Published: 30 May 2018
The Royal National Mòd will return to Dunoon this year, and so my colleague Seonag Anderson and I took to the road again with our Mòd Roadshows, visiting schools throughout the Dunoon and wider Argyll area. We spent three days speaking with pupils in 7 different schools and we will be visiting more schools across the region next month.
The Roadshows were first launched in Oban in 2015. Every year since, we have visited the schools in the regions that the Mòd is held. The main objective of the visits is to generate interest and awareness among the young to take part in their Mòds. The Roadshows are proving successful in helping to reinvigorate interest in the festival among young competitors.
It’s important that the youngsters of Dunoon and the surrounding Argyll area are a big part of what’s going on at the Mòd in October, indeed, it’s their event. They can do this, of course, by taking part in competitions. However, if they don’t wish to compete then there will be plenty of other opportunities in which they can be part of the event. There’ll be the usual workshops, concerts, music sessions and parades outwith the competitions and we hope they will all get involved in some way or another.
Our intention with the Roadshows is to make youngsters aware of the Local Mòds as well as the National, in a fun, interesting and engaging way. We want children to be aware of how the Mòd can act as a spring board for potential future musical careers and we are very much enjoying the visits. It would be great to have a strong representation from Dunoon itself at this year’s event because there is so much talent there. Our Roadshows will visit schools as far afield as Taigh na Bruaich, Strachur, Greenock and Glendaruel, visiting 11 schools in total.
There is also important work going on in Dunoon just now with children receiving tuition through the ‘Mòd Academy’ scheme. We have been working in partnership with Fèisean nan Gàidheal and Fèisgoil in order to supply schools with visiting music tutors for the Mòds. School children are getting the opportunity to learn Mòd material from the visiting tutors and it is hoped that this scheme will help increase the number of competitors attending the Mòd, making sure the district is well represented.
As many of you will know, as part of Scottish Government’s programme of themed years, 2018 is the ‘Year of Young People’, and, more than ever, we want to contribute to this special year by encouraging our young people to become involved in the Gaelic Arts. It’s extremely pleasing to see them taking part at Local and National Mòds as our young people are crucial to the language.
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