Scottish Weekend—January 27-29, 2017

Scottish Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House features a complete immersion into the history, art, culture, and cuisine of Scotland, with bagpipes, kilts, dancers, drums, whisky, haggis, and so much more. Come "home" to our castle to dance, sing, share, and enjoy. Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark resort, only 90 miles north of New York City.

Book Now

For reservations, please call .

The halls of the Mountain House echo with the sounds of bagpipes, as the Mohonk grounds transform into the highlands of Scotland! Our Scottish Weekend features award-winning musicians, concerts, a ceilidh, and opportunities to participate and learn about Scottish music, Scottish country dance, bagpipe-playing, Scottish Highland games, and kilt-making.

Friday | Saturday SundayProgram Leaders | 

Friday, January 27

4:00 p.m.  Welcome Tea and Scottish Treats!
Come and join the guests and performers for tea, cookies, and Scottish fiddle-tunes from award-winning fiddlers Mara Shea and Rebecca McCallum as well as Highland Dance from Shot of Scotch.

9:00 p.m.  Welcome! Failte! Concert with The Brigadoons
The Brigadoons have been the mainstay of numerous Highland Games and Scottish events in both the United States and Canada for the last three decades. They have been perennial favorites at the Capital District Scottish Games (New York State), the New Hampshire Highland Games at Loon, the Glengarry Highland Games (Canada), the St. Raphael's Galarama (South Glengarry) and the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival (Colorado) for as long as people can remember.

10:00 p.m.  Annual Mohonk Ceilidh
The evening show is followed by the annual Mohonk Ceilidh, a gaidhlig (gaelic) word meaning "to visit". We invite you to "visit" with us in the Parlor and enjoy the opportunity to share a song, poem, story, "party piece," or to simply sit back, listen, and enjoy. Meet the performers and fellow Mohonk guests during this very special part of the tradition of the Mohonk Scottish Weekend.


Saturday, January 28

10:00 a.m.  Celtic Art Workshop with Patrick Gallagher
Patrick has spent over twenty years as an artist, lecturer, master printmaker, and teacher of the Celtic Arts—sharing his passion at over 500 events to date.  Patrick has helped make Celtic Art a modern phenomenon and his work is archived by the UCLA School of Architecture and Design. Join him and discover an art form thousands of years young. 

11:00 a.m.  Kiltmaking Demonstration
Join kiltmaker Bonnie Heather Greene of Bonnie kilts to learn about the history and making of the kilt. Bonnie will also be available all weekend with answers to your questions about kilts and tartans and brings with her resources, books and samples for those who wish to research their family tartan!

2:00 p.m.  Scottish Country Dance Workshop
The Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers come from all over the tri-state area to perform at Mohonk Mountain House and have recently chosen to name their demonstration team in honor of the Scottish Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House.

This is always a popular workshop and combines fun and exercise! Learn the basics of Scottish Country Dancing, the social dancing of Scotland. Led by Elizabeth Buonomo, a teacher of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Association with the Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers, this workshop is for everyone and no previous experience or partner is necessary to participate! Simply come willing to have a tremendous amount of fun and learn dances that are enjoyed all over the world today. 

3:00 p.m.  Gaidhlig Language and Song
Learn greetings and simple phrases in Gaidhlig and join in singing a 16th century Gaidhlig rowing song!  

3:30 p.m.  Scottish Games and Heavy Athletics Workshop
Scottish Highland Games world-record holder Frazer Pehmoeller shares his experiences at the games of Scotland with pictures and video.  

5:00 p.m.  Scotch Whisky Tasting*
"To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae, VIII bolts of malt."
— Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1 June 1495.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, Scotch whisky evolved from a Scottish drink called uisge beatha, which means "water of life". The earliest record of distillation in Scotland occurred as long ago as 1494, as documented in the Exchequer Rolls, which were records of royal income and expenditure.

Join Scotch distributor Michael Mednikoff as he shares insight on these fine Scotch whiskys. This year we will be sampling whisky from Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Highland Park, Monkey Shoulder, and Lagavulin. 

*Note: Pre-registration is required. There is a $60 per person program fee for admittance to the tasting. Space is limited. Participants must be age 21 or over to attend.

7:00 p.m.  Address to the Haggis and Tribute to Robert Burns
A procession into the dining room, followed by a traditional Address to the Haggis, led by Henry Lloyd Hamilton III and Schenectady Pipe Band Ensemble.

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

-"Address to a Haggis" by Robert Burns

9:00 p.m.  A Classic Scottish Concert
The performers of the Mohonk Scottish Weekend are pleased to bring to you a very exciting evening of entertainment featuring dance, songs, poetry, and music that is part of the Scottish heritage, with the theme of Scotland’s connection with the sea in daily life, history and culture. Experience the energy and elegance of  jigs, reels and strathspeys with the Çastle Point Scottish Country Dancers, spirited performances from Shot of Scotch with traditional  highland dance as well as original choreography and musical collaboration; music from Highland Oasis and the Schenectady Pipe Band Ensemble. The evening’s festivities are led by Mohonk Scottish Weekend’s MC Henry Hamilton. 

The concert is followed by Scottish country dancing in the parlor with the Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers and Elizabeth Buonomo.


Sunday, January 29

10:00 a.m.  Highland Dance Workshop
Learn the elements of highland dance from the premier dancers of Shot of Scotch. All ages welcome!

11:00 a.m.  Bagpipe Workshop
Have you ever wanted to play the bagpipes? Learn about the history, structure, and playing of the great Highland bagpipes from Pipe Major William Monroe and members of the Schenectady Pipe Band. All are welcome! Participation is highly encouraged!

12:00 p.m.  The Singing of Auld Lang Syne
The singing of Auld Lang Syne followed by the procession into lunch from the parlor led by the Schenectady Pipe Band Ensemble. This brings to a close the festivities of the Mohonk Scottish Weekend as we already look forward to next year!


Program Leaders

Schenectady Pipe Band
Formed in 1917 with the support of Clan MacRae and General Electric, the Schenectady Pipe Band is one of the oldest bagpipe bands in the United States and will be celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2017. This distinguished band has won many honors and has traveled extensively in North America and in the UK.  During the bands ’93 trip to Scotland they returned with a coveted 1st place for 'Dress and Drill' in their grade. Bandmembers peforming this weekend include Tom LaBelle, Bob Monro, William Munro, Louis Schenck, and Barry Smith.  For more on the band please visit www.schenectadypipeband.com

Shot of Scotch  
Founder Kendra Monroe has been Highland dancing since the age of 7.  She competed on the regional and national level for 20 years.  Since moving to New York in 2010, she has formed a performance group of premier level dancers, Shot of Scotch, and has been teaching adults and children lessons on the side.

Shot of Scotch Premier Highland Dancers have had the privilege to dance at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Ballet, Dixon Place Theater, Robert Burns nights across Manhattan, the pre -Tartan Day Parade Ceilidh, Scotland Run, the Tartan Day Parade, and last year’s first-ever New York Tattoo alongside world-champion dancers.  2016 marks the 4th time that Kendra has performed at the Mohonk Scottish Weekend and she couldn't be more thrilled to share her passion for this endurance demanding Scottish art form.

Frazer Pehmoeller
Frazer is a retired professional Scottish Highland Games athlete and world-record holder in the Loon Mountain Highland Games for the Stone Carry.

The Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers
Led by Elizabeth Buonomo, these dancers come from all over the tri-state area to perform at Mohonk Mountain House. They have recently chosen to name their demonstration team in honor of the Scottish Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House.

Elizabeth Buonomo is a teacher of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Association. She currently teaches at her local branch in Ho-ho-kus, NJ.  In addition, Elizabeth serves on the Board of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of New Jersey as Chair of the annual Highland Ball.  She has assembled a group of dancers from the tri-state area including Jaime Dritt, Sarah Tucker, Ellen Sears, John Velonis, Rodrigo Quiroz, Angus Grandfield and Jack O’Connor.  All have studied dance and the performing arts for many years and share a passion for the grace, joy and pure fun of the Scottish Country Dance. When Elizabeth is not dancing she works as a psychotherapist and as a teacher of the Alexander Technique.  She can be reached at Elizabeth@alextechmetro.com or at 201-750-2979.

Highland Oasis
In 2005, Highland Oasis pianist and band leader Jim Stevenson-Mathews had the honor of working with North Carolina fiddler Mara Shea in preparing for a Scottish dance held in Red Springs, N.C.  Some years later he first heard fiddler Rebecca McCallum while attending a dance event in the Berkshires (MA). Mohonk provided the opportunity to bring these talents together. While Rebecca did not join the lineup until 2012, the band Highland Oasis debuted during Mohonk Mountain House’s Scottish Weekend in 2011 and it has been going strong ever since. They have played for dance events and concerts both in the US and Canada, sometimes joining forces with vocalist Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews in presenting folk events, and most recently were in Texas to perform for San Antonio’s Bluebonnet Ball. For more on Highland Oasis please visit www.facebook.com/HighlandOasis

Caroline Bennett
Caroline is a native of the UK but grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, where she began Scottish country dancing in 1986. She currently hails from Pawling, New York where she works as a pediatric occupational therapist. Caroline is a gaidhlig (Scottish gaelic) learner and passionate about traditional gaidhlig song as well as Scots songs. She was the Gold medalist in the Ladies Division at the 2016 North Carolina Gaidhlig Mòd  and a silver medalist at the Celtic Classic in Bethlehem PA. Her interests beyond Scottish music include Scottish country dancing, weaving, spinning, traveling, and family activities. Caroline also performed for many years with the Nassau County Scottish Country dancers at the Westbury Highland games, the Lochleven Dancers and the Thistle Hill Scottish Country Dancers and is a Scottish country dance teacher. This is the fifth year that Caroline has been the program coordinator for the Mohonk Scottish Weekend and she is so pleased to be working again with such enthusiastic and talented  performers.

Michael Mednikoff 
The Regional Sales Manager with Empire Merchants North, Michael Mednikoff has over 27 years in the Alcoholic beverage industry. He is a certified beverage professional covering the Hudson Valley and is also a certified wine and spirits trainer for Empire Merchants. He has a true passion for Scotch, Whiskey and Bourbon, and has spent time at some of the  largest Scotch producers in Scotland. 

The Brigadoons
Formed in 1971 by Rob Taylor, the Brigadoons have promoted Glengarry’s Celtic music for more than thirty years. The original band consisted of Bob Burnie, Gaye Leroux, Jamie Wood, Brian MacDonell and of course, the founder, Rob himself. Many of these musicians went on to other careers in music and are still playing in the area.

Their peppy brand of Celtic music was instantly embraced by the public, young and old. Whether they played to the crowd at the Atlantic Hotel or for a dance at the Bonnie Glen, they played to full houses and kept the floor full all night. Members changed through the years, but the band’s following continued to grow. Over the years, different entertainers added their talents to the band. Artists such as Rick Linke, Gerry Lefave, David Wright, Paddy Kelly, Shelley Downing, Jack Smith, Luane Doyle and Bonita Leblanc played with the band.


See you there!

Book Now

For reservations, please call .