NYC Tartan Week Hosts First Ever Scottish Gaelic Song Contest: The NYC Tartan Week Mòd


CONTACT: Leah Rankin | Communications Director

NYC Tartan Week Hosts First Ever Scottish Gaelic Song Contest:
The NYC Tartan Week Mòd

Two-day Event Held in Celebration of NYC Tartan Week’s
25th Anniversary at The Tailor Public House

on April 12 & 13

March 9, 2023 (New York, NY)NYC Tartan Week, the largest annual Scottish cultural gathering in NYC, hosts its first ever Scottish Gaelic song contest, The NYC Tartan Week Mòd, in celebration of NYC Tartan Week’s 25th Anniversary on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Thursday, April 13, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at The Tailor Public House. Singers from across North America, Scotland, and beyond are invited to compete in this historic event, which is held in association with An Comunn Gàidhealach and hosted by Mòd Gold Medalist and BBC Alba’s SpeakGaelic presenter, Joy Dunlop.

“The tradition of the Mòd is one we’ve enjoyed in Scotland for over 100 years, and we are so proud to bring this event to NYC for the first time,” Joy Dunlop said. “It’s a beautiful way to celebrate our community and our history and keep this important part of our culture thriving on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The event kicks off on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 with a series of workshops in Scottish Gaelic language, Gaelic song, and Scottish step and cèilidh (group) dancing. Hosted by Joy Dunlop the workshops are led by an accomplished roster of teaching artists and are open to all ages and skill levels. The full workshop schedule is listed below.

The competition held on Thursday, April 13, 2023 showcases singers ages 16 and up performing one of six prescribed Gaelic songs, or their own selected Gaelic song, in person before a panel of judges. Each singer performs unaccompanied and without sheet music and the judges score the live performances on both Gaelic and music to select the winning performance. The winner will be crowned NYC Tartan Week Mòd Champion 2023 with a cash prize sponsored by the New York Caledonian Club, and the winner is invited to perform at the at the New York Caledonian Club Pre-Parade Ceilidh on Friday, April 14th at 6:00 p.m. at The View at The Battery.

James Graham, Chief Executive Officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “The Royal National Mòd is the biggest celebration of Gaelic language so it felt only fitting that we partnered up with North America’s largest annual Scottish cultural gathering. It’s wonderful to see NYC Tartan Week bring its own mòd to life across the Atlantic for what will be a fantastic opportunity for Gaelic speakers across the pond to take part in a Gaelic singing competition. This pilot project has so much potential, and we look forward to continue growing this friendship in years to come.”

The 2023 NYC Tartan Week and the NYC Tartan Day Parade are organized by the National Tartan Day New York Committee with support from Scotland Shop, Belhaven, NHSCOT, The Scottish Government, Scottish Business Network, New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, and Compliant Global.


Event Details:
The NYC Tartan Week Mòd Workshops
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Upstairs at The Tailor Public House | 505 8th Ave | New York, NY 10018
Tickets: $40

Workshop Schedule:
10:00 a.m. Introduction to conversational Gaelic (beginners)
11:00 a.m. Introduction to Gaelic song (beginners)
12:00 p.m. Come and try Scottish step dancing (hard soled shoes preferable)
2:00 p.m. Gaelic Song workshop 2 (intermediate/advanced)
3:00 p.m. Come and try Scottish Cèilidh Dancing

The NYC Tartan Week Mòd
Thursday, April 13, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Upstairs at The Tailor Public House | 505 8th Ave | New York, NY 10018
Tickets: $30 for competitors, free for audience members

The NYC Tartan Week Mòd is supported by New York Caledonian Club, The Tailor Public House, Scottish Business Network, and An Comunn Gàidhealach.


What is a Mòd
A Mòd is a traditional gathering of people to celebrate Scottish Gaelic music – think of it as one of the best cèilidhs and parties in town! In Scotland, the The Royal National Mòd© was first hosted in Oban in 1892 by An Comunn Gàidhealach and NYC Tartan Week is proud to partner with this association for The NYC Tartan Week Mòd. ‘An Comunn’ was formed in 1891 in Oban, Scotland as a vehicle for the preservation and development of the Scottish Gaelic language.

The Royal National Mòd© is the highlight of the Gaelic community calendar in Scotland and the annual festival is the largest gathering of Scottish Gaelic song, music, and culture in the world. Choirs, groups, quartets, duets, soloists, thespians, and musicians compete at this week-long gathering, with winners of its singing and musical competitions going on to delight audiences around the world.

We hope that the NYC Tartan Week Mòd will encourage interest in Gaelic learning and be an access point for those interested in the language to join the global community of Gaels. Fàilte a chàirdean! Welcome, friends! To find out more, visit

About An Comunn Gàidhealach
An Comunn Gàidhealach (The Highland Association) is a company with charitable status, founded in Oban in 1891 as a vehicle for the preservation and development of the Gaelic language. For many throughout the world, An Comunn is the body which represents the Scottish Gaelic language.

The Gaelic word “mòd” means “a gathering of people” and each October An Comunn hosts The Royal National Mòd© in a different location throughout Scotland. The Royal National Mòd© is the principal Gaelic language festival and a competitive event promoting Gaelic language and culture through music, song, dance, drama, literature, and the arts, which has been running since 1892. Through the organization and running of the Royal National Mòd© and supporting a network of 18 provincial Mòds across Scotland, An Comunn Gàidhealach continues to support and develop all aspects of the Gaelic language, culture, history and heritage at local, national and international level.

The event has Royal Assent and had HM The Queen as its Patron. The Royal National Mòd 2023 will be held in Paisley between 13-21 October 2023; and in 2024 will be held in Oban between 11-19 October 2024.

About Joy Dunlop
The only person to be crowned Traditional Singer of the Year & Traditional Dance Champion at the Pan Celtic Festival, Joy Dunlop’s singing career is the result of a life–long fascination with Scotland’s traditional music and has led her all over the world; from major Celtic festivals, to touring the UK, Europe, Canada, USA, Japan and New Zealand.

Through her singing, she showcases Gaelic music and song in a contemporary way that always remains true to its roots. Nominated as Gaelic Singer of the Year 2020, 2016, 2011 & 2010, she has also won both the coveted Royal National Mòd Gold Medal and the Oban Times Gold Medal. She has released two highly acclaimed solo albums, Dùsgadh and Faileasan and a duo album with her brother Andrew, entitled Dithis.

A popular television & radio broadcaster, Joy presents the weather on both BBC Scotland & BBC ALBA, in addition to being the main host of SpeakGaelic, the new and multi-faceted learning brand, offering the most comprehensive approach to learning Scottish Gaelic in a generation. With her trademark poise and depth of knowledge, Joy’s warmth and enthusiasm have made her increasingly in-demand in television and radio broadcasts alike, presenting the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition and being a frequent host and panelist on a wide range of music, current affairs and light entertainment programs.

A fluent Gaelic speaker, with an honors degree in Gaelic language and culture, she also conducts the Alba Choir, Scotland’s first and only Eurovision entry, who participated in the 2019 Eurovision Choir of the Year finals in Gothenburg, Sweden. To find out more, visit

About NYC Tartan Week & Tartan Day Parade
In 1999, two pipe bands and a small but enthusiastic group of Scottish Americans, led by Grand Marshal and Academy Award-winning actor Cliff Robertson, marched from the British Consulate to the UN in the first New York City Tartan Day Parade. Since then, the annual NYC Tartan Day Parade has brought together thousands of people from across NYC, the United States, and Scotland by providing meaningful connections through the celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. Organized by the National Tartan Day New York Committee, the Parade plays an integral role in marking National Tartan Day (April 6), a day declared by the U.S. Senate in 1998 to officially recognize the “outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States.” Now in its 25th year the NYC Tartan Day Parade, which is free to all those who participate and represents the highlight of a weeklong series of Scottish-themed festivities designated as “NYC Tartan Week,” includes over 3,000 bagpipers, Highland dancers, clan organizations, Scottish dog breeds, and more, proudly marching up Sixth Avenue amongst tens of thousands of spectators in person and online. The NYC Tartan Day Parade and NYC Tartan Week continue to attract the best Scottish and Scottish-American artists, entrepreneurs, organizations, and more in an effort to promote, support, and develop deeper personal connections with Scottish heritage in America. To find out more, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @nyctartanweek, and visit

About the National Tartan Day New York Committee
The National Tartan Day New York Committee was formed in 2002 and obtained official nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in 2003 to organize the NYC Tartan Day Parade and all the associated activities that make up NYC Tartan Week. In following its mission to celebrate and spread awareness of the contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States, the committee continually partners with organizations throughout New York City, the United States, and Scotland to present opportunities for those who have or identify with Scottish heritage to connect through more than a dozen Scottish-themed events each year during NYC Tartan Week. The committee is committed to providing meaningful exchanges and inspiring experiences in order to showcase the rich Scottish heritage that continues to thrive in America. The committee is comprised of representatives from The Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, The New York Caledonian Club, The American-Scottish Foundation, and Clan Campbell.

Photo at top of release by Kris Kesiak