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'The talent was pretty good'

Monday, 24th August, 2009

By Gina Wilson

Next year's Eisteddfod will expand to include younger age groups after an increase in little ones wanting to perform.

Piano coordinator Joan Roper said performers as young as four were yesterday competing against under eights, but next year would be different. "The talent seems pretty good so far. One performer's only four!" Mrs Roper said. "Next year we'll have younger age groups so the younger ones can play in the six and under and the seven and under rather than in the under eight and under nine. "We hope to expand it that way." There were 40 competitors in the nine categories of piano at the city's 40th Eisteddfod yesterday, competing in all age groups from under eight to under 18 and open. "The numbers are about average," Mrs Roper said. "The talent was pretty good, I thought. "There was a good crowd - it was great because the little tiny kids, knee high to a grasshopper, like their parents to be here and to have someone watch them." She said out of town schools had also made the effort to compete. "Menindee school also came in with a choir in each section. It's certainly very pleasing to see Menindee. We're always happy about that." Mrs Roper said her family had been involved with the local Eisteddfod since the 1970s but she couldn't recall how long she'd been running the piano section. "I don't know how long I've been coordinator. The years just go. Years." She said over the years the number of piano competitors had remained steady while organ players had dropped off the radar. This morning the city's schools perform in the instrumentals, while 31 people will compete in the under five and six age group for the nursery rhyme in costume. Tonight a new event, the slow melody, will be played with those entering having to sing one of three selected pieces.

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