The Taree and District Eisteddfod grand concert was at the Manning Entertainment Centre last Saturday, June 5, highlighted the best of what the 2021 eisteddfod had to offer in all of the sections with performances of as a high a standard as you would find anywhere.
Newcastle tenor, Sam Elmi, who performed an aria from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, was the first to be presented with a $450 cheque for being the vocal section's Roma Liggins Perpetual Scholarship nominee.
The other nominees awarded $450 during the concert were Mahalia Adamson (dance), and Riley Brown (instrumental).
The piano section this year nominated two people, WenYuan Lim Schneider and Joshua Walraven.
At the end of the concert, the Roma Liggins Perpetual Scholarship trophy, and cheque for $1500, was awarded to WenYuan Lim Schneider.
Pianist Cameron Waugh was awarded on stage with a $750 Smile Scholarship, after performing a delicate rendition of Consolation Number Three by Franz Liszt.
There were 34 performances in all, with performers travelling from Forster, Tuncurry, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Coffs Harbour.
"A lot of these people are so happy to drive such long distances, it's really amazing," grand concert organiser, Gillian Herbert said.
Local vocalist, Cassidy Donovan was mesmerising with her performance of Burn from the musical Hamilton.
"When Cassidy Donovan sung she was smoking," vocal section co-ordinator, Deirdre Sutherland said.
When Cassidy Donovan sung she was smoking.Deirdre Sutherland
"I just saw this world class performer in front of us," she said.
"To me, she had a golden aura all about her.
:I couldn't take my eyes off her."
Other audience favourites were Coco Solomon dancing a jazz routine to Bye Bye Blackbird, Will Hellstedt who channelled Puck in his demi-character dance, classical guitarist Aidan Siddle playing Tango esta noche, Baran Zanjani on violin playing Spanish Dance,and WenYuan Lim Schneider, the last performer for the concert, playing Tokkata by Khachaturian on piano.
But by far the biggest and most raucous applause was given to Nathan Moore, accompanied by Matt Zarb, singing I'll Leave This World Loving You, with the Dundaloo Diamonds performing Morning Town Ride, again accompanied by Matt Zarb, being a close second in the noisy audience appreciation ranks.
Both Nathan and the Dundaloo Diamonds were competitors in the inaugural Starburst section for all abilities in the 2021 eisteddfod.
"I was really happy with all of the performers," Ms Herbert said.
"We felt there was a high standard of performers chosen by each of the co-ordinators.
"I felt there was a nice variety.
"And, I think there was a nice variety of really modern stuff, like the two people who did Burn from Hamilton, which was a nice contrast between that the the Chopin and Khachaturian - the more classical pieces."
During the concert, Taree and District Eisteddfod president, Tim Stack thanked the many volunteers who made the eisteddfod happen, the audience, patrons and sponsors.
"Without everyone working together, we don't get the entrants, especially the young ones, on stage, which is what we are all about," Mr Stack said.
"I call our entrants 'athletes of the stage', as they apply the same work ethic and then, with courage, accept competition and an adjudicator's critique."
The last thanks went to to the entrants.
"No you, no eisteddfod."