Another essential part of Highland life is contained in the many beautiful Gaelic songs which have been handed down over the past few centuries. Sadly, a great number have been lost, largely during that period when there was a concerted effort to erase the Gaelic language, and children were beaten if caught speaking it at school. But the Royal National Mod, held each year in October since 1893, awards prizes for the traditional solo singing of Gaelic songs, as well as for choral arrangements of the songs. It includes competitions for solo singing by boys and girls aged between 16 and 18 and the Society presents a prize for each, thereby encouraging those who may be the Mod gold medallists of tomorrow.
The Society has also recently agreed to sponsor the Gaelic Singer of the Year award (from December 2019) at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. In part, this cooperation arose as a result of the Society’s funding support for the recording of Sàl/Saltwater, a piece of music specially composed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Iolaire disaster on 1st January 1919.
Nor is Highland dancing neglected. The Society presents, and has for some ten years, an annual prize for dancing to be awarded to a pupil at Queen Victoria School, in Dunblane. The Society also provides annual support for Highland dancing at the Glenfinnan Gathering, which will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in August 2020.