Back in the spotlight after 58 years
By TOBY WALKER
THE last time Noel Gallagher found himself playing to an eisteddfod audience was in Maclean.
That was in 1947, and he had just turned 12.
Almost 60 years later, Mr Gallagher, now 70, will once again play in an eisteddfod, but this time he will team up with his 14-year-old nephew Joseph to play in the open piano duets next month at the Grafton Eisteddfod.
And while he might have a wealth of experience behind the keys to call on, it would seem Mr Gallagher is matched with a safe pair of hands in Joseph, a veteran of no less than seven Grafton Eisteddfods and a 7th grade player. Both have received tutelage on the piano from the Sisters of Mercy, with Joseph currently learning from teacher Connie de Dassel at the Maclean Academy of Music.
Joseph hopes to one day build a career around his love of music but his uncle prefers the privacy of his own home when it comes to tickling the ivories.
Mr Gallagher is a self-professed bundle of nerves when it comes to playing for an audience and predicts Joseph will be the one with the confidence to steady the pair through their recital of Schubert's Marche Militaire.
"He's used to playing in the eisteddfods," Mr Gallagher said.
The open piano duets will no doubt be the performance the uncle/nephew combination are most looking forward to but it is one of many on the program for Joseph.
The McAuley Catholic College student is learning several piano pieces for the competition as well as preparing for performances in the singing sections as well.