January 26 – 28, 2018
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, Scotch whisky tasting, the “Address to the Haggis”, a ceilidh, and opportunities to participate and learn about Scottish music, Scottish country dance, bagpipe-playing, Scottish Highland games, and kilt-making. Our MC and historian, Thomas Keith, will be giving a lecture on Robert Burns as well as hosting our classic Scottish concert.
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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
FRIDAY, JANUARY 26
Welcome Tea and Scottish Treats!
Join us for afternoon tea and cookies with Scottish fiddle-tunes from award-winning fiddlers Mara Shea and Rebecca McCallum. Enjoy a special performance from Highland Dancers, Shot of Scotch.
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.
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 27
We are so pleased to welcome back the well-known kiltmaker Bonnie Heather Greene of Bonniekilts. She will be available throughout the weekend to answers your questions about kilts and tartans and will bring resources, books and samples for those who wish to research their family tartan!
Scottish Games and Heavy Athletics Workshop
Scottish Highland Games world-record holder Frazer Pehmoeller leads a workshop on the games of Scotland with demonstrations.
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.
Scottish Country Dance Workshop
This popular workshop and combines fun and exercise! Learn the basics of social dancing in Scotland, known as Scottish Country Dancing. 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.
Gaelic Language and Song
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 share her enthusiasm for this great heritage and this beautiful languge. Learn greetings and simple phrases in Gaelic (anns a’ Ghadhlig!), join in singing a waulking song used when milling cloth and learn a Gaelic lullaby. No singing voice is required!
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, as documented in the Exchequer Rolls, which were records of royal income and expenditure.
Join Scotch distributor Michael Mednikoff as he shares insights on these fine Scottish whiskys. This year we will be sampling whisky from Glenfiddich, Macallan, Balvenie, Highland Park, and more.
Note: Pre-registration is required. $60 per person program fee for admittance. 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 Thomas Keith and the 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
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 and music that is part of the Scottish heritage. This year we celebrate the music and songs of the famous Gow Family, fiddlers and composers during the eighteenth century whose music is still loved and danced to today. Experience the energy and elegance of jigs, reels and strathspeys with the Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers; spirited performances from Shot of Scotch with traditional highland dance as well as original choreography; music from Highland Oasis and the Schenectady Pipe Band Ensemble and song from Charlotte and Caroline Bennett. The evening’s festivities are led by our MC and expert in the life and works of Robert Burns, Thomas Keith.
The concert is followed by Scottish country dancing in the parlor with the Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers and Elizabeth Buonomo.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 28
Robert Burns Statues in North America: Oor Laddie Awa Frae Hame
Join us as we celebrate the legacy of Robert Burns with a presentation from Thomas Keith. He will cover the history and culture of the 17 Burns statues and memorials in the U.S. and Canada.
Have you ever wanted to play the bagpipes? Learn about the history, structure, and playing of the great Highland bagpipes from Pipe Major William Munro and members of the Schenectady Pipe Band. All are welcome and participation is highly encouraged!
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!
MEET OUR 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 Munro, William Munro, Louis Schenck, and Barry Smith.
Shot of Scotch
Shot of Scotch NYC Highland Dancers are thrilled to be invited back to Mohonk Mountain House for Scottish Weekend. 2018 marks the sixth year their dancers will perform during this celebratory weekend. Kendra Monroe and Emily Ritter, both certified highland dance teachers and premier level champion dancers, are excited to share their passion for this endurance demanding Scottish art form. Having performed as a group at venues like Lincoln Center, Dixon Theatre, Brooklyn Ballet, NYC’s Tartan Day Parade, and St. Andrews University Alumni Ball – Mohonk’s Scottish Weekend is still a favorite.
Frazer Pehmoeller is a retired professional Scottish Highland Games athlete and world-record holder in the Loon Mountain Highland Games for the Stone Carry. He gives a fascinating lecture about the history, techniques and personalities in the heavy athletics of Scottish Highland Games.
The Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers
The Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers are managed by Elizabeth Buonomo and dance in various tri-state area branches of the Royal Scottish Dance Society. Elizabeth Buonomo is a Scottish Country Dance instructor and is currently faculty at her local branch in Ho-ho-kus, NJ. She also serves on the Board of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of NJ as Chair of the annual Highland Ball. The demonstration team dancers include Elizabeth, Sarah Stefanski, Sarah Tucker, Xiaowen Yu, Angus Grandfield, Jack O’Connor, Rodrigo Quiroz and John Velonis. All have studied traditional dance and music for many years and share a passion for the grace, beauty and pure fun of the Scottish Country Dance. They are delighted to have the opportunity to participate at Mohonk Mountain House. When Elizabeth is not dancing, she works as a psychotherapist and as a teacher of the Alexander Technique.
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, NC Some years later he first heard fiddler Rebecca McCallum while attending a dance event in the Berkshires, MA. Mohonk Mountain House provided the opportunity to bring these talents together. While Rebecca did not join the lineup until 2012, the band Highland Oasis debuted during 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.
Caroline Bennett 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 has been a gaidhlig (Scottish gaelic) learner for a number of years and is passionate about the language and traditional gaidhlig song as well as Scots songs. She has been a Gold and silver medalist in the Ladies Division in the 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 holds a RSCDS Scottish Dancing teaching certificate. This is the sixth year that Caroline has been the program coordinator for Scottish Weekend and is pleased to be working with such enthusiastic and talented performers.
Regional Sales Manager with Empire Merchants North has over 27 years in the alcoholic beverage industry, Michael Mednikoff is a certified beverage professional covering the Hudson Valley and 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.
Thomas Keith has been writing and speaking about Robert Burns for over twenty-five years: presenting papers at conferences in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and America, regularly speaking at Burns Night Suppers in the U.S. and Scotland, organizing over twenty Burns Suppers in the New York/New Jersey area, and curating an annual Scottish Music Night in NYC from 1998 to 2009.
Keith compiled a Burns discography, edited a volume of Burns’s poetry and songs, co-authored A Collector’s Guide to Mauchline Ware, and contributed essays and chapters to the Burns Chronicle, The Drouth, Electric Scotland, Studies in Scottish Literature, Burns in America, Burns in the 21st Century, Robert Burns & Friends, and the forthcoming Oxford Burns Handbook. Keith was Roy Fellow of Scottish Studies at the University of South Carolina in 2004 and recently appeared in two BBC Scotland documentaries, Auld Lang Syne (2014) and Burns in the USA (2017).
Formed in 1971 by Rob Taylor, the Brigadoons have promoted Glengarry’s Celtic music for more than thirty years. Over the years the band has had many members who epitomized the vast talent present in our county. 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.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
When you visit for Scottish Weekend, your overnight package includes:
- Three meals daily featuring fresh, locally sourced cuisine from our farm-to-table partners
- Access to more than 85 miles of the Hudson Valley’s best hiking trails
- Boating, fishing, and swimming on Lake Mohonk
- Daily Guided “House History” Tours of our National Historic Landmark resort
- Guided Nature Hikes with stunning views of the Catskill Mountains
- Yoga, Meditation, and Fitness Classes
- Indoor Heated Pool with underwater music
- Afternoon tea and cookies in our historic Lake Lounge
- Nightly Evening Entertainment
- Special Events and more! See schedule of activities
A la carte experiences available to overnight guests:
- A full menu of nature-inspired treatments at our award-winning spa
- The Carriage Lounge, featuring a full bar and handcrafted cocktails as well as hyperlocal draft beer and hard cider
- An award-winning wine list in our Main Dining Room