The first of thousands of performers stepped onto the Manning Entertainment Centre today (Wednesday) for the 55th Taree and District Eisteddfod.
And there to greet those entrants in the vocal section was long-serving president eisteddfod society Tim Stack OAM as he officially opened the 2022 event.
"Let the 2022 55th eisteddfod begin," he said.
"To this year's entrants I say thanks for the strength of your decision to enter.
"Now, back your decision to enter by effort, as what you achieve by your own efforts is superbly your own, (and ) given the bonuses that such effort rewards, including confidence and experience, are quite possibly more valuable tools for life than the achievement itself."
Mr Stack estimates at least 5000 entrants will grace the MEC stage between the opening section (Wednesday April 20) and the grand concert on Saturday, June 11.
The vocal section continues over the new few days and concludes on Saturday evening with the junior and open championships featuring singers from Taree, Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Sydney.
The traditionally largest section of the eisteddfod, the dance section, has attracted more than 2200 entries, including more than 900 solo performers, from along the east coast of NSW from Coffs Harbour to Sydney, with the majority from the Port Macquarie, Taree and Forster/Tuncurry region.
Dancers take the stage from next Tuesday, April 26, with a total of 177 dancing troupes taking part in the spectacular "group weekend" tom April 29 to May 1.
Speaking to the competitors this morning (Wednesday, April 20), Mr Stack said it was "wonderful to see our inspirational young singers presently on stage.
"Their sense of occasion in their beautiful attire and etiquette, such little things like acknowledging with a hand gesture their accompanist after their performance, is a joy to behold, for ones so young.
"These life skills, learnt from their earlier generation families and wonderful quality teachers, are the essence of 'owning the stage'.
"The courage of overcoming nervousness to walk onto the stage and perform, then receive a critique giving tips for improvement, all helps building strength/confidence, which is the cornerstone of why hundreds of volunteers give their time in support and why the (eisteddfod) committee takes on its role year on year."
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