The Young Orpheus Singers from Ipswich at the Gympie Civic Centre on the weekend, where they competed in the Queensland Eisteddfod.
The Young Orpheus Singers from Ipswich at the Gympie Civic Centre on the weekend, where they competed in the Queensland Eisteddfod. Jacob Carson

'Magnificent obsession' a different way to spend Easter

EISTEDDFOD Council of Queensland president George Hogg is adamant the future of the event which was held in Gympie over the weekend is secure despite a dip in popularity in recent years.

Mr Hogg, who has been involved with the Queensland Eisteddfod for 71 years, said it was the competition format that appealed to performers.

Ian Kammholz, Rosalie Nevell, Wesley Jones and Rhonda Ziebell from Toowoomba at the Queensland Eisteddfod held in Gympie at the weekend.
Ian Kammholz, Rosalie Nevell, Wesley Jones and Rhonda Ziebell from Toowoomba at the Queensland Eisteddfod held in Gympie at the weekend. Tom Daunt

A staunch advocate for the arts, Mr Hogg said running the Queensland Eisteddfod was more than a passion.

"For me, running the Queensland Eisteddfod is a magnificent obsession,” he said.

"It offers you the opportunity to perform.

LEADER: Eisteddfod Council of Queensland president George Hogg.
LEADER: Eisteddfod Council of Queensland president George Hogg. Tom Daunt

"Years ago you would have things like church choirs where you could sing ballads and maybe the odd religious song.

"That does not seem to happen any more, and it is really just the eisteddfod movement that gives you the opportunity to perform and compete.”

Edward Pietsch and Elizabeth Egan.
Edward Pietsch and Elizabeth Egan. Tom Daunt

Mr Hogg said not only did the eisteddfod provide an artistic outlet, it encouraged community participation through the arts.

"The Queensland Eisteddfod brings people together.

Helen Duffy of Caloundra.
Helen Duffy of Caloundra. Tom Daunt

"We have people from Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane.

"They come together at Easter every year to compete.”

While a local eisteddfod is held in the Civic Centre every year, Gympie hosts the Queensland tournament every seven, with the latter catering for adult competitors.

While Mr Hogg acknowledges entrant numbers have been down in recent years, he says the unique platform will always have a place on the cultural calendar.

"124 years is a long time to keep going,” he said.

"That is through world wars, epidemics, floods and depressions and all sorts of things.

"We have moved forward technically and we are redefining everything to make it more modern.

"Like every organisation it has its ups and downs.

"It wasn't that long ago where we just had the one choir competing.

"This year we have three and next year we have high hopes of having four or five.

"Numbers do fluctuate.”

Gympie Times


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