Katie Williams has a special link to Royal South Street and an unexpected one. When asked to design our 125 Logo, Royal South Street was unaware of Katie’s long family history and involvement with the competitions which spans three generations.

“My time with RSSS was very memorable for me. I played clarinet in the Symphonic Band for Eltham High School back in the 1990s and we competed at RSSS every year.

The RSSS Ballarat was always seen as the pinnacle competition of the year …and the winner of our category was looked upon as the best school band in the state. Luckily for me, Eltham High School had reigned as gold winners for several years before my time… and continued in the years that I performed with the band.

The pressure to win was high but there was a confidence mixed with nervous excitement as we walked on stage. Our warm-up note was the envy of many bands – we produced a harmonious sound that echoed through the entire theatre, that few could emulate.

The performance itself was so well practised that it felt like second nature come the time to compete. I remember the audience in complete silence, then as the final song finished, a roaring clap and standing ovation. It was a wonderful feeling. The band all drove home together on a bus – jubilant, we sang in unison Queen’s “We are the champions”. RSSS gave me a fantastic memory that I’ll never forget.

But my relationship with RSSS does not stop there… my mother, her two sisters and my dad’s sister all competed there in Calisthenics throughout the 1960s and 70s.  And my maternal grandmother was the Adelaide Calisthenics State Team’s seamstress during that time too, travelling to and from Ballarat to Adelaide quite often.

Knowing my family’s connection with RSSS makes my time there even more special.

Kate Williams

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