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TITLE
MusicMemory Store - Mina Mackay chooses "Brochan Lom"
EXTERNAL ID
PC_ACG_MMS_15
PLACENAME
N/A
DATE OF IMAGE
2010
PERIOD
2010s
SOURCE
An Comunn Gàidhealach
ASSET ID
21677
KEYWORDS
music
songs
MusicMemory Store - Mina Mackay chooses "Brochan Lom"

Mina Mackay started dancing at 8 years old and has been teaching since 1957. She worked at Dounreay and started teaching dancing by teaching the bosses children. Then, one of her bosses, Mr Smith, got her The Viewfirth and she started giving classes in there. She takes her dancers to perform at the old folk homes, to Scrabster Mission, the Legion, for Melvich Gaelic Choir ceilidhs... to mention only a few.

She's a very busy woman.

When asked how many bairns she has taught to dance, she smiles and says, "It must be thousands and so many keep in touch - photos of weddings and babies. It's lovely".

"When I went to dance with Melvich Gaelic Choir... I'm just one of those people that if it's a pipe band then I want them to play and if it's a choir I want them to sing. I remember one of the first ones I danced to was 'Brochan Lom". I went to this ceilidh and I said I would love it if the whole choir could sing something and my dancers could dance to that. I remember Duncan Macpherson conducted Melvich Gaelic Choir at the time and he recorded the choir singing it, so that we could play it during the dance classes and could practice. That continued when Duncan's daughter, Myrtle Gillies took over. Then one day Raymond was in charge and we were at the British Legion in Thurso. We went out from where the choir and the ceilidh were and Raymond hummed the tune and then sang it so the dancers could practice. It was a strathspey and reel; 'U-Bhi A-Bhi, Mac-a-Phi, Stad A Mhairi Bhanarach.'

With the pipe band or the choir there's no introduction, but if you don't have an introduction for the dancer the music will change in the middle of a step. You have so many bars and then the music changes and if there's no introduction then it puts the dancer off the sequence and they'll only have completed half the first step. It would then change the dance all the way through. Dancers always have a musical introduction, so Raymond would have the choir hold a starting note to get the dancers up on their toes.

It gave the dancers such elevation and a boost, to dance the strathspey and reel to the choir singing those songs live. You know, when they get recorded music sometimes there's just no lift but with this they said that they loved dancing to the choir, and there was plenty of elevation! I always enjoyed listening and I feel if we're going to do something for and with a choir, that we should dance to the choir, and the audience always really enjoys it."

This is one of the contributions to the MusicMemory Store project which is being run as part of the build-up to the National Mòd 2010 in Caithness. A variety of local people have been asked to select a favourite traditional or Gaelic music track which has a personal meaning for them, and to share the music and the story with the public.

The project seeks to raise the profile of the value of traditional and Gaelic music within the community and its relationship to the National Mòd 2010 which is being hosted in Caithness for the very first time, from 8 to 16 October.

Copies of the albums containing their chosen track are available to borrow from Wick and Thurso libraries. A new contribution will be published each week from May until the start of the Mòd.

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MusicMemory Store - Mina Mackay chooses "Brochan Lom"

2010s

music; songs

An Comunn Gàidhealach

MusicMemory Store

Mina Mackay started dancing at 8 years old and has been teaching since 1957. She worked at Dounreay and started teaching dancing by teaching the bosses children. Then, one of her bosses, Mr Smith, got her The Viewfirth and she started giving classes in there. She takes her dancers to perform at the old folk homes, to Scrabster Mission, the Legion, for Melvich Gaelic Choir ceilidhs... to mention only a few. <br /> <br /> She's a very busy woman. <br /> <br /> When asked how many bairns she has taught to dance, she smiles and says, "It must be thousands and so many keep in touch - photos of weddings and babies. It's lovely".<br /> <br /> "When I went to dance with Melvich Gaelic Choir... I'm just one of those people that if it's a pipe band then I want them to play and if it's a choir I want them to sing. I remember one of the first ones I danced to was 'Brochan Lom". I went to this ceilidh and I said I would love it if the whole choir could sing something and my dancers could dance to that. I remember Duncan Macpherson conducted Melvich Gaelic Choir at the time and he recorded the choir singing it, so that we could play it during the dance classes and could practice. That continued when Duncan's daughter, Myrtle Gillies took over. Then one day Raymond was in charge and we were at the British Legion in Thurso. We went out from where the choir and the ceilidh were and Raymond hummed the tune and then sang it so the dancers could practice. It was a strathspey and reel; 'U-Bhi A-Bhi, Mac-a-Phi, Stad A Mhairi Bhanarach.' <br /> <br /> With the pipe band or the choir there's no introduction, but if you don't have an introduction for the dancer the music will change in the middle of a step. You have so many bars and then the music changes and if there's no introduction then it puts the dancer off the sequence and they'll only have completed half the first step. It would then change the dance all the way through. Dancers always have a musical introduction, so Raymond would have the choir hold a starting note to get the dancers up on their toes.<br /> <br /> It gave the dancers such elevation and a boost, to dance the strathspey and reel to the choir singing those songs live. You know, when they get recorded music sometimes there's just no lift but with this they said that they loved dancing to the choir, and there was plenty of elevation! I always enjoyed listening and I feel if we're going to do something for and with a choir, that we should dance to the choir, and the audience always really enjoys it."<br /> <br /> This is one of the contributions to the MusicMemory Store project which is being run as part of the build-up to the National Mòd 2010 in Caithness. A variety of local people have been asked to select a favourite traditional or Gaelic music track which has a personal meaning for them, and to share the music and the story with the public.<br /> <br /> The project seeks to raise the profile of the value of traditional and Gaelic music within the community and its relationship to the National Mòd 2010 which is being hosted in Caithness for the very first time, from 8 to 16 October. <br /> <br /> Copies of the albums containing their chosen track are available to borrow from Wick and Thurso libraries. A new contribution will be published each week from May until the start of the Mòd.