Lewis’ chorus wins Mod Prize he donated in memory of conductor
A Lewis choir takes him back to the islands after winning his own award at the Royal National Mod.
Back Gaelic Choir were awarded the Grampian Television Trophy and the Rod Mackenzie, Sgir a’ Bhac Memorial Baton after winning first place in the Women’s Rural Choir Competition at St John’s Kirk.
The occasion was moving for the group, having already given the baton in memory of their foundation conductor Rodney Mackenziedied a few years ago.
The prized stick was made on the Isle of Lewis and designed to represent his love of music, family and the island.
Conductor Avril Allen said receiving the award was an emotional moment.
She said: “We did it and gave it as a prize but we never won it but we did it today. It’s really moving.
“The stick is beautiful. It is made of wood from the grounds of Lewis Castle. There is a bit of antler my daughter and I found on the moor one day and it is hand painted by a local artist. It’s absolutely beautiful.
The competition was the first of two choir competitions from Return won, having triumphed at Puirt-a-beul earlier in the morning.
The group received the Aline MacKenzie Memorial Trophy and the John Young Memorial Stick as the conductor of the winning choir.
A warm return to the Mod
The proud bandleader says the band felt like a winner being back in competition at the Fashion.
“We did our best,” she added.
“After Covid we lost a few members but luckily we gained a few new members. We also kept quite a few members, but there were times when we weren’t really sure if the choir would return to the Mod. You just don’t know when you had such a big break.
“The pressure was off here a bit because we said if we get to the Mod and we sing all our songs, we won because we kept the choir going through this time. It’s a great feeling around the Mod with a lot of choirs. We all see ourselves saying to ourselves, “I’m so happy that your choir has succeeded.
“It’s really nice and really positive.
“Thank you to our Gaelic advisor Margaret Stewart and thank you to the choir for their dedication when it wasn’t easy.”
Already subscribed? Login
[Lewis choir wins Mod award they donated in memory of conductor]