THE cream of Gaelic voices are today celebrating winning the Traditional Gold Medal competitions at the 2011 Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), which comes to a close tomorrow, Saturday 22 October.
The Traditional Gold Medal is awarded for solo singing in Gaelic, with one medal up for grabs for men and one for women.
Wilma Kennedy (42) and Duncan Mackinnon (32) fought off stiff competition at a packed ceremony held last night in Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais (Lewis Sports Centre).
Wilma, 42 from Dundee, took the crown having competed many times but failing to quite take the prize and coming second in the competition five times. The recipient of the Mòd Gold medal in 1991 in Dingwall, Wilma had to wait another 20 years before picking up her next prize.
She said: “When my name was announced, I didn’t quite believe it. I first took part in the Traditional final in 1989 so it’s been a very long time coming.”
The winner of the male competition was Duncan Mackinnon, a television researcher for MacTV from Skye and now living in Lewis.
Duncan first competed in the Mòd at the tender age of eight and only decided to take part this year in order to honour two songs written and first performed by his great uncle.
He said: “I was just delighted to make it through the qualifying rounds so that I could perform these songs which haven’t been heard outside of the local community before. I’m delighted to have been awarded the medal and I’m sure my great uncle would be very proud.”