Coinneach Macleod netted the prestigious Silver Pendant at the Royal National Mod on his third attempt and admitted it was a great feeling.
The 43-year-old from Cromore, South Lochs, now living and working for UEFA in Glasgow, marked his hat-trick of appearances in the Silver Pendant Final with a stunning performance to land a prize he didn’t even consider possible until just three years ago.
“I was always a choir singer but my pal Theresa said she would enter solo if I did so I did then she told me she hadn’t,” he laughed.
“The first time I came second and I was so happy, I really couldn’t believe it.
“Then I was second again last year and I thought I should keep going until I managed to win it.”
Coinneach’s route to the final began with a storming result in qualifying where he enjoyed a comfortable points lead going into the final - something he says provided a welcome source of confidence.
“It made such a difference,” confessed Coinneach. “Last year I came into the final a wee bit behind and I could feel it in my confidence so to be ahead this year with the mornuing scores did make me feel much more relaxed going into the final.
“The song I chose too was such a fun song and I felt if I could get it right and give it laldy, the crowd would enjoy it and I was hoping the adjudicators might enjoy it too.”
He continued: “It was probably my cousin in the crowd but I heard a bit of a whoop from the back but hearing that made me skip off stage a wee bit. My friends were positive and it made me feel good after I had sung and I was fairly confident at that stage.”
Having only very recently relocated to Glasgow from London has meant Coinneach has had to cram over the past few weeks ahead of the Royal National Mod and he is full of thanks for his tutor and conductor in the Glasgow Islay Choir.
“I only moved back to Glasgow seven weeks ago so it has been an intensive period of learning for me and the songssound much different now to when I started,” he said.
“I’d like to thank my tutor Kirsteen Grant from the Glasgow Islay Choir for her help before this and now i better go learn my songs for the choir as well.”
The natural progression for solo singers usually takes them onto competing for the gold medal and traditional gold medal following success in the Silver Pendant but Coinneach is in no hurry at the moment.
“I’d love to have a go in the future at the gold or traditional but I think I’ll take a year off and have a life as it takes me a long time to learn these songs.”
“I’ll be showing this off in Cromore when I get back to Lewis,” he adds with a smile and a little glance to the sparkling silver in his hand.