String along with a uke

ELVIS Presley, three Beatles and Barack Obama have all played the ukelele — and the instrument could pluck more kids into competing in the Albury Wodonga Eisteddfod.

Organisers are looking for fresh ideas to boost competitor numbers this year.

Administration officer Benita Cousins said new ukulele and acoustic guitar solo sections were expected to be crowd favourites.

“Last year the numbers were down and we are finding ways to bring them back up,” Mrs Cousins said.

“We’re trying to attract more people.

“We asked a music shop what was a popular instrument with young people and they said the ukulele.”

The small-stringed instrument has previously been accepted into the string and other instrument sections but Mrs Cousins said it was a rare entry.

She hoped having a specific ukelele own section would attract performers who didn’t want to compete against other instruments.

“Schools are starting up ukulele groups and I think we will get entrants,” she said.

This year a section has also been opened up for HSC and VCE students only.

A third day of debating has been added to the competition as well to include year 9 students.

“It has always been really well received and it was a result of feedback from the schools,” Mrs Cousins said.

The eisteddfod runs from July 25 to August 10.

Entries are open and competitors can register online at awesightandsound.com.au.

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