The Gaelic College – 75 Years In the Making

Colaisde Na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College  is located in St. Ann’s, Nova Scotia and was founded in 1938. For the past 75 years the Gaelic College has celebrated and taught the Gaelic language and culture.

This would be a platinum anniversary in a marriage and is also an amazing milestone for an institution to reach. The Gaelic College will be recognizing this special achievement with a week of celebration from June 30-July 6, 2013.

One of the featured acts during this period is a relatively new band called Nuallan. The name is the Gaelic word for the unmistakable drone of the bagpipes. It also describes the constant murmuring sound of the ocean.

This is a very fitting name for a group comprised of four Cape Breton Island pipers; Paul MacNeil, Keith MacDonald, Rankin MacInnis and Kenneth MacKenzie. They also sometimes perform with piano, guitar and drums. This is really the first Cape Breton band with this instrumental lineup and on that level alone this is a very exciting project.

The band’s focus is to concentrate on the Gaelic style of Cape Breton piping that was nourished and maintained to recent years through the playing of legendary players such as the Curries of MacAdam’s Lake/Frenchvale, the Beatons of Mabou Coal Mines and the MacDonnells of Deepdale, among many others.

This rich style of playing has a strong focus on the rhythm and musicality of the music and underlines the group’s focus on exploring the deep and intrinsic connections with the dance and song traditions of Gaelic Cape Breton. The group is also strongly focused on providing educational opportunities for piping students in this "Gaelic" style. Think of them as a dance pipe band as opposed to a marching pipe band.

Nuallan’s creation was facilitated by the Gaelic College in the fall of 2012 and it is only fitting that they will be performing there on July 1st as part of the 75th Anniversary celebrations.


The Gaelic College – 75 Years In the Making

Look out for our Experiences Map, available Island-wide

Our Celtic experience partners