Two young Orange champions emerged among the winners when the curtain closed on the speech and drama component of the eisteddfod.
Naomi Wright was awarded first place in the Banjo Paterson Open Championship category taking home a cut of the $150 in sponsorship by the Rotary Club of Orange.
Sophia Duncan came first in the Junior Speech and Drama Category earning her $300 from the Orange Ex-Services’ Club to put towards future drama lessons.
The year 7 students at James Sheahan Catholic High School said they both had help from their teachers in choosing their material, with Annie Oakley’s Annie Get Your Gun humorous tale chosen to match Sophia’s “loud and crazy” personality.
She said the sight reading task – in which adjudicators choose the text – can be a bit nerve-racking but she has a few tricks to tackle it.
“Read slowly, look ahead and know what’s coming up,” she said.
Reciting Paterson’s The Geebung Polo Club, Naomi said it was tough competition in the open heats.
“Especially because some competitors were a lot older,” she said.
Her recipe for success is to speak up and avoid the sing-song approach to performing.
The kids seem to put more hours in and the choreography has become more professional.
“Make sure everyone can hear and make sure you don’t get into rhyme,” she said.
Both girls will compete in the vocal and instrumental sections after the wrap up of the dance sections, which will kick off with the dance weekend this Friday.
Eisteddfod committee member Michele Marriott said in the 17 years she’s been part of Orange’s dance community it’s gone from strength to strength, with the weekend growing with it.
“It’s definitely gotten bigger and I think the standard has improved too,” said Mrs Marriott.
“The kids seem to put more hours in and the choreography has become more professional.”
From Friday until Sunday night, groups ranging in size from four to 30 will compete in all styles of dance, including jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary, tap, musical theatre and national character.
Mrs Marriott said while dance was very big in Orange and there were a lot of children who wanted to be involved, the message from the Eisteddfod organisers was winning was not the most important thing.
“It’s not about beating someone else, it’s about how you improve,” she said.
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