Our Gaelic Group Plans to be at Two Festivals this Spring


It would be great if folks could join Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir at two Maryland Celtic festivals this Spring.  Both are a lot of fun.  We hope you can put them on your schedule. Please drop by and hang out at the Gaelic tent.  We’ll play some music, sing some songs, eat some food, lift a pint together, and enjoy the craic.

Southern Maryland Celtic Festival (website is not up to date, but this is the correct date) Saturday, 29 April,  Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, 10515 Mackall Road St., Leonard, MD
Scott Morrison’s band, Dileab Phriseil,
will be playing at the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival

Next Gaelic Conversation Session + Burns Night – 25 January

a Chàirdean,

Our next Gaelic Conversation Session is this Wednesday, 25 January, at 6:30 pm.

The 25th is the birthday of the “Ploughman Poet”, Robert Burns (1759-1796), and Baltimore has for years had a wonderful Burns Night celebration at Liam Flynn’s Alehouse.  Now that the Ale House has closed, at least for the time being, Liam is holding the same great celebration at his other place, O’Flynn’s, which is in the Brooklyn neighborhood on the Patapsco River, at 3432 S. Hanover Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21225.

To allow us all to enjoy the Burns Supper, we are holding the Gaelic Conversation Session at O’Flynn’s this Wednesday.  We will start at 6:30 pm as usual. If you have never been to a conversation session and want to come, please do.  It is a very beginner-friendly session.The Burns Night celebration starts at 7:30 pm.


The cost for Burns Night is $25, covering the full meal (haggis, neeps, & taddies, etc.), and the customary readings of Burns’ poems, and wonderful piping and traditional entertainment.  For reservations, call (443) 956-1702. To keep up with Burns Night news, go to the O’Flynn’s Facebook page or website.

Please RSVP to richard.gwynallen@gmail.com if you will be attending the Gaelic Conversation Session on 25 January.

Tha sinn an dòchas gum bidh sinn ‘gur faicinn an uairsin.
(We hope we will see you then.)


Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh uile! (& Join us for Gaelic in 2017!)

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh uile! – Happy New Year to you all!
And Happy Hogmanay!

Below are scenes from Hogmanay around Scotland from previous years for you to enjoy. May all your fires burn brightly throughout the year.

Am bi sibh a’ dèanamh amas air Gàidhlig ionnsachadh sa Bhliadhna Ùr 2017?  Thigibh ann cuide ruinn!  (Will you make a resolution to study Gaelic in the New Year 2017? Join us!)  Click here for learning opportunities.

Something to think about: Scottish customs of the new year contain messages that can be relevant to how we think about entering 2017. While bonfires celebrate the lengthening of daylight and thus the “return” of the sun, in our own lives, we can use fire to call forth the light and passion within each of us, calling us to be our best selves in the months to come. By our own candles or fires, we can decide what goals for spiritual and personal growth we will set for ourselves, and link ourselves to our heritage and ancestors.

Hogmanay piper

And even the ancient custom of first footing – the belief that a tall, dark, handsome stranger coming to your door the first thing after midnight of the New Year brings good fortune to the household. The idea of first footing is that the first person who comes through your door indicates the character of your New Year. On the one hand, by offering hospitality to the visitor you begin your year with a generosity of spirit. On the other hand, we can  consciously choose what we admit through the front door, then open that door with great intention and greet it!


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Burning of the Clavie photographs Copyright Anne Burgess/www.geograph.org.uk

A typical Baltimore Gaelic School céilidh and class:

Happy Hogmanay - 1



Next Céilidh THIS SUNDAY, 11 December

a Chàirdean,

Our next céilidh is coming up this Sunday afternoon, 11 December, from 3 pm – 6 pm.ceilidh-2

The céilidh requires RSVPs because it is held in the home of a member.  The address will be given out when you RSVP, but for general knowledge it is in Towson.  Please RSVP to richard.gwynallen@gmail.com

This will be a great opportunity for additional learning and using your Gaelic.  It will include an immersion learning session, a cultural presentation by Scott, and a regular céilidh with food and drink, and sharing songs, poems, and stories.

We would like each person to bring something to offer, such as a story, Celtic or a family story; song or poem, in Gaelic or otherwise.

Also, if you would like to bring a dish (lite fare) to share, it would be appreciated.

Hope to get your RSVPs soon, and look forward to seeing you.

Mar sin leibh,

Òran Oidhche Shamhna

Here is the song I mentioned at the cèilidh that contains the old Halloween traditions:


I’ll work on a translation for you guys and post it later.


The October céilidh was a lot of fun

a Chàirdean,

This past Sunday we held the first céilidh in our new series.  It was a great time.  Thank you to all who attended and shared stories, poems, and songs.  We hope that anyone who missed this céilidh will be able to attend the next on Sunday, 11 December.

The céilidh began with a 45 minute Gaelic immersion session, which was followed by food and drink, a cultural presentation about the roots of Halloween, and the traditional sharing of stories, songs, and poems.

To see an example of traditional Shetland costumes go to Skeklers.

Scott Morrison prepares stapag or fuarag, a traditional Scottish Gaelic dish for Halloween, made of whipped cream, stone ground oatmeal, and sugar.  It was a delicious treat.

Traditionally one would eat a spoonful at every house they visited, and usually from a common bowl.  For more information on this tradition go to Emily MacDonald’s post on the Colaisde na Gaidhlig website: Fuarag: A Traditional Gaelic Treat for Halloween.

Maraji and Scott perform a song together.

Janet relates a story from her family.


Hope you can join us for the next céilidh
on the 11th of December!

A Word From Our Gaelic Teacher


Greetings all!  This is Scott MacIlleMhoire or Scott Morrison.


We are excited about the redesigned Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhòire (Baltimore Scottish Gaelic School).  

The online lessons that start tomorrow are only one part of a greater educational mechanism that we hope will slowly, but surely, build a strong Gàidhealtachd or Gaelic community in our area.  The computer classes will deliver the raw info, but it will be the regular 6-week gatherings and the face-to-face review sessions that will strengthen our bonds as learners of this wonderful language and culture.  We plan on inducting every participant fully into the world of the Gàidheal (Gaelic speakers) which will include all kinds of things above and beyond mere language lessons! 

We have a strong class starting tomorrow night, but I’d like to encourage anyone else interested to join us.  We need the presence of everyone drawn to the language to make this a fully integrated cultural experience.  If you have not already done so, please RSVP to Rick Gwynallen at richard.gwynallen@gmail.com  as soon as you can.  If you want some more background read New Program Structure for Gaelic Learning.

Tomorrow night the new system launches.  The first cèilidh will then follow on 30 October, with the review sessions happening every two weeks at Liam Flynn’s Ale House on our usual Wednesday evenings (starting 5 October) with Rick leading the sessions.  

We hope that you jump in and follow the pull that your heart gave you when you pursued an interest in Gaelic or your Gaelic family background.  Rick and I think that you will be glad you did.  That’s it for now, and I hope to see you all soon!   Slàinte!


Lesson Materials- class cycle no. 1

Attached are the materials that we will be using for the next three classes.

For the class on 9/29 use:  Dialouge week 1 (also found in the text book in Unit 1)  plus Lesson 1 from the website http://www.taic.me.ukdialouge-1

For the class on 10/13 use: Translation Sentences wk 2, Conversation Questions wk 2, plus Lesson 2 from the taic.me.uk website.



For the class on 10/27: no new materials.  we will be reviewing all class.

HW for Class 1-

a) listen to, follow and read out loud the Dialogue Wk 1 with recording
b) Read the Gràmar section of the text book for Unit 1
c) Do the Translation Exercises for both part 1 and 2 in Lesson 1 on the Taic site.
d) Look over the Conversation Questions and Translation Sentences titled Wk 2

New Program Structure for Gaelic Learning

Celtic art  - 1

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir
The Gaelic School of Baltimore

A’ Cumail Gàidhlig Beò: Preserving Gaelic Heritage

a Chàirdean,

Over the past years a core of committed Gaelic learners formed in Baltimore through our language learning sessions.  However, many more expressed sincere interest but could not attend our in-person sessions due to a variety of logistical issues. So, we recently began exploring a new structure for our goal of building a community of Gaelic speakers.  Below is what we came up with. We hope you will be able to join us.

Móran taing airson do ùidh. (Many thanks for your interest.)

~ Scott Morrison and Rick Gwynallen

Online Gaelic Classes

These sessions will be held on Thursday evenings, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm every other Thursday starting on 29 September 2016.

We are using Goggle Hangouts for this class.  Participation requires that students have a gmail account and a microphone on their computer.

The text we are using is the same as our existing classes: Teach Yourself: Complete Gaelic, by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor.  We are also using lessons from Taic.

In addition, our instructor, Scott Morrison, will put materials for each class on the website prior to the class.

We recommend you get the book with accompanying CDs, but if you cannot do so do not let that stop you from participating.

The tuition will be the same as now, $10 per class.  Since this is online, you will have to mail a check, and we request that the tuition payments be made in increments of $30 (3 classes) payable prior to the series of three classes being paid for.  Sound complicated? Don’t worry. You’ll get a reminder.

An Intensive, Interactive Language Learning and Céilidh

This will be held every six weeks on a Sunday afternoon from 4 pm – 7 pm, starting on 30 October 2016.

The céilidhean will start at a private home in Baltimore, but they may rotate.  We also may choose to hold one of these now and again as a hike or other outing.

There will be no additional charge for this (though we are always open to donations), and there is certainly no requirement for those in the online classes to attend, but it is a good opportunity for additional learning and using your Gaelic.

The learning session will be an immersion session.

Conversation Sessions

These will be held at Liam Flynn’s Ale House, 22 W. North Avenue in Baltimore City (the place of our study group’s origins!). These are informal sessions for whoever can join us.  Just an hour of having drinks and food and using what Gaelic we have, perhaps doing some review if people want it.

There is, of course, no charge for these.

The sessions will be held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm, every other week, starting 5 October 2016.

To Register:

If you find that the outline above for the online class meets your needs and you can participate (and we hope you do), please register by RSVPing to Rick Gwynallen at richard.gwynallen@gmail.com

Please include (1) a phone number in case we need to reach you, and (2) the town and state you live in (this is just so we know how spread out everyone is).

Once you have registered, we will send you details for making tuition payments.

If you have any questions about the curriculum, please write to Scott Morrison at sammallets@gmail.com.

If you cannot commit to the online sessions, but are interested in the conversations, céilidhean, or other activities we may host, please write to Rick Gwynallen at richard.gwynallen@gmail.com, and we will include you on our mailing list.

Slàinte Mhór Agaibh

Anyone for online group Gaelic classes?

Celtic Art- 2

Madainn mhath a h-uile duine,

From our first sessions at Liam Flynn’s Ale House, a small, serious core of Gaelic learners has formed. However, we have met far more people who have a serious interest in Gaelic language and culture than can commit to our class nights.  Many folks on our own mailing  list are far flung, and many on our list and others that we meet elsewhere have expressed that they cannot get to the class from work on time, or it’s too far to get home, or other things that have to do with time constraints and conflicting obligations.

Last night Scott and I discussed ways of creating more opportunities for Gaelic learning, and want to pose one possibility.

If we were to start a group online session, using Skype or Google Hangouts, would you be interested in participating? The sessions would be the same as our face-to-face sessions, using the same materials, and including the song learning we have recently started.

If there is interest and we start online group sessions, we would find ways of creating opportunities for in-person interaction.  We are not fixed yet on what those would be, but they could include things like céilidhs, conversation sessions to use the Gaelic being learned, being together at Celtic festivals, and hikes.

We are trying to make a decision about this over the next week.  Please let me know if you would be interested in being part of a group online Gaelic class by writing to me at richard.gwynallen@gmail.com, or to our teacher, Scott Morrison, at sammallets@gmail.com.

Tapadah leibh.

Mar sin leat an-dràsta

~ Rick