Eisteddfod a celebration of talent

Christopher, Tarik, Elieahn and Lwana Bradshaw were happy to attend the gala. Pictures by: NATHAN BENJAMIN.

By Angela Norval

As daily social media updates filled with faces of smiling children of all ages and talent showcased, the Bundaberg Eisteddfod was a resounding success.

Bundaberg Eisteddfod president Jessica Savage said the positive feedback from the competitors and their parents had been phenomenal, with the executive committee overwhelmed by messages of thanks.

“It was everything I could have imagined and more when it came to the exceptional range of local talent showcased at the eisteddfod and last week reiterated what all of us in the committee already knew, the talent in this town is amazing.

“The kids showcased a huge range of passionate, polished performances.

“Furthermore, the extra workshops with Kyle Walmsley for speech and drama, Fletcher Mitchell for instrumental and Kate Schirmer for vocal, allowed the children a real sense of reality, while knowing that these amazing people are super down to earth and so willing to share their talents and abilities.”

Jessica’s feelings of positivity were echoed by fellow committee member Suellen Cusack-Greensill who said many people were blown away by having a university in Bundaberg that was so supportive of the arts.

“Having CQUniversity as our venue worked well and we were appreciative of the support of Luke Sinclair and the incredible way Becky Valentine always ensured that all the rooms were ready when they were needed,” she said.

“We were so proud to have almost 700 entries from Bundaberg, Gladstone, Childers and Gin Gin and also to welcome home our three adjudicators who are all incredible professionals and welcomed the opportunity to help the next generation.

“Our president Jessica Savage put in 110 per cent and we are all so appreciative to have a committee that could respect those that paved the way for us and also the next generation that are able to breathe new life into the eisteddfod.

“After the restrictions of Covid, it was so incredible to be able to perform on a live stage and so many of those who entered really welcomed the opportunity to be confident on the stage, develop discipline, while also having joy of performing and making new friendships as so many of them became champions and really celebrated each other.

“No matter the highs or lows, win or lose, it was really about having fun.”

The gala evening of presentation of special awards, performances by the eisteddfod’s three adjudicators and performances by the talented competitors saw Jessica blown away.

“There were many tears shed that night, as it was a beautiful example of all the reasons the arts are so important in society and why we should continue to push for support not only within our local community but on a much larger scale also.

“This year’s success motivates me more now than ever to take away all the lessons learnt and produce another fabulous week for the competitors.

“Here is an opportunity to create a professional, relaxed, contemporary competition for students to shine.”

The Bundaberg Eisteddfod management committee gave their thanks to the local businesses that really rallied behind this year’s event, allowing them to present some incredible bursaries.

“More than ever the community really got behind us and, in the future, I believe we can attract entrees from throughout Queensland,” Suellen said.

“We have so much talent in Bundaberg and that flows through to good teachers and also parents who encourage them to practice and really want to listen.”