Traralgon Eisteddfod - 2012

My fourth year doing the 'House Band' role for the Country Music Section of the Traralgon Eisteddfod.

My instruments of choice where a Maton Acoustic and a Rickenbacker Bass. Where the contestant played a guitar I used the bass, when they didn't I used the acoustic. I had a rehearsal for only one of the contestants all the others were done in real-time as they gave me a sheet of paper with what they considered adequate instruction to back them. Sometimes this took a bit of interpretation. for example when I was playing bass with the music teachers their music were just lyrics with chords attached. Added complexity came from the addition of capo transpositions where your read A and play B, C or whatever the capo position is or sections were words/chords are scribbled out but played anyway. Does wonders for the 'active listening'.

No major dramas this year. One minor hitch was a lady who plonked down a lyric sheet with chords but no bar lines. I took the opening chord to be the key of the song. Wrong the second chord was.

Saturday was the big day, 9:00 am until 9:00 pm. Sunday by contrast seemed short, only 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Mark Johnston, a music teacher from Bruthen brought along a hand made Cajon and I was impressed. A very good way to get a drum sound in a small instrument.

The adjudicator was a lady named Liz Tripodi who has a CV as long as your arm and then some. She came up to me and asked me if I remembered her to which I replied "No" until she said her parents were Barry and Nancy Hewitt. Now there's a name from the past. Liz was most professional and encouraging to the participants. I'm sure each participant was given something to work towards. During the closing remarks at the end of the Eisteddfod, Liz asked the audience to show some recognition for my effort. I was most surprised to receive a huge round of applause. Nice to get feedback like that.

I find it interesting to compare the styles of the adjudicators over the four years I have been involved. As expected there is a range of behaviors, but I do really prefer the gently/supportive approach. In my mind the Eisteddfod's primary function is to develop new talent. This is where the adjudicators comments are most valuable and will help the contestant improve their performance. Obtaining good quality feedback is a most valuable asset.