On a day befitting the name of our hosts, Concordia of the Snows, thirteen exceptional performers assembled to vie for the positions of King’s and Queen’s Bards. The competition consisted of three rounds, with each performer given a total of 15 minutes to use over all three rounds (with extra time available for the finals at their Majesties’ discretion).
The competitors were:
Countess Chatricam Meghanta or “Megha” (aka Marguerite inghean Lochlainn)
Mistress Elizabeth Elenore Lovell
Mistress Judith Fitzhenry, called the Uncertain
Lady Lilie Dubh inghean ui Mordha
Lady Lillie von der Tann
Lady Lorita da Siena
Maestro Orlando di Sforza
Lord Robert of Anglespur
Maitresse Sabine de Kerbriant
Lord Sean O’Morain
Lady Solveig Bjarnadottir
Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver
Mistress Ysemay Sterling
In addition to Their Majesties Brion and Anna, the judges for the competition were Mistress Alys Mackyntoich (Queen’s Bard), Lady AEthelflied Brewbane (King’s Bard), Master Grim the Skald and Master Michael of York.
The first round performances ranged from period documented pieces to SCA folk songs, poetry and prose, and even instrumental music combined with vocal song. The competitors did not make the task of deciding who should advance to the second round easy on the judges. After much debate, eight performers were asked to return to offer a second piece. They were: Countess Megha, Lady Lillie, Lady Lorita, Maestro Orlando, Lord Robert, Maitresse Sabine, Lady Solveig and Mistress Ysemay.
Once again, the performances were stellar, and selecting four to advance to the finals was not easy. Ultimately, Countess Megha, Maestro Orlando, Maitresse Sabine and Lady Lillie were asked to offer a third performance.
As is traditional, each finalist was given a challenge based on the performance resumes they had turned in at the beginning of the contest. Countess Megha was asked to prepare an inspirational speech on the subject of Winter. Maestro Orlando was asked to offer an Elizabethan monologue on the subject of Autumn. Maitresse Sabine was asked for a contrefacte (new lyrics added to existing music) on the Spring. Lady Lillie was asked for a song on Summer. They were given 30 minutes to prepare.
All four finalists rose to the challenges before them with passion, vigor and excellence. Maestro Orlando presented an original Shakespearean sonnet that he had written in 30 minutes. Countess Megha used her 30 minutes to adapt an existing period Indian poem about the rainy season and the generosity of Kings. Maitresse Sabine wrote and sang new words to go to the period tune E, Dame Jolie by Guillaume de Machaut. Lady Lillie presented an original song she had composed about the battle with the heat at this past Pennsic War.
Baroness Arlyana Van Wyck took videos of the final performances, which can be found at the public links below:
At the end of the day, Queen Anna chose Maitresse Sabine as Queen’s Bard and King Brion chose Countess Megha as the King’s Bard, with much acclaim all around.
Maestro Orlando was inducted into the Order of the Troubadour based in large part on his performances during the competition.
Mistress Alys and Lady AEthelflied thank all the competitors for their hard work, passion and willingness to perform, as well as the people of Concordia of the Snows for putting on a splendid event.
Article written by Mistress Alys, photos by Cateline La Broderesse.