About the Hamilton Eisteddfod

Contact Details

The Committee can be contacted via this email address: enquiries@hamiltoneisteddfod.org.au

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General Information

The Hamilton Eisteddfod takes place annually and provides an opportunity for musicians and dancers to perform in front of an audience and to have that performance assessed by professional adjudicators of the highest calibre in their respective fields.

The Eisteddfod is held at the Performing Arts Centre, Brown St., Hamilton. There are usually three sessions of approximately three hours duration on each day of the Eisteddfod. Competition is divided into approximately 120 music sections and 75 dance sections for competitors of primary school age through to adults. Both music and dance sections range from classical to popular, thus giving the Eisteddfod a breadth not always seen in regional competitions.

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History of the Eisteddfod

In 1963, a group of local citizens, interested in music and the arts, arranged a meeting to form the Hamilton Eisteddfod. The first Hamilton Arts Council Eisteddfod was held, consisting of 34 sections including piano, vocal, brass, primary and secondary school choral, an instrumental group and piano accordion. The piano accordion was a major part of the Eisteddfod in the 1960s, with competitors coming from Kerang, Pyramid Hill, Naracoorte, Hopetoun, Ararat, Horsham, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat & Melbourne.

In 1971, dance sections were incorporated into the Eisteddfod, with some 113 competitors travelling to Hamilton, from regional areas, to participate.

In 1994, the first annual award was presented, following a bequest from the Cartasso family, in honor of well-known local musician Mr. Jack Cartasso. Since that time, the number of awards has steadily increased, thanks to the generosity of many local benefactors.

The late Mrs. Barbara Critten M.B.E. of Hamilton assisted many students in the preparation of their entries for the Eisteddfod. Her contribution to music through her outstanding knowledge, in particular of choral and solo singing, has been perpetually acknowledged by the establishment of a Music Centre at Baimbridge College.

Over the years, a number of former competitors in the Hamilton Eisteddfod have gone on to pursue careers in music and dance as both performers and teachers, in Australia and internationally.

The role of the official accompanist commenced with Mrs. Gwenda Woodward of Hamilton and has continued on with professional accompanists from Melbourne in attendance each year.

Adjudicators of the highest calibre in their professions of music and dance are always appointed and the Eisteddfod Committee continues with this important tradition each year.

From meagre beginnings of small costs and 34 sections, the Hamilton Eisteddfod now has a reputation of high-achieving musicians and dancers and a large following throughout regional Victoria, South Australia, Melbourne and interstate. Competitors and their families come to Hamilton and stay for up to a week thus supporting local businesses. As very few Government subsidies are available, support is sought from the community, local Shire & businesses to assist the dedicated and entirely-volunteer Committee in keeping the Eisteddfod running each year. Committee members also participate in local fundraising events.

The Committee is confident that this year’s Eisteddfod will maintain the high standard of competition and that both students and teachers will continue to derive great benefit from their involvement.

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City of Hamilton Eisteddfod Inc: Committee Members

President Leeanne Barber
Vice President Jody Stephens
Secretary Denise Fenwick
Asst. Secretary Jane Van Herpen
Treasurer Jo Howell
Program Coordinator Tara Stephens
Canteen Coordinator Glenys Aisbett
Committee Becky Morton
  Glenys Tindall
  Angela Magill
  Marie Robinson (Life Member)
  Mary McArthur
  Kim Fitzgerald
  Ben Hiscock

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