Condorrat pupils leading the way to national Mod success

Pupils taking part in Royal National Mod 2017, Fort William, from Greenfaulds High.
Pupils taking part in Royal National Mod 2017, Fort William, from Greenfaulds High.

The people of Cumbernauld were well represented at the Royal National Mod in Fort William.

And several children who attend Gaelic medium education at Condorrat Primary School had lots to celebrate last week.

Condorrat pupils who took part in Royal National Mod 2017, Fort William.

Condorrat pupils who took part in Royal National Mod 2017, Fort William.

For Isla Duke took first place in the song competition for age nine girls for fluent speakers, while Hannah MacLeod took first place in her solo song competition, age 7, also for fluent speakers.

In the poetry competitions, Jenna Yule took first place for age eight, for fluent speakers and she took third place for her solo song competition.

A duet from Condorrat featuring Caitlyn Yule and Johanna MacIver MacLeod was third in the under-13 duet competition.

And there was also success for pupils at Greenfaulds High School.

Eve Byrne took first place in her song competition for age 12 fluent speakers, while Rebecca Swallow and Hannah Russell took second place in the under 13 duet competition.

Marina MacLeod, depute head teacher at Condorrat, said: “Our pupils have been so sucessful at the Mods due to their parents steadfast commitment to helping their children learn their pieces.

“The school is strongly committed to encouraging our pupils to participate in Mods as we see them as part of their education.

“Many pupils choose to perform and we support them by producing sound files which they can use to practise at home.

“Very few of our parents have Gaelic so we need to support our families to learn at home.

“Our success in singing competitions is due to the fanstastic support given to us by Mary MacLean who comes in to the school to prepare children for the Mod.”

Mary MacLean was also a factor in another triumph involving several pupils.

She is the conductor of Falkirk Junior Gaelic choir, which came home with two trophies, winning the U19 puirt and two part harmony competitions, as well as a creditable second place.

Thirteen local pupils sing with the choir – Lucas MacBride, Eilidh MacKinnon MacLeod, Isla Duke, Morven Burns, Maeve Mackenzie, Johanna MacIver MacLeod, Caitlyn Yule and Jenna Yule are all from Condorrat.

Rebecca Swallow, Olivia Taylor, Hannah Russell, Emily Robertson and Orla Mackenzie are all at Greenfaulds.

Mark Yule, whose daughters were prize winners, is full of praise for Condorrat’s support.

“Being involved in the Mod is great for boosting their confidence,” said Mark.

“Caitlyn loves singing and has a real aptitude for it, so we hope she keeps it up.

“It’s also a really good way for them to practice their Gaelic outside school.

“Being in the choir also means they get to know each other well and we’ve got to know the other parents.

“At first it seems like it’s a community you’re outside but gradually we feel like we’re becoming part of it.

“And because the kids speak Gaelic, they are definitely becoming very much part of the community.

“That’s the big thing for us; to see that they are part of a culture and using the language, it’s great.

“The support they get from the school, in particular from Marina MacLeod and Mary McLean, is brilliant.”

Robyn Mackenzie, whose daughter Orla has just started at Greenfaulds, while Maeve still attends Condorrat, agrees that using the language outside school is important.

She said: “By meeting Gaelic speakers at the Mod, they realise it’s not just a school thing – it’s a way of life, a cultural thing.

“Some of the adjudicators are actually musicians and it’s inspiring for the children.

“And the school is amazing. It is 100 per cent behind the kids!”

Children are not the only ones flying the flag for Gaelic locally though.

Cumbernauld Gaelic Choir competed in the prestigious Lovat and Tullibardine competition, the puirt-a-beul and the ladies voices competition.

Choir member Emma Deans won the Sarah Weir trophy, for a song featuring Mull or Iona. Emma and twin sister Racheal were second in the duet, while Rhona McMillan and Rhona Morrison were fourth.