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Westcroft Winners! Success at the Perthshire & Angus Provincial Mod
Aberfeldy & District Gaelic Choir were once again victors in the Perthshire & Angus Provincial Mod, winning the Westcroft Trophy against stiff competition.
Seven choirs from as far away as Nairn, Mull and Cumbernauld participated in the competition which involved the singing of two four-part songs of their own choice. Aberfeldy chose Oran Do Iain Caimbeul A’ Bhanca, written by Duncan Ban McIntyre in tribute to his friend John Campbell of Killin who became Chief Cashier of the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1745; and a choir favourite, Soraidh ("Farewell") arranged by Kenny Thomson, conductor of the Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association.
At the end of the two songs, Choir leader, May Brown, was delighted with the Choir’s performance and all that remained was to wait for the adjudications at the end of the competition. Marks are given both for Gaelic and for Music; Aberfeldy scored 183 and 186 respectively (out of 200) for a total of 369, winning by one point over Cumbernauld (181/187) and by four points over Mull (181/184). The Choir was awarded the Westcroft Trophy as overall competition winners, and shared the Cuach Clachmhor (The Clachmor Quaich) for having the highest marks in Gaelic with Dundee Gaelic Choir. The Westcroft Trophy was presented by May Mitchell and Frances Matheson of Westcroft, Kenmore Street, Aberfeldy in 1974.
The Cuach Clachmhor was presented in memory of Helen T MacMillan, a Mod Gold Medallist and former Gaelic Tutor to the choir.
In the Puirt-a-Beul, the choir sang well achieving 4th place in the competition.
Several choir members also took part in other competitions with Sarah MacDougall winning the Irvine Memorial Medal for solo singing, May Brown and Gilliain MacDonald winning the Tracy Ogilvie & Katrina Falconer Trophy for duet singing, and John Duff winning the T M Stewart (Aberfeldy) Memorial Cup for solo singing.
The post-Mod ceilidh took place in the evening at the Moness Hotel and Country Club and was a great success. Most of the choirs attended along with numerous others and enjoyed a fabulous meal and evening’s entertainment. Jimmy Lindsay’s ceilidh band provided the dance music, and contributions of solos, duets and other pieces were provided from members of the various choirs. The highlight of the evening was the massed choirs singing a variety of songs – Sine Bhan, Gleann Bhaile Choil, Cearcall A Chuain and Calum Taillear. At the end of the evening, everyone went home happy and vowing to come back again next year.
On Sunday, the Choir took part in the Songs of Praise Service at Aberfeldy Parish Church. The service was led by Rev Matthew Robertson and featured a number of hymns and songs to Gaelic tunes, Gaelic readings and prayers. The choir, augmented by some members of the congregation, sang French, a well known Gaelic Psalm tune and Athchuinge, a Gaelic blessing.
The Aberfeldy Mod weekend was a tremendous success for the choir; thanks should go to May Brown for her leadership of the Choir, Mary Stewart for her Gaelic tutoring, and to the Mod Committee for their arranging of all the events.