A choir’s win at the Royal National Mod was dedicated to a popular Harris-born Gaelic tutor who championed the language in the central belt.
Mary Ann Brown, who died in 2020, was remembered by winners, Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir, as it struck gold twice.
The choir took first place in both the choral unison open under 19’s and the choral puirt a beul under 19’s competitions at the Royal National Mod.
The 11-strong choir wowed the judges after taking to the stage at Gannochy Auditorium at Perth Concert Hall earlier today.
Gaelic accuracy is due to Mary Ann Brown
Conductor Mary Maclean, who has been with the choir for 33 years, was delighted the group triumphed after a tough two years due to the pandemic.
The group dedicated its performance to Mrs Brown.
Mrs Maclean said she had a profound influence on the group over the years.
She added: “Due to the short time we had to learn, it was a struggle memorising the words. Even right up to the last minute.
“The adjudicators, one of them actually spoke to me and said in all of her years adjudicating the puirt a beul, she’s never heard anything so accurate.
“Each word was completely accurate, all the word endings.
“I don’t take the credit for that, although I am doing the Gaelic with them. It is the influence that Mary Anne Brown had on them over the years.”
Mrs Brown was involved with Gaelic throughout the central belt of Scotland. She was convenor of Cumbernauld Gaelic Choir, the Stirling provincial mod, and worked throughout the area to promote Gaelic language and culture.
Delighted with the win
Mrs Maclean – winner of the Gold Medal in 1969 – said the choir’s performance wowed the judges.
Speaking of the choir’s win, Mrs Maclean said: “I am absolutely delighted.
“We were quite late in starting up again. We had to make sure that Covid was well-and- truly away and we wondered how many we would get back.
“We have lost one or two singers unfortunately, but the bulk of the choir is still with me.
“The parents are all commenting how they have never had to force them out to choir. They are willing members and they enjoy one another’s company. They just have a ball.”
Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir has been in existence for 61 years.
Today it lifted the Queen Elizabeth Coronation (1937) Trophy; Alexander Hamilton Trophy; Jean Graham Memorial Trophy; the Martin Wilson (North Berwick) Trophy; East Kilbride District Council Trophy; the Ian Thomson Memorial Trophy; the Alistair MacNeill (North Berwick) Trophy; the Jean Walker Memorial Trophy and the Iain Thomson Memorial Prize.
The Falkirk-based group are no stranger to this competition at the Royal National Mod, having previously won first place on numerous occasions.