Llangollen International Eisteddfod
Music & Staging Committee
The M. & S. Committee, as it is known within the Eisteddfod, working closely with the Music Director, arranges all the competitions and concerts. This work proceeds throughout the year, beginning with sending our Syllabuses to would-be competitors and answering a myriad of queries, receiving, applications from choirs and dance groups, then in November, finalising the accepted list. Letters of acceptance and full information regarding the competitions are sent worldwide.
Many groups are invited to participate in other activities - Evening Concerts, Matinees, Workshops and the Twmpath Dawns (Ceilidh), while soloists apply later on in April and the needs of about 300 solo competitors are seen to. Professional artists also need assistance - accommodation, meals, rehearsals, and, of course, proper care when they arrive.
Publications - the Syllabus, Brochures and the official Eisteddfod Programme all need information from the Music Office. The Recordings Sub-Committee organises its team of workers and all the technical equipment needed to provide cassettes and videos for sale to the public. The Town Events - Parade, and a time-table of “impromptu” performances in the town, have to be arranged.
Adjudicators, comperes. accompanists, stewards for the Preliminary Tests, backstage team, panel assistants, pianos and organ, taxis, T.V and Radio companies, bouquet presenters, special ceremonies, police out-rider, teas for everybody everywhere - all necessary contacts and lists are made to ensure a smooth operation backstage.
The G.M. & S Committee was formed recently as a forum for those members of the Grounds Committee involved with the stage, to meet with the Stage Manager and crew to discuss plans for setting up sound equipment, lighting, drapes, and general stage arrangements.
The flag-wavers in more senses than one!
Publicity starts a year ahead with the production and distribution of posters and leaflets to visitors at the previous Eisteddfod. Advertising and PR work follow for the rest of the year. Graphics for this material and for the printed programme are produced from within the committee - print contracts are negotiated and agents and school children organised to sell the programmes.
A wide range of merchandise is sold from the Publicity “Shop” on the Eisteddfod field ranging from pens and postcards to monogrammed sweatshirts, umbrellas, cushions, crockery, glassware and a host of other souvenirs. Members take a pride in displaying the flags of all the participating countries and physically fly the flags and bunting around the town and field.
The Tickets Committee members have been described as the “unsung heroes” who man the turnstiles and ticket booths voluntarily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the entire week of the Eisteddfod. Advance booking starts in October and in 1996, thanks to the generosity of the Foundation for Sports and the Arts, ticket sales are now computerised. The Committee attend to the labelling of the 4500 seats in the Pavilion, make provision for the disabled, arrange party bookings and answer all the queries! Annually the Committee decide on a pricing policy and make recommendations to the Standing Board for the following year.
Predictably this Committee is staffed in
the main by bankers and businessmen whose role is to maintain financial
control of the Eisteddfod. Day to day accounts are kept, using a
computerised accounting system. Annual accounts are produced, audited and
printed to comply with the Companies and Charities Acts.
This photograph taken in 1952, demonstrates the composition of the Grounds Committee; doctor, architect, market gardener, landowner, surveyor, chemist, vet, furniture-remover, house- painter, farmer, shop-keeper, builder, forester, town-clerk, school masters and civil engineers and the father of a Governor of the Bank of England! The function of this committee is to attend to the installation and maintenance of the Infrastructure on the Eisteddfod grounds, which entails roadways, drainage, telephones, electricity and water supplies; to contract for tentage, catering and the various concessions which all have to be carefully sited on the Field. In the marquee, (now Pavilion), to contract for the amplification systems, stage lighting, drapes etc. and to liaise with the television and sound broadcasting units.
Safety and security are important
concerns throughout, requiring dose co-operation with the emergency
services; Police, Fire and First Aid. Car Parking, Coach Parking, signage,
cleaning, courtesy cars, communications by internal telephones and
closed circuit television and recently giant video screens; these are just
some of the other items that need to be organised. Not to be forgotten is
the dismantling, storage and clean-up after the event. During the
week a complex rota of stewards, ushers and attendants have to be
recruited, briefed, fed and organised, involving over 100 volunteers and
50 school children. Altogether a formidable responsibility which requires
a year-round commitment.
Reproduced from the book 'Fifty
Glorious Weeks 1947 - 1996'
ISBN 0 9528296 06 - Compiler and Art Editor Robert B. Attenburrow M.B.E
Copyright © Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. All rights reserved.
Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod Office, Llangollen, North Wales, UK, LL20 8SW
Telephone:- +44 1978 862000 - Fax:- +44 1978 862002
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