Gaelic Development Officer Update

Over the Summer I have had some great opportunities to support the language on the island. These have included running Bookbug sessions at Fèis bheag bhiodach each morning, leading Fèis bheag, co-leading some Gaelic themed nature walks and finally I took Bookbug on tour to TMF this year in the story tent.

This new term has started well with Gaelic classes recommencing with a very keen group of learners meeting each week. Bookbug continues to meet weekly on a Thursday for all under 5’s and their parents in the library. Sradagan also meets weekly for GM pupils to have a social setting to use their Gaelic in an immersive setting.

Còisir Bun-sgoil Thiriodh

Tiree Primary Choir

Since April last year, I have been meeting weekly with primary pupils (open to all in primary) at lunch times to learn Gaelic songs in preparation for the National Mòd in Glasgow. We formed a choir and several soloists came forward, keen to take part. This last month has seen our rehearsals increase as we prepared to first of all, attend the local Mòd in Tobermory on Friday 13th September.

This was the first time the choir had fully performed in public and for our youngest soloist, Isla Kennedy (age 5) to perform as well. We had a great trip and all the pupils behaved brilliantly. I was very grateful to the parent volunteers, Kirsty, Andy and Louise who helped in so many ways on this trip.

The youngsters really love singing and on the public bus from Craignure, sang through their whole repertoire, much to the enjoyment of the other passengers.

When it came to compete, the choir sang their hearts out and were up against several other choirs from Mull and nearby. We had to leave before the adjudication to catch our bus, but we were delighted to hear at the end of the day, that we had gained 2nd place in the unison comp. and 3rd in Puirt-a-beul and positioned 2nd overall. A great success!

Adding to this, our soloists all performed fantastically well, and we were delighted that Lucy Kennedy gained 1st place in singing 5-8-year olds and Kieran MacDonald gained 3rd place in 12-13-year-old. The feedback and adjudication for these competitions is so useful as we now go forward to compete in Glasgow at the National Mòd this month.

Since our return from Mull we have been out and about performing some more, as well as raising funds for future trips with the choir. We had a lovely afternoon with the residents and invited guests of Tigh Rudha. The choir and soloists each performed and were greatly encouraged by the response. Last Friday night, we held a premòd ceilidh and were delighted to be joined by the Tiree Pipe Band as well. Mabel Macarthur led the evening for us and ensured that everything flowed together really well. It was very well attended, with not enough chairs to seat everyone!

Once again, the soloists performed so well in front of a big crowd and we all enjoyed some tea and cake to finish off the evening. Thanks to all those who baked and served at this. Our final fundraising effort was to serenade the co-op shoppers on Saturday afternoon. We were very grateful for all the coins dropped into our tins and we all enjoyed this wee ceilidh in a very different location! Although the choir is small in number, they certainly make up for that in their enthusiasm and attitude towards performing. They are a great group of boys and girls and I am looking forward to attending the National Mòd with them this month!

If you would like to find out more about the work I do or would like to be involved to support and encourage Gaelic on Tiree then please do get in touch!

Mòran Taing!

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