Celtic Connections

The choir is off on it’s travels again early in the new year – We are performing alongside Blazin’ Fiddles as part of the Strings Attached – The Next Generation concert at Celtic Connections.

Featuring the fantastic talents of singer-songwriters Adam Holmes, Rachel Sermanni and Aoife O’Donovan, the concert is built around the art of accompaniment, with the choir providing the vocal backdrop. Here’s Rachel performing a song written by Adam, just to give you a flavour:

The following night, the men of the choir (performing as ‘Trosg’) will be providing backing for a stellar lineup of Gaelic singers, as An Lòchran attempt to re-create the legendary atmosphere of the hallowed hostelry Bùth Dhòmhnaill ‘ic Leòid, within the Strathclyde Suite.

Mary Ann Kennedy will lead a troupe comprising Arthur, Eilidh and Ruairidh Cormack, Rona Lightfoot, Robert John MacInnes, Sineag MacIntyre, and the choir’s own Angus MacLeod.

There may be a dram taken.

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Trad Music Awards

Na Trads

To top off a great year for traditional music in Inverness, the city will also be the host for this years Traditional Music Awards. The venue is the Leisure Centre in Bught Park, but tickets can be bought through Eden Court Box Office

There is still time to vote for your favourites – The Choir have been nominated in the Community Project category – which is a great recognition of the hard work so many volunteers have put in over the last 25 years to keep Gaelic music alive and well in the capital of the Highlands.

We are also delighted for Angus MacLeod, who has been nominated as Gaelic singer of the year – If you haven’t been lucky enough to hear him sing, there is a clip from his Gold-medal-winning performance at this year’s Mod below:

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Cairdeas-Cogaidh

In the week of Armistice Day, BBC Alba featured a great documentary tracing the stories of two men who fought in WW1.

One of the men was the Great-Uncle of Professor Donald Meek from Tiree, remembered in his poem ‘Iain againn fhìn’ which was arranged for us by Mary Ann Kennedy and was our own choice at the National Mod.

You can watch it online for another few days, it’s a fascinating and moving piece of work.

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25th Anniversary Celebration

chrissie Inverness Gaelic Choir is rounding off the success of this year’s Royal National Mod in Inverness with a special celebration dinner dance to mark 25 years since the choir was re-established in the city.

Fresh from a competitive performance at the Royal National Mod on home turf Coisir Gaidhlig Inbhir Nis is welcoming all present and past members, friends and supporters to a special night of music, stories, food and dancing on 15 November at the Drumossie Hotel.

Choir President Chrissie Cumming says:

“2014 has been an historic year for the choir both at home and further afield and members have made special efforts to ensure all Invernessians can feel proud of the quality of its home choir and the city’s Gaelic music makers. Being part of a choir is very much like being part of a family and over the past twenty five years, like all families we have had our ups and downs. But we have also known and made beautiful music with some wonderful people and loved and lost many great characters and true friends. We want to remember and thank them all for playing their part in this wonderful journey through the Gaelic language and its music that we so love and cherish. We also want to celebrate the musical achievements we have shared over the years to encourage those who will sustain the choir for the next twenty five years.”

This year the choir enjoyed the Royal National Mod in its home city by sharing the Mod’s top music award in the prestigious Lovat and Tullibardine with Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association and in a special solo achievement choir member Angus Macleod won the coveted men’s Gold Medal.

Further afield the choir has had a busy year under Musical Director Mary Ann Kennedy. During the summer the choir travelled hundreds of miles touring and performing her specially commissioned work Aiseag (The Ferry Boat) at London’s South Bank Centre, the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games and at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye. The Aiseag performances were also broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and were the subject of special documentary film by Magnus Graham screened on BBC Alba.

In 2014 the choir also launched an initiative to support learners of the language and promote its use around the city. All members benefited from a funded programme of Gaelic language lessons and Saturday workshops.

Chrissie added:

“The choir always welcomes new and returning members who are enthused by the exciting new projects and the prospect of continued musical success at the Royal National Mod in Oban next October. Under our Gaelic adviser Janet MacGregor we can provide support and encouragement to non-Gaelic speakers to participate fully in the joy of learning and performing our wonderful Gaelic songs.”

The 25th Anniversary Dinner Dance will have well known Gaelic personality Ryno Morrison as guest speaker and the Cast Ewe Ceilidh band will provide the music. Tickets priced £30 are available from Choir members or by emailing invernessgaelicchoir@gmail.com

The choir will be holding its AGM on Wednesday 3rd December at 7pm at the British Legion.

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Mòd Inbhir Nis 2014

Congratulations to the winning choirs, and the hand of friendship to everyone who took part, it was a great celebration and a fine reward for all the hard work put in by the organisers and competitors.

Here are our pieces from the L&T:

Iain Againn Fhìn is based on a fine poem by Donald Meek, in memoriam for his uncle, killed at the battle of Arras in 1917. You can read more of his story on Donald’s blog.

See you all in Oban if not before!

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Meal an naidheachd Aonghas MacLeòid!

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A tale of two Invernesses

Inverness is most definitely a good place to be at as the nine day festival of language, music, culture and craic which is the National Mod rolls into town this Friday. The choir will be supervising themselves, as our esteemed Musical director Mary Ann Kennedy is currently on the other side of the Atlantic – in Inverness, as it happens!

CampbellsIf you happen to find yourself in our Nova Scotian namesake this Saturday, don’t miss Mary Ann singing with her sister Wilma and cousin Maggie as part of the Celtic Colours festival.

To whet your appetite for the Mod, here are a handful of the events which will be taking place this side of the pond. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint!

Fri 10th 7pm TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION CROWN SCHOOL – Inverness welcomes the Royal National Mòd with a torchlight procession through Inverness to Eden Court Theatre for the opening ceremony and concert. Pipe bands and street theatre will add to the festival atmosphere.

Fri 10th 8pm BOTHAN INBHIR NIS UPSTAIRS AT HOOTENANNY – TROSG plus guests

Sun 12th 3pm GAELIC SERVICE OLD HIGH CHURCH – An inter-denominational service giving thanks for the Royal National Mod’s visit to Inverness, led by the Rev Norman Maciver.

Sun 12th 8pm CELTIC PRAISE INVERNESS CATHEDRAL – A joyous Sunday celebration of praise in one of the city’s most impressive churches.

Mon 13th 8pm URBAN TEUCHTARS EDEN COURT – with Kathleen Macinnes and Sineag Macintyre; the golden voice of Jenna Cumming, and the dynamic sound of Barluath. A concert not be missed.

Wed 15th 1pm MAC-TALLA COGAIDH INVERNESS TOWN HOUSE -The poems and songs of Rev John Macleod set to music by Erik Spence. Features James Graham, Kirsteen Menzies, Dingwall Gaelic Choir, Lochardil Primary Choir.

Fri 17th 3pm CÈILIDH AT THE LEGION The Islands Ceilidh Band with Murdigan Dòmhnallach and Ewan Morrison

Fri 17th 8pm CÈILIDH AT THE LEGION The Monach Isle Ceilidh Band with Michael Macmillan gets everyone on the dance floor.

Sat 18th
10.30am MASSED CHOIRS Choirs march through the city to Inverness Castle Esplanade. Non- choir members are welcome to join the singing. The Royal National Mòd banner will be handed over to Oban Local Organising Committee as they take over the reins for next year.

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Mod Preview

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Blas Celtic Thanksgiving, Sunday 7th

cathedral-450 We will be singing as part of a service of Thanksgiving this Sunday at St. Andrews Cathedral, Inverness.

Also performing are Trosg and Ceitidh Smith

The service begins at 17:30 and is being recorded for broadcast on BBC Alba.

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Aiseag on Air

soundcheck_GlasgowAt the close of a fantastic weekend, we’d like to thank everybody who attended the performances of Aiseag, particularly our choral colleagues who joined us for a slightly damp but enthusiastic massed choir on the steps of the concert hall before the (delayed) final sailing. Mòran Taing!

The crew of Aiseag have accumulated an impressive tally of miles by air, land and sea, and we are grateful to the agencies who have assisted the project – including the Inverness Common Good Fund, and the Celebrate 2014 program. Thanks also to the individuals who supported our fund-raising cèilidhs.

The Glasgow performance of ‘Aiseag’ will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 22:00 on 9 August 2014 along with the other New Music Biennial commissions.

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