National Eisteddfod Academy seeks adjudicators


The National Eisteddfod Academy (NEA) is seeking established and aspiring adjudicators in the performing art genres.

These are classical and contemporary music, dance and drama and the visual arts. Those interested in becoming actively involved in adjudicating this year are invited to apply.

Being a member of the NEA Adjudicator’s Forum will entail adjudication at the many and various NEA Eisteddfod events – one such event is the annual NEA Young Performer Awards competition that will be presented this year at the Roodepoort Theatre in May; the skills development of teachers, the training and mentoring of new adjudicators, raising the overall standard of adjudication in the arts and establishing and maintaining a Code of Conduct for adjudicators.

Dr. Francois van den Berg, CEO of the National Eisteddfod Academy describes ‘adjudication’ as being, “the means to provide each performer with the most reliable, constructive and authentic feedback on his performance that can be provided within the time constraints.”

He explains that the challenge of “adjudicating a performance and providing constructive feedback is the real moment of truth. It defines the legitimacy and developmental value of the Eisteddfod programme.” He continues, “With this in mind the NEA, in its quest for excellence in adjudication, has established clear guidelines regarding the expected levels of performance and has defined a specific style of adjudication that acknowledges individual achievement and emphasises the joy of participation in the arts.”

The NEA expects its adjudicators to be educators-at-heart. Educators that can embrace the NEA’s values of passion and compassion, integrity and credibility, inclusiveness, respect for the uniqueness of each participant and an awareness of and pride in our multi-cultural diversity. This was recognised and acknowledged by Ismail Mahomed, the National Arts Festival director, when he adjudicated the annual NEA Young Performer Awards competition some years ago, “Too often in the arts sector, we discuss transformation only in narrow race and cultural terms. The NEA has demonstrated how it goes beyond that discussion. The NEA promotes diversity of expressions across genres, styles and newer evolving forms of urban cultural expressions without getting bogged down by the restrictive politics of race, language and culture.”

Because of the subjective nature of adjudication, the NEA annually presents an intensive, one-day workshop for members of the Adjudicator’s Forum where the NEA, through discussion, debate and training of new adjudicators, attempts to have all adjudicators speak with one voice. Applicants would be expected to attend the annual NEA Adjudicators’ Forum Workshop on 1 August 2015.

Since the founding of the NEA Awards competition in 2004, adjudication panels have comprised well-known performing arts industry personalities: Mimi Coertse, Ismail Mahomed, Sibongile Mngoma, Gloria Bosman, Heinz Winkler, Relebogile Mabotja, Bianca le Grange, Vinette Ebrahim, Iain MacDonald, Roderick Jaftha, Diane Coutts, Renata Stuurman, Jan Engelen and Fiona Budd to name a few. Commenting on the adjudicating process, Budd, a former professional ballet dancer and seasoned NEA adjudicator said, “It is always such a privilege and thrill for me to adjudicate for the NEA and to see the vibrant young talent that is coming up through the ‘ranks’. The NEA provides a vital platform for this young fledgling talent to be discovered, recognised, nurtured, developed and shared with South Africa.“

So – Arts educators and performers, if you are passionate about the arts, and you are a master of your trade and you enjoy working with children, and you value the arts as a unique tool for the building of self-esteem and confidence in our youth, and you are interested in becoming an NEA adjudicator during 2015 then please apply!

Please send your CV to before February 12 to be considered as adjudicators at the NEA Young Performer Award competition. For an application form please e-mail your details to or contact the NEA office 011 886 6005 / fax: 011 787 3534.

Follow the NEA on Twitter @NEA_Eisteddfod or Facebook or visit

Etienne Shardlow

Etienne Shardlow

Etienne is a proud lover of South African jazz, and host of the weekly JazzE Radio Show on Bakgat Radio. He works as an IT Service Management consultant and trainer.
Etienne Shardlow

Latest posts by Etienne Shardlow (see all)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here