51st Mount Isa Eisteddfod kicks off next week

HIGHLAND FLING: A dancer competes in last year's 50th Mount Isa Eisteddfod in the Highland dance category. Photo: supplied

HIGHLAND FLING: A dancer competes in last year's 50th Mount Isa Eisteddfod in the Highland dance category. Photo: supplied

Next week begins the 51st Mount Isa Irish Club Eisteddfod with more than 600 competitors taking on nine days of dance, music, and speech and drama competitions.

Senior Singing Choir St Kieran's Catholic School rehearses in the lead-up to eisteddfod. Photo: supplied

Senior Singing Choir St Kieran's Catholic School rehearses in the lead-up to eisteddfod. Photo: supplied

The eisteddfod is happening from Friday May 26 until Sunday June 4 at Mount Isa Civic Centre.

North West performers from a range of disciplines come from mainly Mount Isa but are also travelling from Camooweal, Julia Creek, Bowen and as far as Cairns.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, the eisteddfod is slightly shorter in 2017 but with the same number of competitors.

The five disciplines of the eisteddfod include dance, Highland dancing, Irish dancing, dance, speech and drama, and music

With an online entry system this year Kate Hartlett says it has greatly improved the organisation of the festival. 

“We’ve streamlined a lot of things with our new online entry system, it’s helped enormously in figuring out timing, so we’ve managed to compress it a little bit more.”

“We’ve been able to put in a really good system in ticketing and programming and cutting our admin time by about two weeks,” Ms Hartlett said.

Laura Szabadics practicing her monologue for 2017 Eisteddfod.

Laura Szabadics practicing her monologue for 2017 Eisteddfod.

Music takes up five days, while the other disciples take place over four days.

The music category includes piano, vocals, strings, choirs, bands and orchestras, and woodwind and brass instruments.

Ms Hartlett became involved with the Mount Isa Eisteddfod last year, and comes from a background of singing and speech and drama. 

Speaking choirs are also taking part in the eisteddfod.

Signing choirs perform on Wednesday at 1pm.

Competitors range in age from three to 55 years old.

Adjudicators are coming in for each of the disciplines and include Highland and Irish dance adjudicator Kathy Ferguson, music adjudicator Ruth Bonetti, and speech and drama adjudicator Maree Clancy.

Eisteddfod President Mary-Jane Caldwell thanked their major sponsor The Irish Club for its ongoing financial support, and welcomed competitors who will be travelling great distances to get here.

“ll of the many months of preparation and hard work will provide a feast of entertainment for the audiences whom you will delight with your performances.”

“May this year’s Mount Isa Irish Club Eisteddfod be the making of lifelong memories for each and every one of you," Ms Calwell said.

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