Musicians impress in Woodward play off at Gulgong | Winners

Mudgee musician Rebekah Rae was chosen as the winner of the annual Roger Woodward prize at the Prince of Wales Opera House in Gulgong. 

Rebekah was one of six finalists who competed in the play-off for the $300 prize, awarded each year to the most beautiful or finest performance of the Prince of Wales Eisteddfod. 

Chairman of the judging panel, William Moxey, praised the maturity of Rebekah’s clarinet rendition of Clair Matin by Paul Jeanjean. 

“She had a fine understanding of her instrument,” Mr Moxey said. “She knew what the instrument needed to say and said it with the greatest elegance and polish.” 

Rebekah has been competing in the Prince of Wales Eisteddfod for around six years and previously won the Roger Woodward Prize in 2014. 

She was also named the most promising instrumentalist in this year’s Eisteddfod. 

The audience choice award went to pianist Hannah Boland, who performed Tarantella. 

Other finalists at the play-off, held as part of the Eisteddfod gala concert, were pianist Jacquilin Ismay, pianist Ben Connor, singer Sarah Hampton and flautist Lucinda Lillis. 

Mr Moxey, who was part of the judging panel for the first time this year, said he was impressed by the high quality of performances at the Gulgong Eisteddfod. 

“For a small town, it punches above its weight,” he said. 

Mr Moxey congratulated the musicians, their parents and their teachers for their efforts in preparing for the Eisteddfod. 

“The standard of performances just doesn’t happen. The musicians have worked hard to get here.

“Music is alive and well in Gulgong.” 

 During the month-long Eisteddfod, 1850 performers took part in group days. There were an additional 1504 performances in the solo dance, music and speech and drama sections. 

One hundred and thirty-five people attended Friday’s gala concert, which featured some  of the best and most entertaining performances from all sections of the Eisteddfod: 

Gulgong Eisteddfod Music Prize winners

Most promising vocalist: Sarah Hampton. 

Most Promising Pianist 9 years and under: Nioka Downey. 

Encouragement Pianist 9 years and under: James Nicholson; 

Most Promising Instrumentalist: Rebekah Rae. 

Encouragement Instrumentalist: Lara Stubb. 

Best Piano Duet: Lara Stubbs and Isabelle Hauville. 

Most Promising Pianist 10-12 years: Jacquilin Ismay. 

Encouragement Pianist 10-12 years: Lawrance Little. 

Most promising pianist 13 years and over: Hannah Boland. 

Encouragement pianist 13 years and over: Madelyn Fardell. 

The Mick Kelly Memorial Award: Tim Connor. 

Theresa Lane Memorial Steinway Awards sponsored by Moolarben Coal 

12 years and under: Jacquilin Ismay. 

13 years and over: Ben O’Connor. 

Junior Scholarship supported by Moolarben Coal: Lucinda Lillis. 

Senior Scholarship supported by Moolarben Coal: Rebekah Rae. 

Best instrumental duet: Cobi Hofman and Ian Kendrik. 

Best recorder group: Hargraves Public School.

Best school percussion group: Portland Central School.

Best instrumental group: Mudgee High School.