Friday, February 6, 2009

Madam Vice-President and Music coordinator

I have an eisteddfod meeting this evening. It's now ten years since I returned to Bundaberg and started helping out with the local music eisteddfod. Growing up as a child here and learning music it was one of the highlights of the year (that combined with the annual AMEB exams). So I was more than happy to help out with some of the organisation, especially given that my original piano teacher was on the committee as a way of giving something back to the music community.

I think my old teacher's eyes lit up with joy when she saw that I seemed willing to help out. "Wendy", she said very casually at what was probably my second eisteddfod, "would you like to get a little more involved with the committee?". "Sure...I'd be happy to help". Famous last words. Within a matter of months and one annual general meeting later, I was the music coordinator, responsible for the smooth running of a seven day event each May that can have anything from 600-800 performances. I have to beg and plead with music professionals to leave their nice jobs in Brisbane and sit hunched over a desk, writing constructive comments on every single one of these performances. Everything from six year olds singing their first solos, to 18 year olds performing concertos. Writer's cramp is a distinct possibility for the adjudicator...that, and I imagine sometimes...boredom. They do get paid though.

And tonight we have our first meeting for the year. Several things have gone wrong since the last meeting in November. The dates have been advertised wrongly in the local paper, contracts have been sent to adjudicators without the correct information,and one of our regular venues has let us down with double bookings. This is combined with my brilliant idea to have two adjudicators this year and run some concurrent sessions to cut down the number of days. It took us four hours to timetable that already and it's going to have to change again.

It's going to be an interesting meeting.

Oh...and did I also mention I'm the vice-president. Luckily, as with other more high profile vice-presidents, that role doesn't require much in the way of work.

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