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MOD 2021: Gaelic learners and teenagers – Anndra Cumming, Ellie Ceit Johnson, Maria Monk and Innes John Begg – from across Scotland picked up prestigious competition wins at the Royal National Mòd in Inverness today


By Louise Glen

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Ellie Ceit Johnson, age 15 from the Isle of Harris, won the Solo Singing Fluent Girls ages 13-15 – An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Pendant at The Royal National Mòd 2021.
Ellie Ceit Johnson, age 15 from the Isle of Harris, won the Solo Singing Fluent Girls ages 13-15 – An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Pendant at The Royal National Mòd 2021.

Teenagers from across Scotland picked up prestigious competition wins at the Royal National Mòd in Inverness today.

Anndra Cumming from Gairloch, Ellie Ceit Johnson from the Isle of Harris, Glasgow Gaelic School pupil Maria Monk from Bearsden and Innes John Begg, from the Isle of Lewis all won their in person competitions at Tuesday’s events.

Picture shows Anndra Cumming, age 15 from Gairloch High School winner of the Solo Singing Fluent Boys ages 13-15 - An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Kilt Pin at The Royal National Mòd 2021, in Inverness, Scotland, Tuesday 12th
Picture shows Anndra Cumming, age 15 from Gairloch High School winner of the Solo Singing Fluent Boys ages 13-15 - An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Kilt Pin at The Royal National Mòd 2021, in Inverness, Scotland, Tuesday 12th

Gairloch High School pupil Anndra Cumming (15) won the Solo Singing Fluent Boys ages 13-15 - An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Kilt Pin.

He said: “I’ve competed at most of the Mòds during my life and first started singing when I was about six years old, it’s a great passion.

“I’m very proud with what I’ve achieved today and have worked hard for it. It’s good to add this to the collection having won the Traditional Kilt Pin two years ago!

“I sang the song every day going to school to learn it.

“I’d like to say thanks to my Dad for encouraging me to practice all the time.”

Picture shows Maria Monk, age, from Glasgow Gaelic School winner of the Solo Singing Fluent - Girls ages 13-15 - Traditional Silver Pendant at The Royal National Mòd 2021, in Inverness, Scotland, photographed wearing her Silver Pendant prize and holding the Ann Kelly MacDonald Memorial Trophy at the River Ness on Tuesday 12th October 2021
Picture shows Maria Monk, age, from Glasgow Gaelic School winner of the Solo Singing Fluent - Girls ages 13-15 - Traditional Silver Pendant at The Royal National Mòd 2021, in Inverness, Scotland, photographed wearing her Silver Pendant prize and holding the Ann Kelly MacDonald Memorial Trophy at the River Ness on Tuesday 12th October 2021

Ellie Ceit Johnson (15) from the Isle of Harris, won the Solo Singing Fluent Girls ages 13-15 – An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Pendant.

She said: “I prepared for today with lots and lots of practising and it feels amazing to have won – all the hard work has paid off, it’s great.

“I’ve been competing since I was in primary two and it was such a strange feeling not to have the Mòd in October last year but I’m glad I’m back.”

Glasgow Gaelic School pupil Maria Monk, who is in third year of high school and lives in Bearsden and whose family is from South Uist, won the Solo Singing Fluent Girls ages 13-15 Traditional Silver Pendant and the Ann Kelly MacDonald Memorial Trophy.

She said: “It honestly feels amazing to have won as I’ve not been out competing at the Mod for a long time because of Covid so it was a really nice experience.
“To win the competition is just incredible, I was not expecting it at all so I’m very pleased because I’ve been working hard for it.

“An old teacher of mine, Mrs Richardson, helped me prepare and I listened to recordings to learn the rhythm and pitch. My mum is fluent in Gaelic so she helped me with the Gaelic which was very nice.”

Innes John Begg, 15, from the Isle of Lewis who attends The Nicolson Institute, won the Solo Singing Fluent boys ages 13-15 Traditional Silver Kilt Pin.
Innes John Begg, 15, from the Isle of Lewis who attends The Nicolson Institute, won the Solo Singing Fluent boys ages 13-15 Traditional Silver Kilt Pin.

Innes John Begg (15) from the Isle of Lewis who attends The Nicolson Institute, won the Solo Singing Fluent boys ages 13-15 Traditional Silver Kilt Pin.

He said: “It very good to come back to the mòd and compete again after not having much of it at all, I’ve missed it.

“Repetition was key, learning the song and then just singing it again and again, I tried to keep it as simple as I could.

“I’ve sang from the age of five at the mòd – as soon as I could – and I’m looking forward to next competition already.”

James Graham, chief executive officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “The children’s competitions are a very important part of Mòd week. They showcase the young talent that is starting to break through, and give an encouraging insight into the health of the future of Gaelic culture and song.”

Ellie Ceit Johnson, age 15 from the Isle of Harris, won the Solo Singing Fluent Girls ages 13-15 – An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Pendant at The Royal National Mòd 2021.
Ellie Ceit Johnson, age 15 from the Isle of Harris, won the Solo Singing Fluent Girls ages 13-15 – An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Pendant at The Royal National Mòd 2021.

Highland Council’s Gaelic committee, chairman Cllr Calum Munro said: Participation in the local and national Mòds is an extremely valuable life skill which inspires confidence for our young people in public speaking and performing while continuing to foster cultural pride and growth in the Gaelic language.”


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