“It’s been a tough couple of weeks but the eisteddfod was a highlight,” said Cundletown Public School’s relieving principal Jenny Cohen.
Just a week after their principal Bruce Coote passed away, the school’s choirs went on to win all three of their sections at the Taree and District Eisteddfod.
“Bruce was a strong supporter of the eisteddfod and would have been over the moon with three firsts,” she said.
Classroom teacher and conductor of the senior choir Sasha Cairns said it meant a lot to everyone. “He was very passionate about the choir and quite competitive as well. He would have loved to watch them perform. It was a week after we lost him so it was quite special. It was the highlight of my career having all three get up on the day,” she said.
Miss Cohen said after their performances, quite a few students made the comment that “we did it for Mr Coote”.
Music is an important focus at the school, with the choir part of the music curriculum so all the students take part during first term.
As the number of students permitted in the eisteddfod for choirs is 60, students are given the option to perform.
The infants choir, led by Karen Forrester, includes students from years one and two, and sang I am the Earth and Sausages and Custard.
The junior choir, consisting of students from years three and four, is led by Samantha North, and sang Try a Little Kindness by Glen Campbell and Edelweiss from The Sound of Music.
The senior choir, years five and six, led by Ms Cairns sang Teach Your Children Well and Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac. The senior choir has also been invited to sing at the grand concert this Saturday, June 17, and will perform in the afternoon.
Graham Bourke accompanied all three on guitar.
“Something the adjudicator commented on for all the choirs was the connection the students had with their conductor and that’s such an important thing,” said Mrs North. “It’s not just about being pitch perfect.”
She said the choirs are very much a school collaboration. “We lead the choirs but all the other teachers are involved in the curriculum part and we do it in school time.”
Miss Cohen said the wins were a testament to the choirs’ strong teamwork.