Paula Clarkstone OAM
With heavy hearts, the Board and staff of Sydney Eisteddfod are mourning the passing of Paula Mary Clarkstone OAM, a former entrant, supporter and long-term friend.
Paula’s association with Sydney Eisteddfod began in 1947 when she made her debut on the classical singing platform. During these early days, she formed a valuable link with the organisers and artists who were involved with this annual festival that she carried until this day.
Friendly with everyone, she always finished towards the top of her class and her big chance came in 1953, when after winning the ABC Radio Voice Competition, offered through the Sydney Eisteddfod Classical Singing Program, she forged ahead to begin a successful career in international broadcasting.
While abroad, Paula studied with Clive Carey in London and Victor Graef in Europe. It was all very exciting, and although she enjoyed every moment, she always regarded Australia as her base, and eventually returned to Sydney. Back on the home front, she continued working as a performer and also began a new occupation as a singing teacher. She soon decided that much as she loved entertaining, she wanted to teach and help others reach the acme of their talents.
When she began the first teaching position, she could tell the students liked her and graciously reciprocated their enthusiasm, and with all progressing well opened her own studio. While she never gave up performing herself, she soon established herself as a highly committed teacher with a history of high achieving and professional students, and also enjoyed working with younger voices in choirs, ensembles, various eisteddfods and public examinations.
Although now more than 72 years have passed since Paula began her association with Sydney Eisteddfod, she never looked back. In 2016, her efforts were acknowledged with an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to music.
Loved by all who knew her, she will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most charming people to ever grace Sydney Eisteddfod stages.