Performers at the 2018 Gympie Eisteddfod in the woodwind assemble section were Tayla-Fay Beckett, Livy Cumner, Delaney Millard and Sieanah Cuthbert and (Front) Keira Holbert, Ella Kempson and Alexis Waterson.
Performers at the 2018 Gympie Eisteddfod in the woodwind assemble section were Tayla-Fay Beckett, Livy Cumner, Delaney Millard and Sieanah Cuthbert and (Front) Keira Holbert, Ella Kempson and Alexis Waterson. DONNA JONES

From 1970's Gympie Eisteddfod to Carnegie Hall, New York

AS the 2019 Gympie Eisteddfod prepares to get underway this Friday at the Civic Centre, one former competitor who recently sang in a choir at Carnegie Hall in New York has thanked everyone involved for her years competing in the Gympie event, and the valuable lessons she learned.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

LAST month I performed in Carnegie Hall (New York, US) as the sole Australian representative in a choir of 240 singers invited from around the world to rehearse and perform together.

I am writing to thank the organisers of the Gympie eisteddfod.

It is the lessons I learned competing at the eisteddfod (during the late 1970s and 1980s) that have stayed with me and enriched my adult life.

I competed in many different sections, including school choirs, solo organ, solo singing, speech and drama, and instrumental sections (on viola).

Most of the time I didn't win, and I was never invited to perform in the gala.

More than the result - it was the experience I value the most.

Most importantly, I learnt, whatever happens, you just keep going.

Forgotten the words to a song or a poem? Keep going, make something up until you get to ones that you remember.

The organ won't make any sound? Keep pushing buttons until you work out that the competitor before you turned down the master volume switch.

Your leg won't stop shaking? Keep going and ignore the comments from the audience as you hear them talking about it.

A member of your trio pulls out the week before you compete? Find someone to replace them and then do extra practice together.

You have singing and speech and drama sections on at the same time in different rooms? Negotiate to go first in one section and last in the other and then run fast.

Your accompanist walks off stage and doesn't even know they are meant to be playing for you? That one is a bit trickier - negotiate quickly and get them to play along.

While my job is not in music, it does require public speaking and working with large groups of people. I can do that now because of all I learnt on stage as a child.

I continue to sing and play viola. Involvement in community choirs, church choirs and orchestras continue to bring me great joy and exciting opportunities.

So, thank you to the eisteddfod committee, volunteers, adjudicators and accompanists. Thank you also to the music staff and instrumental music teachers of Monkland State School and Gympie State High School, as well as the Gympie Youth Music Society, Uniting Church and Gympie Choral Society for my music and drama education. Thank you to MrsWilliams, MrsElizabeth Reid and MrsRuth Bambling. All the best to everyone involved in the 2019 eisteddfod.

Every moment on stage is an opportunity to grow as a performer, and as a person. Just keep going, it is worth the effort.

Sandra Nissen,

Beenleigh

RV park at Matilda?

WHAT is the future plan for the Matilda site? Is it freehold or leasehold? In other words, who is the owner?

We passed it a few days ago and there were at least 15 RV rigs of various sizes parked there. We have read of council's suggested RV park on or near railway property abutting the Rattler area.

The Matilda area looks absolutely suited to a RV Park. It is an easy drive from Brisbane or Bundaberg or Toowoomba. It is set up with all facilities, play ground, commercial plumbing, commercial electrical supply, currently fuel and food outlets. And lots of space. These could be easily adapted to site structure points. Trees could be planted for shade with barbecue areas and seating. Plenty of room for an off-leash park. The basics are there, and not only would it be another source of employment, and probably attract Government recreation funding.

The major attraction to me is the pleasant drive and safe approach/exit along the quiet Old Bruce Highway for any size RV or caravan/trailer. It is adjacent to the aerodrome, a secure park and drive to Gympie, a couple of tourist outlets, a towing yard, and mobile signal area.

Gympie has to plan now for the bypass of the town. That was emphasised in a recent meeting of business owners. Think outside the square and do something.

G. Penrose, Gympie

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