Eisteddfod celebrating 75th year
By BYRON MOORE
AFTER 75 years of providing outstanding entertainment and nurturing future performing arts talents, the Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts ? the Eisteddfod ? is hosting an anniversary dinner and reunion for past performers at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre on Saturday, May 20.
Some of the Tweed's most accomplished musical stars are returning to share their memories of the competitions where it all began for them.
Organists Warren Whitney and Barry Bailey, vocalists David Hibbard and Ian Holston and keyboardist Robert Goode are just some of the professional musicians returning to Murwillumbah for the anniversary.
Local dance instructor Margaret Peate was just 12 years old when she won her first adjudicator's award at the Eisteddfod in 1974 and is pleasantly surprised that 32 years later she remains immersed in dance.
"It's a surprise to still be involved in dance and instructing, but once the bug bites it's hard to get away from it", Miss Peate said last week.
With around 50 students competing in the ballet, jazz and modern dance sections of this year's performing arts festival, Miss Peate hopes at least a few of them can continue her winning tradition.
"Well I don't know, it would be nice, but you never know what the judges will do," she laughed.
The festival, which started as the Murwillumbah Eisteddfod in 1927, ran every year except during World War II.
This year's eisteddfod kicks off on June 17 and runs till July 9, seven days a week, day and evening.
About 6000 entrants from throughout the region and beyond are expected to perform in speech, drama, music and dance categories, with professional adjudicators judging each section.
Tickets for the reunion dinner and performance at $35 each are available at Andersons Treasure Store in Murwillumbah.
For further information contact festival president Arthur Holmes on (02) 6672 1563.