Ipswich singer Hudson Bertram.
Ipswich singer Hudson Bertram.

Young singer gets chance to shine despite COVID shutdowns

PERFORMING in front of a crowd is where talented young Ipswich singer Hudson Bertram has always felt at home.

COVID-19 has put a stop to that for the time being and it has forced young performers around the country to find new avenues to showcase their talent.

For 14-year-old Hudson, performing at the Ipswich and Silkstone eisteddfods had become a regular part of his calendar.

Last year he flew down south to compete for the prestigious Sydney Eisteddfod Junior Singer of the Year award.

He had hoped to do so again in 2020 and will get that chance but just not in the way he was initially thinking.

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For the first time in its 86-year history, the Sydney Eisteddfod is launching its first ever online competition.

Sydney Eisteddfod had to shut its doors and cancel all 300 events this year, which reach 35,000 participants and a crowd of 170,000 spectators annually.

The Crowd Favourite Performances competition is open to applicants across the world between the ages of 10 and 35, with the chance to win up to $6000 in prizes.

“It was a big shock to me and everyone else,” Hudson said.

“I decided to make the best of a bad situation and really work and develop my voice.

“I decided to enter into various online competitions, like Take the Mic Australia, which I’ve recently just done, and the Sydney Eisteddfod.

Ipswich singer and St Edmund’s College student Hudson Bertram.
Ipswich singer and St Edmund’s College student Hudson Bertram.

“I’ve also decided to develop my social media profile so I can show my talents to a wider global audience and I’ve been getting some really, really positive feedback from that as well.”

Hudson has been singing since he was three-years-old has always relished doing so in front of a big crowd.

The St Edmund’s College student is hopeful of a career in the musical theatre scene and can see himself on the stage on Broadway in New York or the West End in London.

“I definitely miss having the audience there and it was originally a struggle but it’s just developing that new skillet that’s actually been really for me,” he said.

“I do really miss the audience because they really help convey the emotion directly.

“With an audience you can really feel how they’re feeling. They transmit it to you.

“It’s always been pretty natural to me and I’ve always excelled in front of an audience rather than in front of a camera.

“But in some ways it’s easier. Some people might be nervous coming into it in front of an audience.

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“With the camera a lot of the nervousness is taken away and you can repeat takes and get the best take that you have and send it in and know you’ll be performing at the best of your ability.”

Sydney Eisteddfod chief executive Piroozi Desai-Keane said the closure of competitions due to COVID-19 has been challenging for young emerging artists.

“With many young people’s daily activities continuing to be impacted by restrictions, providing an avenue to perform, express themselves and compete amongst their peers is critical,” she said.

“With the road ahead still uncertain, the show must go on.

“Sydney Eisteddfod has always been open to all Australians, but traditionally the events have been held in New South Wales.

“With the move online, we are hoping that under-35’s from across Australia, and around the world, can submit entries and get involved.”

Winners will be announced on October 27 and applications close on September 21.

For more information on the competition and to submit your entry visit here.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.

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