Paisley Mòd Gold Medallists head stateside for Mòd Chesapeake, USA

3rd Jun 2024
The Gold Medal winners from last year’s Royal National Mòd in Paisley, Emma MacLeod and Iain Cormack (pictured), will attend Mòd Chesapeake in Maryland, USA, this August to celebrate the thriving Gaelic connection between Scotland and the USA.
As part of their prize for winning the coveted Gold Medals for Gaelic song, the pair will act as ambassadors at the regional festival, taking place on Saturday 3 August 2024, and will perform and teach two workshops, as well as attending a celebratory dinner and cèilidh in the evening.
Mòd Chesapeake, hosted by Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhòir, marks a significant milestone in the international outreach of the Royal National Mòd, emphasising its global footprint and fostering strong connections with diaspora communities.
Founded in 2023, the link between An Comunn Gàidhealach and the Chesapeake Mòd represents a revival of the longstanding tradition of cultural exchange between Scottish and American Gaelic enthusiasts, rekindling the spirit of camaraderie and shared heritage, with Iain and Emma’s journey across the pond serving as a testament to the enduring bonds that unite Gaelic communities worldwide.
Mòd Chesapeake was established by two local Gaelic groups – Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhòir in Baltimore, USA and Gàidhlig Photomac who are based in both Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, USA. Regional Mòds continue to grow in the United States, with Mòd New York and Mòd Kentucky also starting in 2023, and the North Carolina Mòd and U.S. National Mòd already established.
At Mòd Chesapeake, attendees will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Gaelic language and song through a series of workshops tailored for both beginners and advanced learners. Led by experienced instructors, these workshops offer a unique avenue for participants to deepen their understanding of Gaelic culture and elevate their language skills.
Mòd Gold Medallist Emma MacLeod, who is originally from Scalpay, was already a Traditional Gold Medallist when she won at last year’s Mòd, completing a Gold double following her outstanding performance. Iain Cormack, who hails from Skye and now resides in Glasgow, comes from a long line of Mòd Gold Medallists, and sang the song his father sang 40 years ago when he won the Gold Medal himself.
Liam Ó Caiside, co-founder and adjudicator of Mòd Chesapeake, co-organiser of Gàidhlig Photomac and President of An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach, said: “We are really delighted that Iain and Emma will be here in the States for Mòd Chesapeake this year. This will be our second regional Mòd in this region – between Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. Scottish Gaelic learners in the region will get great encouragement from this visit – it’s a big honour.
“We at Mòd Chesapeake are very excited to be working with An Comunn Gàidhealach in Scotland this year.  ACG is raising our event to a higher level. We’re receiving support from An Comunn Gàidhealach America too. It’s important for learners or students here to meet with singers and speakers of Scottish Gaelic, and Iain and Emma will be fantastic Gaelic ambassadors. We will learn so much from them and I hope they will see how strong the interest is in Scottish Gaelic in this area. Some people will come just to meet them! They will have a great welcome.”
Emma MacLeod said: “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to go overseas to Mòd Chesapeake as a Gaelic Ambassador, alongside Iain. It’s a great honour to travel so far afield to share my love and passion for the Gaelic language, culture and song. I look forward to engaging with attendees, inspiring them to explore and embrace Gaelic traditions, and fostering a deeper appreciation for Scotland’s heritage.
“Being able to represent Gaelic internationally is not just a privilege but also a testament to the enduring significance of our cultural identity. What better way to learn a language than through song? I live for the Mòd and now I get to go to two within a couple of months – delighted!”
Iain Cormack said: “It is an honour to be invited to take part in Mòd Chesapeake and I am very proud that I, along with Emma, are to be there as ambassadors for An Comunn Gàidhealach and the Gaelic community as a whole. The Mòd has always played a very important part in my life, having competed from childhood into adulthood, and I am very much looking forward to be bringing a small taste of Gaelic language and music to an international stage! It is very important to maintain the connection of Gaelic culture with American people of Gaelic descent, and I am sure there will be several attendees at the Mòd that come into that category. Personally, I am especially looking forward to meeting those with good Skye ancestry! Here’s to Mòd Chesapeake!”
The second annual Mòd Chesapeake will take place at St. Vincent Pallotti High School, Laurel, Maryland, USA on Saturday 3rd August 2024. For more information and updates, please visit
This year’s Royal National Mòd will take place in Oban, Scotland between 11 – 19 October 2024, supported by EventScotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Argyll and Bute Council, EventScotland, The Scottish Government, Caledonian MacBrayne, BBC ALBA, Creative Scotland and SQA. Find out more at

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