Ruth Blythman, Winner, The City of Kingston Aria from Grand Opera
Eisteddfod by the Bay was formerly the Mordialloc Eisteddfod which was established in 1955. We are proud of our history and have presented an annual eisteddfod run entirely by volunteers for 65 years.
The origin of eisteddfods or eisteddfodau, begins in Wales in medieval times, and later spread to Australia where they enjoy a large following.
Eisteddfod by the Bay belongs to the AESA ( Australian Eisteddfod Society Association ) the national body. It is supported by The City of Kingston, Creative Victoria, the Bendigo Community Bank Parkdale and generous sponsors and patrons.
The Eisteddfod offers five sections : speech & drama, choral festival, senior adult vocal, junior vocal and pianoforte. Each section is administered by a convener, who is responsible for working with adjudicators, accompanists, entrants, programs, schedules, timetables. Each section has a fully qualified professional adjudicator who issues a critique to each performer and selects prize winners. Within each section there are between ten and thirty related sections.
The Eisteddfod offers young talented actors, singers, musicians and schools a platform to perform for an adjudicator and audience in a professional space which will assist them in their performing arts journeys to a future career. The annual eisteddfod is held at Kingston City Hall, Kingston Arts Centre and Shirley Burke Theatre. The eisteddfod is proud to be the home of The City of Kingston Aria from Grand Opera.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON DURING COVID-19?
We wanted to continue to offer the eisteddfod during Stage Four Lockdown and so decided to offer our sections using Zoom. We were determined to give an opportunity to the young performers as usual, safely, using a virtual platform at home and “ live” as this is an integral part of performance. Zoom allowed this possibility.
Unfortunately we had to cancel our choral festival due to venue closure and numbers indoors. However we presented the other four sections over four separate weekends in August and September. It was an incredible learning experience for three of us volunteer committee members. Challenging, but we were determined to overcome these obstacles and go ahead- which we did!
We were overwhelmed by the positive and enthusiastic responses we received. Most eisteddfods were cancelled and not much was offering. Our Zoom eisteddfod enabled the competitors not only a chance to perform, but also a goal to work towards.
Our senior adult vocal and pianoforte sections ran over two separate weekends each for two full days. One adult entrant had returned from Europe and had made a serious decision to change her career path, until she heard that community groups like Eisteddfod by the Bay care so much about singers and she changed her mind. Parents of the younger entrants were so grateful as it gave their children something enjoyable to focus on.
This virtual Eisteddfod by the Bay was the most worthwhile and enjoyable experience for all involved.
To find out more about Eisteddfod By The Bay check out their Website and Facebook
Jill Page OAM T: 0412 161 399
PO Box 185, Mentone Vic 3104