General Rules

1. Own Choice Classes

  • a)  A copy of Own Choice music or poetry must be provided for the Adjudicators. If no music or poems are provided they may, at their discretion, allow the competitor to perform, but no marks will be awarded.
  • (b)  Performers entering Own Choice classes must state on their Entry the title and composer (Music), and/or the title and author (Spoken Word).
  • (c)  The quality of choice will be considered by the Adjudicator.
  • (d)  Own Choice music or poetry must be handed to the clerk 10minutes before the class begins. (Please avoid photocopies unless it is a musical piece from a larger work, which must be destroyed after the adjudication.)
  • (e)  Own Choice in the syllabus indicates one piece only unless otherwise stated or it states Own Choice Performance.

2. Accompanists

  1. a)  Performers may bring their own accompanists but the services of an Official Accompanist will be available. It may be possible to arrange a rehearsal with the accompanist at the accompanist’s discretion.
  2. (b)  Performers requiring an official accompanist in any class should contact them at least 3 weeks before the festival.
  4. Hannah Hawken BA (Hons) All classes except strings
    01726 813616/ [email protected]
  5. Anthony Trodd String classes only
    01726 813616/ [email protected]

3. Graded Music Classes

Performers may only enter once in the Graded Classes for any instrument or piano, and should not have passed any grade higher than the one entered.

4. Performers In All Classes Must Be Amateurs

An amateur is considered to be one who does not derive the main part of their income from that section of the Arts in which they are proposing to take part in the Festival. Exception can be made in classes including groups of more than four instrumental players and for the conductors of groups of performers.

5. Awards

The British and International Federation Standard of marking will be adhered to, i.e.:

65-69DEVELOPINGA performance demonstrating an awareness of technical skills, requiring more consistency and artistry.
70-74PROGRESSINGA performance
showing development of technique and/or communication and commitment.
75-79MERITA competent performance, showing some artistic awareness and/or technical ability.
80-84COMMENDEDA convincing
technically and
artistically, with increasing stylistic and communication skills.
85-89HONOURSAn excellent
performance, demonstrating fluent technical and artistic skills with emerging individuality.
90-94OUTSTANDINGAn impressive performance, technically and artistically, displaying spontaneity and clear individuality.
95+EXCEPTIONALA superlative performance, displaying exceptional artistic individuality.
BIFF Marking Standard

The Adjudicator’s decision shall be final. Any complaint must be in writing, signed, and handed to the General Secretary.

6. Order of Performance

Performers will appear as printed in the official programme. Exceptions may be made in such circumstances as medical appointments and important school commitments, such as exams.

7. Ages for Classes

Ages in classes linked to school year groups are for the 2024/2025 academic year. Other ages are as on 31st August 2024.

8. Trophies

  1. These must be returned to the festival CLEAN and in good order by Tuesday 31st October 2024 at the latest. Trophies may be returned via the primary school or to the Spoken Word or Music Entries Secretary.
    Holders are responsible for their safe custody and return.
    Trophies will only be awarded to overall winners and winners of large group categories such as choral speaking groups, choirs and orchestras.

9. Admission

Performers will be admitted free during the session in which they are participating. Teachers and Teaching Assistants accompanying school groups when they are performing can also be admitted free.

10. Prescribed Edition

The prescribed edition chosen for the set pieces in the Festival should be used by all the performers.

11. Conductors

A professional may conduct in all choir, orchestra and ensemble classes. All conductors should note that it is not permitted to sing along with their choirs.

12. Membership of Adult Choirs

Members of adult choirs must, if required, prove at least two months’ membership prior to the date of the Festival.

13. Performing Only Once in a Class

A performer can only participate once in a class, unless taking part in a group with two or more others. However, an exception can be made in case of sickness in, duets or duologues at the discretion of the Committee.

14. Performing From Memory

Performers in the Spoken Word classes must perform from memory, unless stated otherwise.

15. Awarding of Trophies and Certificates

80 marks must be achieved before a Trophy is awarded. Certificates will be awarded to ALL performers.
Only the winner of a class, or sub-section of a class, will have a winner’s certificate, but all those taking part individually will receive a certificate.
Adjudication sheets and Certificates will be awarded to performers after each adjudication. They will not be sent by post.

16. Late Performers

Performers not present when their names are called forfeit their right to compete unless time can be arranged by the Adjudicator.

17. Very Large Classes

Where, in the opinion of the Committee, classes are too large, they may be divided.

18. Lost Property

The Committee cannot be responsible for any loss of personal belongings, musical instruments etc. during the Festival.

And Last, But Not Least!

(a) Mobile phones must be switched off or turned to silent during Festival sessions.

(b) Audio and Video recording is not permitted during any performance or adjudication.

(c) Photographs are not permitted during performances, adjudications or the awarding of trophies and certificates. An exception may be made for press photographers, who must observe all the usual protocols concerning photographing young people and naming them in media publications. In all cases, permission of responsible teachers, parents and guardians must be obtained in advance.

All general enquiries relating to the Festival should be addressed to the General Secretary, Karen Frost. She may be phoned on 01872 520655 or contacted via the Contact Page of this website.

All Spoken Word class enquiries should be addressed to the Spoken Word Secretary, Pat Whitehouse. She may be phoned on 01726 814415 or contacted via the Contact Page of this website.

All Music class enquiries should be addressed to the Music Secretary, Rebecca Thomas. She may be phoned on 01726 882058 or 07760 497251 or contacted via the Contact Page of this website.

Note: Except for festival literature (the syllabus and programmes), data will not be disclosed to any third party with the exception that winners’ names only will be listed on the website and the list released to the press. Please read our Privacy Notice and confirm on the entry form that you consent to this.

Reminders For Performers

  • Your performance lasts from the time you leave your seat until you return to it. In an own choice item, announce the title clearly and slowly.
  • When you have finished, acknowledge the audience and your accompanist, if you are playing or singing.
  • Where a time limit is stated, please make every effort to comply with it.
  • Please show respect for every performance and performer.