January 28 – 30, 2022
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.
Throughout the weekend you will have the opportunity to hear world class Celtic music, attend workshops, demonstrations and lectures in Celtic art, Scottish music, Highland Dance, Scottish bagpipes, kiltmaking, and Gaelic language and song. Scottish culture and history is an integral part of this weekend and we will have a lecture on Scottish history from published researcher and historian Steve Blamires entitled “Crofting: The Last Remnants of the Scottish Clan System.”
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
**Physical Distancing Requirements and Maximum Occupancy Restrictions
Masks are required at all times, even if you have been vaccinated. Please note our live music performances have two sessions of the same show. You may choose to attend one of the two shows. This will allow access to as many guests as possible. Between each session, we sanitize the room for the next audience to enjoy the show comfortably. We thank you for your understanding as we work to continue to make Mohonk a safe and fun environment for all.
PAST FEATURED EVENTS
Listed below are some of the many events featured in past years of this program.
Welcome Tea and Scottish Treats!
Join us for afternoon tea and cookies to begin the weekend of Scottish festivities.
Live Music with Dominique Dodge*
Harper and singer Dominique Dodge will share Gaelic music from Scotland and Cape Breton, bringing to the stage a stirring and dynamic traditional repertoire that spans centuries. Listeners can expect toe-tapping dance tunes from Dominique’s new album, resonant Gaelic songs drawn from archival sources, and clear, sparkling melodies buoyed by responsive, rhythmic accompaniment.
*Due to Physical Distancing Requirements and Maximum Occupancy Restrictions: Please note performances with multiple times listed indicates there are multiple sessions of the same show. You may choose to attend one of the shows. This will allow access to as many guests as possible. Between each session, we sanitize the room for the next audience to enjoy the show comfortably. We thank you for your understanding as we work to continue to make Mohonk a safe and fun environment for all.
Kilt Making Display
We are so pleased to welcome back the well-known kiltmaker 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!
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.
Facts & Fables: The true history behind Highland Dancing*
While traditional Scottish highland dancing dates back centuries, a written history does not appear until the 20th century. If you look deeply into this history, you’ll learn that the legends behind each dance—such as the stirring pre-battle ritual of the Sword Dance—are just that: legends. So what is true history and what is just story? Join dancers Kendra Monroe and Emily Ritter, who with their combined 50 years of highland dance experience, delve into the Facts and Fables of highland dance.
Music Workshop with Dominique Dodge and Mara Shea*
Enjoy a fascinating look into traditional Scottish music with Fiddler Mara Shea and Harpist Dominique Dodge as they present a casual workshop with the chance to learn about jigs, reels and strathspeys and hear demonstrations as well. If you have an instrument and wish to bring it along, please feel free to do so as there will probably be the opportunity to jam and play along!
Bagpipe Workshop with Pipe Major and bagpipe maker Mike MacNintch*
Did you know there are several different kinds of bagpipes from Scotland? There are bagpipes suitable for all kinds of occasions! Mike will speak about the Highland and Lowland pipes, Scottish smallpipes and Pastoral pipes. Learn about when and where they were played, how and what they were made of, and hear some old tunes from different regions.
Gaelic Language and Song
Our program coordinator, Caroline Bennett, will introduce you to Scottish Gaelic , or Gàidhlig, through simple Gaelic greetings in this fun and interactive workshop. You will also learn about Gaelic song and in particular the scope of work songs in the Gaelic song tradition.
“Work songs were commonplace in Scotland for hundreds of years. No matter what the activity, there would be a song to accompany it and match the speed at which it was being undertaken. These songs also served a social purpose, as they enabled people to relate specific thoughts about their communities and the subjects which were important to them. Songs sung together also generated a bond between the participants, giving a sense of attachment and of sharing experiences while toiling together.” Tobar an Dualchais
Crofting: The Last Remnants of the Scottish Clan System
Crofting is a form of small farming unique to Scotland. Although the legislation governing and controlling crofting is recent, it is in fact the last remnant of the old Scottish Clan system which can be dated back to the 13th century and probably older. The story of crofting is typically Scottish – long, drawn out and with lots of turbulent times. However, it has been remarkably resilient and is now a legally recognized and distinct culture, social group and means of self-sufficiency in an area of Europe with very little by way of natural resources compared to the size of the landmass whereon it is practiced. The future for crofting is looking good despite these modern times of Climate Change, pandemics, governments who are out of touch with the people etc. It is successfully growing and attracting young people to the way of life of the crofter more than ever before in its history.
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. Because of our current precautions we will not be able to gather to sing in the parlor as we usually do, however we will sing in our hearts as we walk to lunch at the close of the weekend and listen for the skirling pipes as Mike MacNintch plays this wonderful tune on the Great Highland Bagpipes.
PAST PROGRAM LEADERS
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 song and the Gaelic language, is a singer, weaver and spinner and regularly participates in traditional waulkings with her own woven cloth. She has received silver and gold medals at the North Carolina Gaelic Mòd. Caroline has also performed extensively as a Scottish Country Dancer and has received her Part 1 teaching certification. This is the ninth 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.
Steve Blamires is from the Isle of Arran in the west of Scotland where the Gaelic language and Celtic culture are still strong. For the past 25 years he has traveled the world on small expedition ships, mainly with National Geographic, as an historian, international tour guide, and cultural expert. He has several books in print, has appeared on TV and radio on both sides of the Atlantic, and regularly gives presentations at conferences and events. His presentations are informative, relevant and often from a unique perspective. When he is not on the High Seas, he leads small group tours to Scotland, hosts his own Celtic music radio show, and is on the board of directors of The American Center for Folk Music.
Dominique Dodge is a harper and singer who grew up in the White Mountains and divides her time between New Hampshire and Cape Breton. Her new album, “Cànan nan Teud” (The Language of the Strings) features Gaelic songs from Cape Breton and explores the relationship between Puirt-a-Beul (mouth music) and traditional dance tunes. A former Fulbright Scholar and a 2012 graduate of the University of Limerick with an MA in Irish Music Performance, Dominique also holds a BA Honours in Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Dominique is a dedicated learner of Scottish Gaelic, a profound influence on her music which continues to shape her sense of rhythm and phrasing. She is also an experienced traditional arts educator who offers workshops and classes internationally and maintains a vibrant teaching studio.
Mike MacNintch has been piping since 1977, learning from PM Avery Head, of the Syracuse Scottish Pipe Band. He later joined the Manchester Pipe Band, under the direction of PM Chuck Murdoch, which is one of our oldest bands, have been founded in 1914. He is the instructor for the Police Pipes & Drums of Waterbury Connecticut, and has worked with the Catamount Pipe Band of Vermont. Mike is the Pipe Major of the Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Pipe Band of Carmel, New York, and is a founding member of Bagad New York, the only Breton style pipe band in North America. He plays a variety of Scottish, Irish and Western European bagpipes and has been a prominent figure in the revival of Scottish smallpipes in the Northeast. A stalwart of the pipe band scene, Mike has also played at festivals, workshops, dances and concerts for over 40 years. Based in the Hudson Valley, he makes and repairs bagpipes, teaches and performs.
The Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers
The Castle Point Scottish Country Dancers are managed by Elizabeth Buonomo and dance in tri-state area branches of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. All have studied traditional dance and music for many years and share a passion for the grace, intricacy, and pure fun of Scottish Country Dance. The ensemble team this year includes Elizabeth Buonomo, Shelby Peak, and Margaret McKenzie. Shelby works as a production editor and, when not dancing, she can be found reading, sewing, and trying to keep her cat out of trouble. Margaret works in medical research administration and occasionally performs on the pedal harp. In her spare time she is also a knitter, designer and Scottish Country Dance instructor. Elizabeth maintains a private psychotherapy practice, enjoys nature and outdoor sports, and is a Scottish Country Dance instructor. She is delighted to return for her sixth year and to perform the more unusual three person dances not often seen, some of which are her own adaptations.
The Sky Top Highland Dancers
The Sky Top Highland Dancers, named after the famous and beautiful lookout point at Mohonk, are NYC-based Highland Dancers Kendra Monroe and Emily Ritter. 2020 marks the 8th and 5th year, respectively, that these dancers will perform during this celebratory weekend. Kendra and Emily met through Shot of Scotch NYC, for which Emily still performs, and both still teach through Kendra’s NYC-based lessons, Monroe School of Highland Dance. As certified highland dance teachers and premier level champion dancers, they are excited to share their passion for this endurance demanding Scottish art form.
Highland Oasis celebrates the vibrant music of Scotland. Merging the talents of three accomplished dance musicians, the results range from lyrical to exuberant, stately to driving. Pianist and band leader Jim Stevenson-Mathews has been playing regularly for Scottish dances and workshops since 1992, and played for his first Scottish Weekend at Mohonk in 2011. Fiddler Mara Shea began playing for Scottish dancing in 1999 in North Carolina, and joined Highland Oasis at Mohonk in 2011. Fiddler Rebecca McCallum began playing for Scottish dances in Rochester, NY in 1997, and in 2012 became a part of Highland Oasis. All three share a passion for the rhythms and melodies of the Scottish Isles. For more on Highland Oasis, please visit https://www.facebook.com/HighlandOasis/.
Michael Mednikoff, Regional Sales Manager with Empire Merchants North 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.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
When you visit for Scottish Weekend, your overnight package includes:
- Three meals daily featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients from our farm-to-table partners. See our full list of dining options>
- Access to more than 85 miles of scenic hiking trails
- Yoga, Meditation, and Fitness classes
- Afternoon tea and cookies in our historic Lake Lounge
- Make an appointment to visit our Greenhouse
- Indoor heated pool with underwater music
- Guided hikes and outdoor activities with our Recreation team
- Nightly evening entertainment, special events, and more! See activities schedule>
- Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on more than 30 miles of groomed trails (weather permitting)
- Winter hiking with MICROspikes® (weather permitting)
- Ice-skating in the open air pavilion
- Guided outdoor activities and hiking with stunning views of the Catskill Mountains (weather permitting)
À 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 hyper local draft beer and hard cider
- An award-winning wine list in our dining venues
- In-room dining
- Private fitness, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions
- Disc golf discs available for purchase (weather permitting)