January 26 – 28, 2024
The halls of the Mountain House echo with the sound of bagpipes as the Mohonk grounds transform into the highlands of Scotland! Our Scottish Weekend features award-winning musicians, concerts, workshops, Scottish history, Scotch whisky tasting, the “Address to the Haggis,” Scottish country dance, bagpipe-playing, and kilt-making.
This year’s theme embraces the struggles and successes of the Scottish people as they traveled to North America and how this has been expressed creatively through music and song throughout time and to the present day. The artists who will be performing for the concert are Pipe Major Mike MacNintch and the Mohonk Pipe Ensemble; the Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers Ensemble; the musicians of Highland Grove; the Sky Top Highland Dancers and Caroline Bennett.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Welcome Tea and Scottish Treats!
Join us for afternoon tea and cookies to begin the weekend of Scottish festivities.
Live Music with The Chivalrous Crickets
With a particular focus on and love of Scottish ballads and tune repertoire, The Chivalrous Crickets explore the roots, branches, and crossroads of Celtic and American folk music. The Philadelphia/Princeton-based band is known for their lavish vocal harmonies, rich instrumental textures, and traditional repertoire, spanning 8 centuries, treated with creative new twists. They perform up and down the East Coast, from West Virginia to Maine. The Crickets have recently collaborated with the Philadelphia St. Andrew’s Society, a Robert Burns Month celebration at the renowned folk listening club Godfrey Daniels, and with the Classical group Makaris, which records Scottish folk song arranged for chamber and parlor ensemble.
Annual Mohonk Cèilidh
The evening show is followed by the annual Mohonk Cèilidh, a Gaidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) word meaning “A 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 and perhaps sing along to some Scottish favorites. Meet the performers and fellow Mohonk guests during this very special part of the tradition of the Mohonk Scottish Weekend.
Celtic Art Workshop with Patrick Gallagher
Join Patrick Gallagher Celtic Artist as he takes you on a journey through the “ins and outs” of the Celtic Art Tradition. Travel from the dawn of time to our own world. Experience the power and heritage of a symbolic design system that has survived virtually intact since the Neolithic era of old Europe. Like a tree, Celtic Art is ever-growing, evolving, accumulating, and perfecting the images and spiritual concepts that connect us to the earth and our environment. No experience is required.
Kilt Making Display
We are so pleased to welcome back the well-known kilt maker Bonnie Heather Greene of Bonniekilts. She will be available throughout the weekend to answer your questions about kilts and tartans and will bring resources, books, and samples for those who wish to research their family tartan!
Gaelic Language and Song
Learn greetings and simple phrases in Gaelic (anns a’ Ghaidhlig!), join in singing a waulking song used when milling cloth and learn about Gaelic songs written in North America by early settlers who brought their language and culture to the Atlantic shores of Canada and America. Traditional songs have been sung for centuries by people during their everyday lives. They are songs of, about and for the people and Caroline Bennett loves to share her enthusiasm for this great heritage and this beautiful language. This is a workshop where you will meet people and have fun. No singing voice is required!
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 chosen to name their demonstration team in honor of the Scottish Weekend at Mohonk. 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
Scotch Whisky Tasting *
“To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae, VIII bolls 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. Join Scotch distributor Michael Mednikoff as he shares insights on fine Scottish whiskeys.
Note: Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Must be age 21 or over to attend.
Address to the Haggis and Tribute to Robert Burns
Enjoy the annual procession into the dining room for dinner, followed by a traditional Address to the Haggis, led by David McCormick and the Mohonk Pipe Band Ensemble.
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
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. Experience the energy and elegance of jigs, reels and strathspeys with the Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers, spirited performances from the Skytop Highland Dancers with traditional highland dance as well as original choreography and musical collaboration; music from Highland Grove and the Mohonk Pipe Band Ensemble. The evening’s festivities are led by Mohonk Scottish Weekend’s David McCormick.
Highland Dance Workshop
Learn the elements of highland dance from the premier dancers of Skytop Highland Dancers. All ages welcome!
The Pipes of the New World with Mike MacNintch
Most people are familiar with the Highland Bagpipes, but did you know that the Celtic Bagpipe comes in different types in other parts of the Scottish Diaspora? Pipe Major Mike MacNintch will talk about how the bagpipes of the New World evolved and continued the traditions from where they were born. This proves to be a fascinating talk with beautiful and expert playing.
The Hudson’s Bay Company – A 350 Year Old Empire Built By Scots
Most people have heard of The Hudson’s Bay Company and know it had something to do with rugged adventurers hunting beavers. From its start in the 1600s it was an English company and remained that way until the late 20th century. But since its inception it has been run by Scots at all levels from the Chairman to the rugged trappers living amongst the First Nations in the uncharted and unmapped expanse that today we call North America. Despite its low profile it has been responsible for creating and shaping millions of square miles in every way imaginable. It is a fascinating story.
The Singing of Auld Lang Syne
The singing of Auld Lang Syne is a fond tradition at Mohonk that brings to a close the festivities of the Mohonk Scottish Weekend as we already look forward to next year.
Caroline Bennett is our program coordinator for Scottish Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House. She hails from the UK and was introduced to Scottish music, song, and dance by her Scottish mother. She is passionate about Gaelic songs and the Gaelic language, is a singer, weaver, and spinner, and regularly participates in traditional waulkings with her own woven cloth. She has received gold medals at the Regional Gaelic Mòds and has lately been composing original Gaelic poetry and songs. Her original songs have been included in a series of programs on new Gaelic singers and songwriters presented on the BBC by Gillebride MacMillan. Her poetry was also short-listed in the Gaelic Poetry category of the Wigtown Poetry Prize in Scotland in 2021 and in 2022 was published in an anthology of Gaelic poetry from Cape Breton. Caroline has also performed extensively as a Scottish Country Dancer and has received her Part 1 teaching certification. This is the tenth year that Caroline has been the program coordinator for the Mohonk Scottish Weekend and she is excited to be working again with such enthusiastic and talented performers.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .