Australian National Eisteddfod: Orchestras & Bands wrap-up

May 27, 2016

Saturday 21st & Thursday 26th May 2016

Six youth groups have recently represented Music For Canberra at the Australian National Eisteddfod.

On Saturday 21st May, a number of Music For Canberra’s orchestral groups – Sinfonietta, the combined Peg Mantle String Ensemble, and the James McCusker Orchestra – performed at Llewellyn Hall,  and on Thursday 26th May, our Rock Academy bands – Not All There, Room 1 and Push Not Pull – took to the stage at CIT Woden, as part of the Australian National Eisteddfod.

All groups gave fantastic performances, with the Peg Mantle String Ensemble taking out First Place in the ‘Open String Ensembles’ category, and the James McCusker Orchestra being awarded First Place in the ‘Open Orchestras’ section. All MFC rock groups placed in the Rock Bands section on Thursday night: Push Not Pull took out Gold, with Not All There and Room 1 earning Silvers. Congratulations to everyone involved for your efforts – including our volunteers and parents as well as our talented players, and dedicated staff!

Rock Academy tutor Patrick Quinn Quirke says of our three Rock Academy bands:

“They rocked out – we’re so proud of them! They brought attitude and skill in equal measures, and their awards are well deserved.”

Conductor Kirsten Knight said of Sinfonietta:

“Sinfonietta played brilliantly! They behaved professionally on stage, were focused, and the ensemble playing was perfect. I’m so proud of them.”

The adjudicators had positive comments for Peg Mantle String Ensemble (conducted by Tim Wickham):

“A rich and sonorous tone projected clearly throughout your performance. Clearly articulated rhythmic figures provided the underlying energy of this piece… overall a characteristic and evocative performance. The technique is secure as is the musical understanding. I  encourage players to really let loose and play out. Congratulations on this performance.”

JMO conductor, Shilong Ye says:

“I think something magical took place on stage on Saturday night. Such a unifying voice that came out of JMO was something that I haven’t really heard before. I was so moved that I shall never forget such an experience with these fine young musicians. I’m so proud of them!”

From our CEO, Kathleen Grant:

“I have received such great feedback from conductors and parents regarding MFC’s various performances at this year’s National Eisteddfod.  I am thrilled that our students acquitted themselves to great honour on every level, in presentation, behaviour as well as musically.  This is a great testament to our tutors and volunteer managers who work tirelessly to create a quality learning experience for our musicians – and also to the networks of family, carers and friends who support through being audience members and ensuring musical development continues at home.”

Special thanks to volunteer photographer Peter Hislop who made it in time at the end of a long day on the Saturday to capture some lovely images of the James McCusker Orchestra

For more pictures of both performance days, please see our photo album on Facebook – parents, we encourage you to post your own photos to our Facebook page, or email them to so that we can add them to this photo album! We are missing photos particularly of Sinfonietta who performed earlier on the Saturday.

James McCusker Orchestra directed by Shilong Ye – National Eisteddfod 2016.