As far back as 1781, the London Highland Society were hosting, each October, competitions for piping and poetry at the Falkirk Tryst —the market where cattle drovers from the Highlands would meet to sell their beasts to traders from the south. This was the forerunner of the Mòd.
In the spring of 1891, Oban Gaelic Musical Association was formed to promote the cultivation of Gaelic literature, music and home industries in the Highlands. The choir of St. Columba’s Church, Glasgow was invited to give a Gaelic Concert in Oban that autumn to raise awareness amongst the public. Lord Archibald Campbell presided over a full house. The success of the occasion and the prestige given to it gave sufficient impetus to the organisers to push ahead.
As a result of this concert, An Comunn Gaidhealach,the Highland Society, was formed. The first national Mòd was held in Oban in 1892 and has been celebrated every year during peacetime since then. The first three Mòds were held in Oban and, since then, it has returned home regularly. 2009 is the 12th time Oban had hosted this celebration of Gaelic music, poetry, drama and song.
The Lovat and Tullibardine Shield ,the coveted trophy for the premier choirs’ competition, was inaugurated in 1903 and was first won by Oban Gaelic Choir two years later. Since then, we have lifted the trophy no less than 8 times, the last being 1994.