The 2019 Tenterfield Eisteddfod gets underway at the Tenterfield School of Arts Theatre next week, with speech and drama sections on Monday.
The music sections happen Thursday, with dance over two days later in the month: September 23 and 24.
Christine Denis, president of the Tenterfield Eisteddfod Association which took over management of the event from Quota in 2016, said entry numbers are on a par with last year although music numbers are down a little.
The competition pool is drawn from Evans Head, Glen Innes, Applethorpe, Stanthorpe, Warwick, Lismore, Inverell and Millmerran, as well as local performers. Mrs Denis is encouraging members of the public to get along to the theatre to not only support the acts and give them some experience in performing in front of a crowd, but also to have a good time.
Competitors range from 4-80 years, with beginner and seasoned performers alike across the age span so it should be a great experience for everyone.
People can drop into the day sessions for a door fee of $2, but the open music section on Thursday night will be like a concert, Mrs Denis said, with lots of familiar well-loved acts among the new ones. With talk of retirement among some of those familiar names, it may be a scarce opportunity to see them on stage again.
"It should be lovely," Mrs Denis said.
"It will be nice for people to come and be in the audience."
School groups will be performing between the morning tea break and lunchtime on Monday and Thursday, with the open sections running in the evening.
Entry to the Thursday evening session is $5, and includes supper. It starts at 6.30pm and all are welcome.
For those who don't mind a little limelight, adjudicator Kiesten McCauley is conducting an improv workshop at the venue on Monday afternoon for an hour from 3.30pm. Older primary school students and high schoolers are welcome to participate, even if they're not otherwise involved in the eisteddfod.
Ms McCauley has taught improvisation, speech and drama classes and workshops all around Queensland, Northern NSW and Norfolk Island. She has performed on every major stage in Queensland, as well as Sydney's Enmore Theatre and Belvoir Street Theatre. The workshop is free so it's a great opportunity to tap into the great reservoir of knowledge and experience.
The eisteddfod's $500 scholarships in each of the three disciplines -- speech, music and dance -- are again up for grabs, bestowed on promising competitors who express the wish to continue their studies.
Past recipients include Jo Lusty, now a professional actor in Sydney, and Ella Wishart who used the scholarship to undertake a radio course, also in Sydney.
There are still jobs for volunteers who can spare some time, and want to enjoy the performances. Call Mrs Denis on 0419 441 422 if you can help.