It was a most satisfactory showing, even if I didn't win anything.
My Beowulf-with-lyre went splendidly. I realized on Friday, in the car, that I actually could get through my entire selection confidently, even if perhaps some of the words were not spot-on. In performance, I made two errors - flipped some words around in one case (minor, and I didn't even blink as I covered) and a worse one where what was supposed to be a sentence came out as a random clause. I didn't try to fix it and just bulled on. Woo! Judging sheets were uniformly positive. All told, that's very much the sort of thing I've been driving toward since 2007 or so.
I was selected to proceed to the final round - there were only three of us, and everyone was fantastic in different ways. Don't envy the judges their decision. I performed my piece I wrote for the event, "I Drank of Mnemosyne," the music for which was composed on-site and which I still didn't have solid as I performed it. Considering that it was essentially improv? I'm pretty dang pleased. Better, at least two gentles complimented me afterwards on the impact of the lyrics. Lord Ulfarr from Stierback won the chalice of chocolate for his song remembering his first Pennsic - it was far more polished than mine, with a MUCH more interesting melody, and he sang it exceedingly well. Kudos!
Similarly, the banner did not win in A&S, but the woodcut that did TOTALLY deserved it. It was fabulous. The feedback for the banner was positive, ranging from "somewhat above average" to "well above average." For the first time possibly ever, my documentation was ranked consistently lower than my craftsmanship! Considering that this is the first embroidery I've done since... college? Twenty years ago? and the first time I've ever done couching at all, I'm pretty pleased with that. Also, the banner rocks, and I'm pleased to have made it.
The hang-up on the documentation and authenticity seemed to be (if I can judge the few sentences of feedback) whether or not my goldworked banner was appropriate, or if it should have been made of humbler wool. That's fair - I used Beowulf as my basis for making a golden standard as a status object, since so many of the other gift-objects in Beowulf have direct evidence as archaeological finds as well. But, like the heralds say not to use fiction to source your name, one could argue that this wasn't the strongest basis for an artifact.
My seven-year old had a pretty good time of it, except for during the bardic round one, which was unimaginable boring torture for him. Ponte Alto has a great basket of toys and a small wooden castle which amused him for literally hours, and he played a bit with some other kids. We had an emergency iPad tucked away in case of critical boredom, but we didn't have to get it out. Hurrah!