Eisteddfod’s autumn music classes end on a high note

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The autumn music festival wrapped up on Saturday evening with performances from some of the acts which captured top honours this year, including two platinum choirs and the winners of many of the junior categories.

Sue de Gruchy, who chairs the arts festival, said the St James’ Youth Inclusion Project performers – whose act in the non-competitive signing class earned a standing ovation – was a wonderful addition to the programme this year.

But one musical class was missing from the festival line-up.

‘Unfortunately, there were no bagpipes this year,’ Mrs de Gruchy said.

The Eisteddfod wants to appeal to as many musical performers as possible, she added, and is always looking for ways to grow.

‘Music Eisteddfod tries to offer classes that reflect the range of musical interests in the Island,’ she said. ‘So, if you’ve a yen to play Mongolian yak music, we will try to find a “best-fit” class for you, if you come and speak to us.’

Ten platinum honours were awarded during this festival with Helvetia House School’s choir capturing one.

‘There is an audible “ooh” when a platinum certificate is awarded,’ Mrs de Gruchy said. ‘It’s like a ten from Craig on “Strictly”.’

There were also many gold and silver certificates awarded, and organisers said the standard of the performances was ‘excellent’.

‘All performances were well prepared and attracted very positive and constructive assessments by our adjudicators Gill Johnston and Jonathan Rea,’ Mrs de Gruchy said.

‘As always, seeing the Opera House filled with school choirs, teachers and others who have a passion for singing was inspiring,’ she added.

But she urged audiences to make an effort to come out and support all the Eisteddfod performers more during the spring festival and in the future.

‘It’s so important for a live performer to have a live audience to bounce the communication of the music off,’ Mrs de Gruchy said, ‘as playing to an empty house can be dispiriting.

‘After all, where would the Beatles have been without the talent scouts?’ she asked.

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