It is often said that being in a Gaelic choir is like being part of a family. But to me that doesn’t cover it – being in a Gaelic isn’t like being a family it is a family.
I have been immensely fortunate to have been part of this world since I was 16 and no matter where I have lived across the country there has always been a new branch of this amazing family to get to know. A plethora of aunties, cousins, big sisters and brothers, uncles and even grandparents from every corner of Scotland have made me feel welcome no matter what.
There is nothing quite like walking down the street at a Mod and meeting people that you haven’t seen for ages and joining together in our shared love of music. Anyone who has ever been part of the massed choir or impromptu singing in the pub (MacDonald Arms in Tobermory springs to mind) can recognise that truly uplifting feeling of belonging to this amazing world.
We celebrate each others successes in life and music and console each other in our dark times. When we lose a member of this great family their loss is felt across the country and the messages come from far and wide not just from individuals but from whole communities.
To see a choir take to the stage after a loss of a member or a traumatic event which has shaken them to the core is a truly emotional experience both to witness and be part of and like any branch of a family we take comfort from each other and our wider family and knowing that we are all there for each other and that the music lives on.
Mairidh an gaol is an ceòl gu bràth