WHEN you’ve been performing in the Mildura Eisteddfod for nine years, you’d have to be considered a bit of a veteran.

And in the case of Lacinda Ribarits, she’s a 15-year-old veteran.

“I’ve performed in a number of categories including dance, but mostly music including stringed instruments, recorder, piano and woodwind instruments,” Lacinda said.

“This year, my involvement consists of music, ranging from individual performances, guest, and working within a quintet and ensemble.

“The Eisteddfod provides a national stage for music, dance, visual arts, original performances, and various competitions in a welcoming, fun, and one-of-a-kind environment.

“I discovered a natural talent and love for music in primary school, which inspired me to maintain music in my life.”

Lacinda said she “fell in love” with performing at the Eisteddfod immediately.

“It made me happy because I was able to share my love and gift of music with those in the loving community of Mildura. I also hope that it will inspire the next generation of musicians in the same way that it inspired me to perform,” she said.

“My experience with the Eisteddfod has been nothing short of spectacular.

“For me, the Eisteddfod is about the experience rather than competing for a win. It has given me many skills that will be useful in the future, one of which is having the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and perform.”

The Eisteddfod has also been an avenue for Lacinda to learn resilience and confidence.

“Following a performance, you still have a community, family, friends, and music teachers to provide and show support,” she said.

“The Eisteddfod teaches you not to be afraid of a silent room when you walk on stage in front of a large audience to compete for an award. Instead, it is a showcase of passion and dedication, as well as a festival of creativity and excellence.

“There are numerous reasons to participate in an Eisteddfod, and it may appeal to those looking to hone their skills and gain professional experience in live performance.”

Lacinda admits not being able to perform on stage during COVID was difficult, but the opportunity to perform virtually and still receive feedback was good.

“Although it did not provide the same rush as performing live, it did provide us musicians with an opportunity to receive feedback on which we can improve, especially during COVID lockdowns,” she said.

“But the desire to perform has remained and will continue to grow in the future. The Eisteddfod is a unique opportunity for emerging artists of all disciplines to have their moment on stage.

“It was an important learning curve for me as a musician because it is difficult to perform in front of no one and feel as if your efforts were in vain. However, musicians needed to accept the challenges, changes, and difficulties that came their way.

“It’s time for them to step back into the spotlight, to fail and succeed, and to finally pursue our craft. I am very excited to return to performing in front of a live audience, even if I am a little nervous because it has been a while.”