[Bards] Report on Eisteddfod AS XLI

Celeste Shelton teacherceleste at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 7 14:29:00 PST 2007

For those of who could not be there, THANK YOU.  It sounds like this was what a bardic competition should aspire to be.  :)
Congratulations to all and I hope to see everyone performing soon.

> From: jerryn at houston.rr.com> To: bards at lists.ansteorra.org> Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 11:51:19 -0600> Subject: [Bards] Report on Eisteddfod AS XLI> > For those of you who weren't able to make Eisteddfod, let me be the first to> tell you that you missed one of the finest competitions I've had the> privelege of being a part of. What follows is one poor minstrel's attempt> to report on Kingdom Eisteddfod, January 6th, AS XLI.> > The weather was cold and blustery through the day. The tent became so> crowded with bards and audience that a wall had to be taken down so that> others outside the tent could watch the performances. While the weather> grew colder toward the later part of the afternoon, enough spare cloaks and> heat sources were available that few were uncomfortable (except in the RoD,> in which there were 15 varying levels of discomfort). Lady Melody McGregor> ran a hospitality pavillion behind the performance pavillion, with welcomed> warm drinks and small noshes for hungry bards. The placement of the> entertainment pavillion along the walkway gave a good exposure for the> competition as it was along a main entry path, rather than being stuck away> in a corner of the building, or having to contend with a noisy hall (and> they're all noisy, and it IS distracting). Should Eisteddfod return to> wandering about the Kingdom, I would recommend that we continue to find ways> to hold the competition outside, near a major access path. > > Eleanor, it was easy to see, from the start, how much of your heart is taken> with being a part of the bardic community. Your words of encouragement> before the competition began were heartfelt and welcomed. By the time the> competition had started there were fifteen entrants, with Maggie starting> off with a wonderful poem that she recited in English, then Chinese, which> left the audience floored. I had to follow that!> > The first round, performer's choice, was a display of some fantastic pieces> of performance that ran the gamut; from a silly poem (Casey at the Crown)> performed by your humble servant, to beautiful songs in French (Katrina of> Coventry) and stories and poetry. Everyone stepped up to the line and> towed it quite handsomely, including those who have never entered an> Eisteddfod before, or those who hadn't performed in some time. There was no> need to silence the audience, and many stopped on their way to and fro from> the hall, to watch as yet another performer took the center and cast their> spell.> > The second round (henceforth known as the Round of Dread, or RoD), was as> much entertainment from the reaction of the contestants as they drew their> word/phrase/doom from a small box, with five minutes to come up with a> performance to match the w/p/d. Once again, performances ranged from the> merely entertaining (mine) to inspirational, heartwarming, and joyful. This> round pressed every performer outside of their comfort zone, sometimes by a> good bit. Duchess Willow sang! A drinking song! That I want to learn! If> you get the opportunity, ask HL Rhiannon to tell you her great (to the nth)> grandmother's tale of the origin of Arthur's Round Table. The RoD was> filled with good cameraderie and much playful teasing by all the> contestants. I believe that Svan even shed a tear (or that might have been> because his Ansteorran Shot Glass (tm) was empty). The judges could be> heard gleefully chortling as each new vict.... er, contestant picked their> entry from the Box of Doom.> > Judging the competition were HL Eleanor O'Rourke, HE Ulf Gunnarson, and HL> Tigamus Bearbait. These three were set an awful task, to winnow from the> fine performances and pick the best of the lot for the final round. Not a> soul in the tent envied them their position as time came to choose the two> or three contestants. They returned, ready to announce the finalists, but> first largesse was given to those that had inspired through the day, or> those that lend inspiration through the course of time and their actions. > > The three finalists were announced; Finnaican, Rhiannon, and Darius. Their> order of performance was Finnaican, Darius, then Rhiannon. Finnaican> offered up a new anthem, with accompaniment by fine warriors of Ansteorra,> who performed the chant for the background for his anthem. Darius offered a> fine poem, bringing some to tears. Rhiannon's offering was a beautiful song> that she sang from the heart. All fine performances, and once again, the> judges had to make a hard decision.> > I would be remiss in my reporting if I didn't mention the fun that was had.> The atmosphere was relaxed and playful, with bards having fun. If you> weren't able to see the judges table you would have thought it merely a> gathering of bards to perform (an idea I'll talk about in another post). In> my mind I believe that this was the finest, most fun Eisteddfod that I have> participated in. The day was filled with song and story, sung and told by> performers who love their craft and were happy to share. Time was taken to> rest halfway between the first two rounds as well as between each round, and> that was filled with music and dancing and song (Sea Chanty's!!!!!). There> were many smiling faces, laughter, and a general happiness with the world> despite wind or weather.> > Oh! The winner? I had to leave before the winner was announced, but a> reliable source reports that our new Kingdom Bard of Ansteorra is none other> than Finnaican. In her words before closing the competition, HL Eleanor> told the gathered crowd that the level of performance was such that had> their been a way to parcel the Cloak of State into fifteen pieces she would> not have had a second thought of handing each contestant a piece. I can> heartily agree.> > My hope? That this will be our future. That Eisteddfod will only grow> (Maybe have two big tents), and that more of Ansteorra's finest performers> will be inspired to join in the competition and fun. > > Thus ends my report, poor excuse that it be. Others with finer wit and> loftier words may provide greater detail.> > In service to the dream with a song in my heart, I am,> HL Gerald of Leesville> A bard of Stargate > > _______________________________________________> Bards mailing list> Bards at lists.ansteorra.org> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/bards-ansteorra.org
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