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December 31, 2013

Hogmanay Greetings from the Clan Currie Society

On behalf of the men and women of the worldwide Clan Currie Society, we wish you a Happy Hogmanay and a Safe, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Some Highlights of 2013

2013 was an extremely busy year for the Clan beginning with our Burns Night Dinner Dance co-hosted by the Rampant Lion Pipe Band. Just a few months later, we opened NY Tartan Week with our 12th annual Tartan Day on Ellis Island program, held this year at New York's historic South Street Seaport due to the temporary closing of the Ellis Island National Monument due to damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.

On the Highland Games and Gatherings front, Clan Currie was well represented at the Bonnie Brae, Glengarry, Seaside, Antigonish, Ligonier and the Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival. If Clan Currie is not currently represented at an event in your area and you'd like to volunteer to host a Clan tent, just let us know.

In addition to our ongoing scholarship program, 2013 also saw the establishment of the annual Clan Currie Young Writer's Literature Award at the Royal National Mod in Scotland. The inaugural prize winner was Peigi Flora MacDonald. This new Clan prize joins the previously established Clan Currie research prize awarded by Sabhal Mor Ostaig - the Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye. The 2013 prize recipients were Margaret Stewart and Martin MacClure.

We held our third annual MacMhuirich Symposium and Clan Gathering in Nova Scotia, Canada last July to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Antigonish Highland Games. The conference featured presentations from acclaimed Cape Breton author, Sheldon Currie, Harvard University Gaelic Scholar Professor Simon Innes and Clan Currie historian Angus MacMillan among others. The Gathering also included visits to the Gaelic College (where Clan Currie bestows the Alex Currie Memorial Piping Scholarship) and the Ship Hector Museum.

In Ventura, CA, Clan Currie hosted their second annual Harp Glen at the Seaside Highland Games. This event has quickly become one of the centerpieces of these great games and has hosted a multitude of area harpers through the tuneful Harp Circle performance and has helped inspire future generations of harpers through the hugely successfull Harp Petting Zoo.

Elsewhere in the world of the clarsach or Scottish harp, Clan Currie again served as Title Sponsor for the National Scottish Harp Championship of America, presented by the Scottish Harp Society of America. The 2013 National Champion is Haley Hewitt of Massachusetts.

Finally, the Clan produced their 15th annual Pipes of Christmas concerts in New York City and NJ. The concerts again enjoyed record attendance and showcased some of the finest talent anywhere to be found. Title Sponsors for the 2013 concerts were Edinburgh Napier University, Royal Bank of Canada - Capital Markets and the Grand Summit Hotel.

Highlights of the 2013 program were performances of three world premiere compositions - including the winning-submission of the Prof. Alexander McCall Smith Composition Prize by Jason Sweeney of Coatbridge, Scotland, established by Edinburgh Napier University.

Several charities received our support through the donation of concert tickets including the British Soldiers Fund, Interweave, the Rampant Lion Pipe Band, and the St. Andrew's Society of the State of New York.

At the sold out NJ concert, Clan Currie held a food drive to benefit the Community FoodBank of NJ and collected nearly 300 pounds of non-perishable food items to support those less fortunate throughout the NY Metropolitan area during the holiday season.

Finally, we realized a long-standing dream of releasing our first music CD entitled, "The Best of the Pipes of Christmas." The CD features selections from the concert's first 14 years and has already proven to be a huge sales hit.

The CD can be purchased online via the following link to CDBaby.com.

NONE of these activities could have happened without the steadfast support and Clansfolk and Friends across the globe. Click Here for a list (hopefully not too incomplete) of all those we wish recognize for their support and service to the Clan Currie Society. We thank you!

Looking Ahead

We hope to see many of you at our 2014 MacMhuirich Symposium and Clan Gathering. The program runs from June 27 - 30, 2014 and will be held at the Western Club in Glasgow, Scotland to coincide with the celebrations to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in nearby Stirling. The symposium will bring new perspectives on the role of the MacMhuirichs in Scottish literary history as well as groundbreaking new research conducted by our Clan Historian, Angus MacMillan. The symposium will also explore our proud Clan's connections with the Battle of Bannockburn.

This is a gathering not to be missed! Visit www.clancurriegathering.com for more info on the Symposium and Gathering.