Like thousands of other musicians and music lovers, the staff of Sydney Eisteddfod are mourning the passing of conductor and music educator Richard Gill OAM who died shortly before daybreak on Sunday morning after a prolonged illness.
Known as one Australia’s finest musicians, Richard’s association with Sydney Eisteddfod began decades ago, when his mother began entering him in Verse Speaking events on its stages. As a bright lad who enjoyed performing, he was soon winning prizes. He later turned his talents to singing, and as music became his passion, his affection for the annual competition never waned. Right from the start, Richard strongly maintained that eisteddfods helped develop the local arts scene the importance of performance. He was always a friend of Sydney Eisteddfod and readily gave advice when it was needed.
In 2013, when Sydney Eisteddfod celebrated its 80thAnniversary with a free concert involving hundreds of talented high school students from all over the State at Sydney Town Hall. To the delight of its organisers, Richard volunteered his services as conductor. Watching him work with the young players was an enthralling experience everyone present enjoyed to the hilt.
While Richard’s involvement with Sydney Eisteddfod might not rank importantly in his wealth of achievements, it helps identify his generosity as a teacher, an entertainer and a man. Over the decades, the staff and volunteers of Sydney Eisteddfod have recognised him not only as an entertainer, but also as a teacher, a friend and a great man who will be remembered forever by all who were lucky enough to know him.