TALENT APLENTY: The competitors in the Family Section of the Lower Clarence Music Eisteddfod, Narelle O'Connell with grandchildren Ian and Tom Burgess, winners Sandy McCarthy and David Shannon, Grace and Sarah Johnson and Elena and Stanley Robertson.
TALENT APLENTY: The competitors in the Family Section of the Lower Clarence Music Eisteddfod, Narelle O'Connell with grandchildren Ian and Tom Burgess, winners Sandy McCarthy and David Shannon, Grace and Sarah Johnson and Elena and Stanley Robertson. Adam Hourigan

Families who play well

IN THE last section of the opening day of the Lower Clarence Music Eisteddfod, there were no age restrictions. No skill level required.

All you needed was a bit of family love.

And a lot of practice.

The family vocal or instrument section had four groups ranging in both age and family connection.

Whether it was the violin player with her two string-playing grandsons, the two ukulele-playing sisters or other performers, the section brought a smile to all in the Maclean Civic Hall.

For siblings Stanley, 5 and Elena, 7, Robertson, their vocal and guitar duet on Waltzing Matilda was rewarded with a special adjudicator's award, and their mother Sandra Robertson said they loved playing together.

"They've both been playing for a while, and they really bounce off each other,” she said.

"They're very close company. Hopefully they'll even be busking in the street soon.”

At the other end of the age spectrum, partners Sandy McCarthy and David Shannon said there were some nerves, and some creative differences in the lead-up to their winning performance.

"We play in the Clarence Valley Orchestra, and we do just play around a lot, but we've been busy as well,” Ms McCarthy said.

"I think people under- estimate sometimes how hard it is for people like us to get up here and play in public.”

"It's all about that confidence. You've just got to get up there and belt it out.”

Adjudicator Warwick Tyrrell paid tribute to the uniqueness of the section, saying it is often the highlight.

Mr Tyrrell said the range of music and styles he was able to listen to in a day made rural eisteddfods such a success.



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