Celebrations for Strath Gaelic Choir

Strath Gaelic Choir were celebrating last Thursday after winning the Lorn Shield — the premier Mod competition for rural choirs.

It was the first time since 2003 that the award had headed to Skye, with the choristers also scooping the Captain Angus Stewart Trophy for music into the bargain.

Strath conductor Karen MacRae, who returned to the role last year after a 10-year absence, said the prize was reward for the dedication of all the choir members.

“Everyone has worked really hard this year — it’s a great boost for the choir and hopefully it can encourage more folk to come and join us,” she said. “In some ways it’s a sweeter win this year, as we have waited so long for it.”

Karen was one one of a group of nine current Strath members who sang when the choir made its Mod debut in 1979.

During the Mod in Inverness the versatile conductor led the Portree choir and the recently-established Skye male voice choir. Karen also teamed up with Heather Harvey to win the duet singing competition last Wednesday.

And in the quartet competition the Strath contingent — Karen, Brenda Howieson, Barbara Smith and Pat Anderson — came second, and won the Ian Crighton Memorial Trophy for Gaelic.

Skye man is Gaelic Learner of the Year