts together than we could have hoped for,” said Liam Ó Caiside, ACGA president.

The past year has seen the rise of regional US mòds as well, with events in New York, Baltimore-Washington, DC, North Carolina, and Kentucky. ACGA has sponsored several of these events and encourages the growth of local live song competitions and gatherings.

Two new competitions

Two new virtual competitions will be added to the US National Mòd this year: an accompanied song competition and a group singing competition. Competitors in those events will pre-record their performances and send video recordings (mp4s) to ACGA ahead of the Mòd for adjudication. The videos may be shared with attendees during the US National Mòd.

The accompanied song competition is open to any who wish to accompany themselves while performing a Scottish Gaelic song of their choice. A variety of instruments may be chosen: guitar, harp, piano, small pipes, ukulele – check with the registrar. The group singing competitions includes everything from duets to choirs. Again, check with the registrar.

Videos must be submitted by Nov. 1.

On the morning of Nov. 11, the Mòd will feature competitions in poetry recitation, original poetry, storyrtelling, and sight reading (reading a piece of Gaelic prose on first sight). In the afternoon, we will have beginner and general song competitions. The competitions will be followed by an online cèilidh, a song-sharing event, late Saturday afternoon. The event concludes at 6 pm.

Lyle and Kerrie will offer workshops on Sunday morning, Nov. 12. The topics of those workshops will be announced.