Royal National Mod: Teenager wins top singing prize

Gold medal winners Angus MacLeod and Eilidh Cormack. Picture: Trevor Martin
Gold medal winners Angus MacLeod and Eilidh Cormack. Picture: Trevor Martin
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A SKYE teenager has followed in her father’s footsteps to win the top singing prize at the Royal National Mod.

Eighteen-year-old Eilidh Cormack was crowned the female winner of the prestigious Mod Gold Medal, while Inverness solicitor Angus MacLeod was named the male champion in his home city.

Eilidh, a Gaelic student at Glasgow University, won the prize at the first attempt.

She follows the example of her father, Arthur, who was also just 18 when he took the top singing honour during the 1983 Mod hosted in Motherwell.

She had gone into the final after a successful day in Wednesday’s qualifying round.

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The delighted teenager said: “My throat was a bit sore, so I managed just a little bit of practice last night.

“But I did get some sleep. It was my first time in the final, but I didn’t feel the nerves to be too bad. I’m just really happy to have won.”

She added that she never felt pressure to follow in her family’s musical footsteps – while her father also won Gold Medal, her mum Shona is also an accomplished Gaelic singer.

She said: “Having a dad who has won the fold medal and is well known can bring a sense of expectation, but at the same time it’s helpful too. He knows what it is all about.”

Dad Arthur Cormack, who had been commentating on the final for BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, said: “I’ve never pushed them. We’ve always said they have to want to do it for themselves.

“I can give her a wee hand, but she’s very musical herself and she studies Gaelic at university so doesn’t need help as far as the language is concerned.

“The competition has changed a lot since I won it, and in some respects, especially in the women’s section, it’s more competitive.”

The Men’s Gold Medal winner was Angus MacLeod, a 39-year-old solicitor from Inverness, with family connections to Lewis, Skye and Uist.

He sang as a junior, but he only took to the stage again three years ago after returning to his home town.

He is one of only eight men from Inverness to have won the Gold medal in the event’s 122 year history. He won the Traditional Gold Medal in 1999.

He said: “I’ve been competing in the Mod for many years and I’m absolutely delighted to have won the Gold medal.

“All the performances were of such a high standard, so I am over the moon. The cherry on the cake is winning in my home city, especially as it’s the first time the Mod has returned here in 17 years.

“I hope it’s not as long until it returns again.”

He has the opportunity to adding to his medal toll, as he also sings with the Inverness Gaelic Choir who will be competing for the Lovat and Tulibardine Shield tomorrow.

Thursday’s Mod results

VOCAL SOLOS - Gold Medal Finals (Women) - Eilidh NicCarmaig, Port Rìgh. (Men) - Aonghas MacLeòid, Inbhir Nis. Donald Thomson Prize for Gaelic - Aonghas MacLeòid, Inbhir Nis. An Comunn Gaidhealach Prize for Music - Eilidh NicCarmaig, Port Rìgh. Gilbert MacPhail Prizes for Music - Aonghas MacLeòid, Inbhir Nis. Innis MacLeod Prizes for Gaelic and Music - Aonghas MacLeòid, Inbhir Nis. Solo, with instrumental accompaniment (Largs Trophy) - Iain Gordon, Inbhir Narann. Silver Pendant Final (Learners) - Catherine Gemmell Memorial Trophy (Women) - Donna Dugdale, Tobermory. Alasdair MacInnes Memorial Trophy (Men) - Hector MacKechnie, Samharaidh. Morag Robb Memorial Salver for Gaelic - Donna Dugdale, Tobermory. John A MacRae Quaich for Music - Donna Dugdale, Tobermory. Traditional - Moray Trophy (women) - Kerrie Finlay, A’ Mhanachainn Lochaber Rotary Club Trophy (men) - Neil Macritchie, Càrlabhagh Donald Murray Memorial Trophy - Kerrie Finlay, A’ Mhanachainn. Boys (9-10) - Finlay MacLennan, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis

RURAL CHOIRS - Lorn Shield - Còisir Ghàidhlig an t-Sratha. Captain Angus Stewart Trophy for Music - Còisir Ghàidhlig an t-Sratha. Mrs Catherine C. MacDonald Silver Baton - Karen MacRae. Sheriff MacMaster Campbell Memorial Quaich - Còisir Ghàidhlig an Eilein Mhuilich. Selma Shield for Gaelic - (equal) Còisir Ghàidhlig an Eilein Mhuilich and Còisir Ghàidhlig Ìle. Grace Robertson Memorial Baton for Music - Elizabeth Jack. Grampian TV Trophy (Women) - Còisir Sgìr a’ BhacAngus MacTavish Memorial Trophy for Gaelic - Còisir Sgìr a’ Bhac. Blairgowrie Rotary Club Trophy for Music - Còisir Ghàidhlig an Eilean Mhuilich. Puirt-a-beul - Aline MacKenzie Memorial Trophy - Lochs Gaelic Choir. Calum Robertson Memorial Trophy for Gaelic - Lochs Gaelic Choir. Evelyn Huckbody Memorial Trophy for Music - Lochs Gaelic Choir. Hamish Graham, Strath, Trophy for Gaelic - Còisir Sgìr a’ Bhac. Sandy Heron Cup for Music - Còisir Sgìr a’ Bhac. Quartets - Stornoway Gaelic Choir Cup - Na Boireannaich Eile. Marshall Stormonth Memorial Trophy for Music - Na Boireannaich Eile. Ian Crighton Memorial Trophy for Gaelic - Còrdadh. Duets - Neil MacLean and Jenny M. B. Currie Trophy - Karen MacRae & Heather Healy, Port Rìgh.

CLARSACH - Ensembles - Open - Pilgrim Harps Trophy - Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce.