[Bards] Re:From Eleanor Fairchild - on Eisteddfod

Brian & Pam Martin twinoak at cox-internet.com
Mon Jan 5 19:04:30 PST 2004

Thank you for competing and please don't hesitate to compete in the future!
I was only there to see the last two rounds, but I was very impressed with
you (and the other performers) and I would love to see you perform more, be
it in competition or a circle.

-----Original Message-----
From: bards-bounces at ansteorra.org [mailto:bards-bounces at ansteorra.org] On
Behalf Of Bella
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 8:42 PM
To: bards at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Bards] Re:From Eleanor Fairchild - on Eisteddfod




      This was my first year to compete in Eisteddfod and it was both an
intense competition and one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had.
The competitors, though not large in number, were incredible in talent. I
had put off competing for the last few years for fear I wasn't ready for it.
I have very little experience with documentation other than giving a brief
introduction to a piece before performing and I wasn't sure what was
expected because here in the North you rarely ever see a competition where
documentation is required or even requested so it was something new. I can
say now that I have done it, I plan to work even harder to prepare for next
year starting now. It was nail-biting and edge of the seat, but I have to
agree with some of the other bards competing, it was amazing, fun in the
same way a roller-coaster is fun. Granted I generally feel a little like
that before any competition, just more intense at Eisteddfod. I encourage
anyone to try, if for nothing else but the experience. 


      I feel fortunate to have found myself in the final round this year for
I was in incredible company. And congratulations once again to Dona Antonia,
well deserved, I hope to be able to hear you perform more often. 


      Also, if anyone knows how to contact Ana, surname unknown, I wanted to
pass on some information I had on Sephardic music to her but I didn't get
her e-mail address. 


      HL Sibeal inghean ui Ruairc

      Better known as Bella O'Rourke



-----Original Message-----

From: bards-bounces at ansteorra.org [mailto:bards-bounces at ansteorra.org] On
Behalf Of Biggs, Truly

Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 2:55 PM

To: bards at ansteorra.org

Cc: tim at roseneath.ca

Subject: [Bards] From Eleanor Fairchild - on Eisteddfod



Hello All!


Let me first offer congratulations to Dona Antonia for her marvelous
performances in the competition this year. I have high hopes for her tenure
as Kingdom Bard.


Also, let me say what an honor and a privilege it was to judge the Kingdom
Eisteddfod this past weekend. The competition was both friendly and
excellent, and I enjoyed watching each performance. I have to say that as
both a performer and a judge, this style of competition is my favorite, as
all performers compete against the whole group, rather than one-to one.  For
those of you who were not able to attend, the judges were:


Robin of Gilwell (past Premier bard)

Ulf Gunnarson (past Premier bard)

Eleanor Fairchild (past Premier bard)

Snorri (Sponsored by Pendaran Glamorgan)

Garraed Galbreath (visiting bardic laurel from Ealdormere)

Pendaran Glamorgan (outgoing Premier Bard)


I also want to extend a thank you to Antigonus Bearbait(Tiggy) for helping
the competition to run smoothly. Wonderful job - as usual.


As I remember the competitors were:


Dona Antonia 

Bella (Many apologies, my lady - I did not write down your surname)

Eleanor O'Rourke

William Wyrm

Gerald Of Leesvile

Muirenn ingen Senáin uí Dúnlaing (Simone)

Ana ....(Oooh - don't have her surname either)

Ouisin MacFinn


Please do forgive me for misspellings and omissions.  


I want to applaud those who entered for the courage to get up in front of
your peers and offer your performances up to be weighed against the work of
others. The documentation that was presented to us for support was
outstanding, and the preparation that went into the pieces was readily
evident and greatly appreciated. 


A few notes on documentation, which I hope will be helpful to all.


As a judge, I find it helpful to have both the history and references
regarding your piece, and a printed copy or Xerox copy of the piece attached
(if song or poem or monologue.)Calligraphy is nice - but hard to read
quickly. If it is a piece I know backwards and forwards - one quick glance
at the printed poem or song will allow me to watch your performance rather
than sort through your documentation.  


If you cite a website in your documentation, also do list any references
that website gives, or who contributed to it. Ly Ana, whose surname I have
misplaced, did an excellent job of supporting her references, and I urge you
to seek her out and see what she did if you have further questions.


If your piece is original - a copy of the words is helpful. Also, include a
sentence to let us know if both the tune and the words are your own, and if
they follow a historical style, or if they are more modern in nature.


Several of the performers provided documentation for all the pieces they had
prepared to perform - which was most impressive. It is nice to feel so very
informed, whether a piece is modern or historical. I don't always know what
pieces I intend to compete with, so it's something I have never done  but I
was certainly impressed by the time and preparation.



So - on another note, I would like to ask the group at large - 


Why did more of you not compete? This question is in no way meant to shake a
finger at anyone, as I have only competed in one kingdom Eisteddfod myself,
and had a different reason each year for not competing until then. I have
participated in/judged many baronial and shire title bard competitions which
had twenty or more competitors, and I wonder what the difference is. I am
asking to see if we can help strengthen the community by discovering what
the reluctance is to enter the title bard competition. 

Is it:


Not wanting to document pieces?

Not having any/enough documentable pieces?

Not knowing how to document pieces?

Not having any original pieces?

Not wanting to receive negative commentary?

Not knowing enough pieces to compete with?

Not having enough pieces that you feel good about?

Not wanting/having time for the responsibility of being the Kingdom Bard?

Not thinking that you will do well?


Enquiring minds want to know.



You can respond either publicly to this list or privately to

Truly.biggs at hp.com


Thanks for your time, 

And for sharing your music and poetry with us all.





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