Cèilidh na Samhna

[23 September 2019: The cèilidh is now at capacity for the hosts’ home and we have to cut off RSVPs.  We are taking names for a waiting list.]


A charaidean,

We’ve had a lot happen in our little community this year – our first immersion weekend; our first Language Villages; our head teacher, Scott Morrison’s, graduation from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; one of our founding members, Liam Flynn, getting married; our first faculty addition with Robert Bingham coming on as a new teacher – we want to celebrate all of that.  And we are going to do so in the first cèilidh of the new academic year!

Thigibh ann cuide ruinn! (Join us!)

Cèilidh na Samhna

Tha am foghar ann a bheireas an Samhradh gu crìch agus a dh’fhosglas an Geamhradh. (The autumn is here which brings the summer to an end and opens the winter.)

A new year in the Celtic calendar is upon us, and we are gathering with song, story, food, and drink in a warm, convivial environment.

Didòmhnaich, 10mh Samhain
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ceithir uairean feasgar – Seachd uairean feasgar

Laurel, Maryland
RSVP required – Write to sgoilgaidhlig@gmail.com
(The cèilidh house is a private home.
The address will be provided to those who RSVP.
Please note that space is limited.
RSVP early.)



Aig a’ chèilidh (At the céilidh)

  • We will share Gaelic songs and poems, much as was done at the Language Village.
  • We will share food and drink, and great company. 
  • Whatever your language level, we encourage you to use your Gaelic. 

Our céilidhean are rooted in the traditional Highland céilidh as an intimate, informal gathering where stories, poems, songs, and news, are shared; good food and drink are partaken of; and the craic is always good.

  • Bring a dish to share: Make enough for 8 – 10 people. Let us know in advance what you are bringing.
  • Bring your instruments
  • Bring a song, poem, story, or tune to share (Gaelic is, of course, great, but not required)

Chì sinn uile aig a’ chèilidh sibh! (We’ll see you all at the cèilidh)

RSVP to sgoilgaidhlig@gmail.com

Welcoming Robert Bingham

Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir is very pleased to announce the addition of Robert Bingham to our faculty for the 2019 – 2020 academic year. It’s an exciting hallmark in the growth of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir that our student demand requires us to expand our faculty. It’s also an honor to work with Robert, who has a deep love of the Gaelic language and culture and a passion for the revitalization of the language.

Robert is a native of South Florida.  He graduated in 2003 with a B/A Honours in Celtic Studies from Saint Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada where he learned Gaelic with Dr. Ken Nilsen and Catriona Parsons, as well as with the local community.  In Cape Breton he had the opportunity to immerse himself in North American Gaelic culture.  Robert received the Angus L MacDonald Scholarship to travel to Scotland, which he did in the summer of 2003. He currently lives with his wife and four children in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Robert is teaching one of our New Beginner classes, but even if you are not studying with him you are sure to see him around area events.

Online Gaelic Classes Start in Early September

A bhiel thu airson Gàidhlig ionnsachadh?
Thigibh ann cuide ruinn!

Do you want to learn Scottish Gaelic?
Come join us!

The 2019 – 2020 academic year starts in just a few weeks.   Interviews with returning and new students for Beginner, Advanced Beginner, and Intermediate levels are underway.

Would you like to join us on this Gàidhlig journey?
Click here or on the schedule below for information on learning Gàidhlig with us.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd dhuibh.
Suas Leis a’ Ghàidhlig!

The Sun Shone on the Language Village at Historic London Town

The weather was beautiful, and the site on the South River was ideal with gardens, the historic tavern and home, recreated rustic 18th century buildings, the fields, the trees, and the river.  The first Language Village was quite a hit at Historic London Town’s 2019 Celtic Weekend.

The Language Village compound was set up next to the marquee tent where The Devil’s Tailors and Tweedsyde performed, and where some of The Appin Regiment joined us for a waulking demonstration.

Take a visual stroll through our first Language Village – then do join us at future festivals.

We had four scheduled activities each day
(and many unscheduled):

Scott MacIlleMhoire led the Introduction to Gàidhlig class


The Tents of the Village offered

information on the Gaelic language in its homeland and in North America . . .

. . . and a sample of Gaelic Music
Maraji played the harp throughout the event

The Village Children

(The children were particularly enthusiastic about the music)

(. . . and the dogs)

Participation was the hallmark of the Gaelic Song sessions

The Appin Regiment joined us for some waulking songs

Join us for the next Language Village

at the

Virginia Scottish Games & Festival
31 August – 1 September

A’ mairsinn beò – A Review of the Year at Sgoil Gàidhlig

A chairidean chóir,

As the saying goes, time has flown by.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that a group of three met at Liam Flynn’s Alehouse on North Avenue in Baltimore City to learn Gàidhlig from Scott Morrison.  Yet, here we are now with a fully incorporated organization and a solid body of students.

The past year has been a busy and productive one. Sgoil Gàidhlig incorporated in the State of Maryland in August 2018 and recently received 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status from the IRS.  It feels like we are adults now. We have survived our organizational childhood, grown and learned, and seem to be making a more mature contribution to the survival of the Gàidhlig language (a’ mairsinn beò).

On the 31st of May through the 2nd of June we held our first immersion weekend, Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais, in cooperation with Gàidhlig Photomac, which was so successful that we intend it as an annual event, perhaps even expand the program. There may be more to announce in this regard after our July Board of Trustees meeting.  It was an honor to host so many committed and loving people.  

The ever deepening relationship with Gàidhlig Photomac has bonded Maryland and Virginia Gàidhlig language communities as we become a true language community of the Chesapeake region. Liam Ó Caiside of Gàidhlig Photomac sits on the Sgoil Gàidhlig Board of Trustees and the two communities now cooperate in most all discussions regarding the growth of the Gàidhlig language and community in the region.

Sgoil Gàidhlig started floating a Language Village concept to area Celtic festivals whereby we create a space in the festival devoted to speaking and learning Gàidhlig, as well as incorporating other Celtic languages when those language communities are interested in partnering in the Language Village.  Some interest has been expressed in this concept and we will hold our first Language Village this August during the Celtic Weekend at Historic London Town and Gardens in Edgewater, Maryland. This will give us the opportunity to test out and refine the concept. We hope more festivals will incorporate the Language Village into their festivals during next year’s festival season.

We have also amended the schedule and format of our céilidh series.  With as many classes as we now run and the addition of the immersion weekend this year we no longer have the capacity to hold a céilidh every six weeks. In truth, it was always a stretch. So, we have changed the schedule to hold a quarterly céilidh, and are designing them to be mini-immersions.  The program for each céilidh is designed to teach Gàidhlig in context, such as our Còcaireachd anns a’ Chidsin (Cooking in the Kitchen) session and our hike along the Potomac, build conversation, share more songs, and hear more offerings of music, poems, and stories.

Lastly, the first year of Sgoil Gàidhlig’s new curriculum has concluded, and we are happy to say that the new curriculum has worked very well.  Assessing the last year of classes and making adaptations will continue through the summer, but we are now taking registrations for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.  

All of this kept us so busy we did not make it to festivals as of yet this year.  We regret missing the festive gatherings and meeting those who come to our tent. Hopefully, we will see many of you soon.

Would you like to join us on this journey?
Click here for information on learning Gàidhlig with us.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd dhuibh.

Hold the Date for our First Language Village – 10 & 11 August

Our first Language Village will be at the Celtic Weekend at Historic London Town in Edgewater on 10 and 11 August, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.  The setting is a twenty-three acre park and historical site, featuring archaeology, horticulture, and history on the South River.  It’s a beautiful site.

The Language Village will be an interactive, engaging space where Gàidhlig is being spoken, people are being introduced to the language, and everyone can take part in singing, learning, and other activities. We will run a variety of language activities throughout the festival designed to appeal to children as well as adults, including displays, waulking songs, poetry, music, and introductory Gàidhlig classes.

We hope to build on this first one and be able to host a Language Village at other area Celtic festivals. The core language we teach at Sgoil Gàidhlig is Scottish Gaelic, so that is our focus.  However, we would love to see representatives of the other Celtic languages be involved at any festival and see the Language Village expand. 

Other activities at the Celtic Weekend include live music with Tweedsyde and the Devil’s Tailors, hearth cooking with the Appin Regiment, woodworking with Seneca Creek Joinery, the Robert Burns Society of Annapolis showing examples of tartan and doing a poetry reading by Burns, and 18th century games.

Nach tig thu?
Please come!
 We’d love to see you, learn with you, and celebrate with you there.

Would you like to join us on this Gàidhlig journey?
Click here for information on learning Gàidhlig with us.

B’ e coimhearsnachd ghasda ghrinn a bha ann aig ‘Gàidhlig san Taigh-Sholais’

On a spit of land at the narrowest part of the Chesapeake Bay in full view of the Calvert Cliffs, an intentional Gàidhlig-speaking community formed for a late spring weekend. 

Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais had three purposes: Building Gàidhlig language skills, Gàidhlig thinking, and Gàidhlig community.  Take a look at scenes from the weekend. Twenty people spent a weekend at Cove Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay immersed in Gàidhlig. This was the first Gàidhlig language weekend in Southern Maryland.  It was organized by Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taighe Mhòir and Gàidhlig Photomac – two regional Gaelic Learning Communities – and sponsored in part by An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA).

Our little ad hoc community had a wide range of experience with Gàidhlig, from beginner to fluent, and came from a wide range of places, from Virginia to Vermont.  Yet, bonds were quick to form and at the end everyone felt they had experienced a real sense of community. Continue reading

Get on the Sgoil Gàidhlig New Student List for 2019 – 2020


Have you wanted to learn Gàidhlig or build on the Gàidhlig you have?  This is a great opportunity.

The first year of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhòir’s new curriculum is drawing to an end, and we are already getting inquiries for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.  The next year of classes will begin in September 2019, but we are not yet ready to release a schedule for the upcoming academic year. However, we are building a waiting list of learners who will be the first new students contacted about placement in the 2019 – 2020 classes.  

If you are interested in studying Gàidhlig with Sgoil Gàidhlig, write to us and get your name on the new student list.

We currently have four  levels of syllabi: New Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2.   We have syllabi for Advanced 1 and 2, and Fluent, in production.  Each level runs one complete academic year. Continue reading

New News on the Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend on the Chesapeake Bay

immersion weekend promotion cover version 2

Space for overnight participants in
 san Taigh-sholais (Gaelic in the Lighthouse) is now full.

Effective 5 March 2019 we are accepting only:

  1. Registrations from those who can commute to and from the site.  The full course of study and all meals are available to commuters.  If you would like to attend and can commute, please use the normal registration form and note on it that you will commute. Click here for the registration form.
  2. Single day registrations from those wishing to attend the Saturday session only.  While we prefer to have participants take part in the entire weekend of sessions, we have made this option available because of the interest in the program. Meals on Saturday are included. Doors open on Saturday at 8:00 am.  The Saturday-only session is $60 per person. If you would like to attend Saturday only, please use the normal registration form and note on it that the registration is for Saturday only. Click here for the registration form.
  3. Names of people who wish to be put on a waiting list for any overnight space that may open should a current registrant have to drop out.  These spaces will be offered on a first come first served basis. To have your name put on the waiting list, please write to sgoilgaidhlig@gmail.com.

Click here for a full description of the immersion weekend.

Gàidhlig san Taigh-sholais
(Gaelic in the Lighthouse)

Continue reading