It’s all coming up silver for two Highland singers as they triumph in the Silver Pendant.
Shona MacQueen from Drumnadrochit and Peter MacPherson from Inverness claimed the prestigious An Comunn Gaidhealach prize following a nail biting final at Eden Court.
Mrs MacQueen made an emotional return to the Mod this week following a 30-year-break from competing.
She previously competed as a teenager before dedicating her life to her four children and working as office manager in her father’s business.
The 43-year-old is now following in the footsteps of her mum who scooped the Gold Medal in the early 1990s.
Alongside the Silver Pendant, the mother-of-four won The Cathie Gemmell Memorial Trophy for the overall best marks in the ladies competition.
She said she’s “over the moon” to claim the prize in her hometown of Inverness.
She said: “I am just over the moon. I just can’t believe it.
“I last competed in a Mod 30 years ago so it’s crazy. I used to sing when I was in high school and life happened; I had four kids and have been working.
“My mum won the gold medal in 1994 so I was the next one in line to get my backside up on stage. It’s just taken me 30 years to get back up. It just felt as if she’s holding my hand there; it was very emotional.”
The performer praised organisers for the professionalism in conducting a “fantastic” Mod.
She added: “It was so nerve wracking. Everybody here has been absolutely fantastic with the Covid regulations, the dos and don’ts, telling you where to stand and what to do. The Inverness Mod committee, An Comunn Gaidhealach, everyone has just been so cool. All the staff at Eden Court have been excellent.”
‘I’m really blown away’
For 23-year-old Peter MacPherson the day proved to be particularly fruitful, securing every award available in both the qualifying and final rounds of the competition.
Over the course of the competition, the young singer secured five trophies alongside the prestigious Silver Pendant.
The 2021 Mod is only his second appearance at Scotland’s largest Gaelic festival, having previously competed in Stornoway in 2016.
He said its been a “whirlwind” experience.
“It’s fantastic. I’m really blown away,” Mr MacPherson said.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. You do your songs and you come backstage and a couple of my friends were in the wings. They were very encouraging.
“It was a joy to hear the other performers. I was on second so I got to hear the rest of the performers and they were all fantastic. It was really great to share in that.
“I’m living in the moment, enjoying it and hopefully share a drink with friends tonight.”
Cheering him on from the sidelines was his proud parents, his sister with her fiancé, his flat mates and his nana.
The 23-year-old, who currently studying at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, says he is dedicated at gaining fluency in the language he loves.
He added: “I’m at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig learning the language so I would love to gain fluency, that’s what I’m there for but it would be awesome to see where this would lead to.”