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Saskatoon Music Festival

Encouraging & Supporting Young Musicians since 1930

Regulations Governing all Saskatchewan Music Festivals


1. The Saskatchewan Music Festival is open to any *non-professional musician who:

i. lives or studies in the province of Saskatchewan, with the inclusion of Lloydminster, Alberta, OR

ii. studies outside of the province and has competed in a Saskatchewan Music Festival within the preceding 5 years OR

iii. lives within 100 km of any Saskatchewan border (District Festival entry only, not eligible for Provincial or National competitions) Eligible competitors may enter any District Festival. District Scholarship restrictions may apply.  Note: A competitor may represent only one province at the National Music Festival.

2. A competitor may enter any class provided their age does not exceed the maximum age stated. The age of a competitor shall be considered as at December 31 of the year preceding the current festival year. In order to proceed to Provincial Finals, the age of competitor shall not exceed 28 years. The exception to this rule is choir classes with no age limitations. NOTE: For competitors under the age of 14 entering a National class, consult the FCMF Syllabus at for special requirements.

3. Any person (regardless of age) wanting to take part in a festival, but not in a competitive way, may do so. The entry forms should be marked “for adjudication only” so that they will receive the adjudicator’s remarks only: no mark, rating, or scholarship.

4. Competing bands and choirs are allowed to use only bona fide members of at least two months consecutive standing up to the time of performing at any one festival, with the exception of Band Class 8091.

5. Those wishing to enter percussion, piano concerto, duo-piano, pipe organ, electronic organ, and band classes should make their request to the District Festival at least one month prior to the closing date of entries and preferably by December 31. Each District Festival reserves the right to disallow such categories due to local conditions, facilities, etc.

6. Competitors are responsible for their own expenses. 


1. Entry fees, as listed on page 5, are maximum fees that may be charged per class. Please refer to the District Festival page on the website for entry requirements and local rates.

2. Entry forms and fees must be submitted by the closing date. Late entries may be subject to a late fee or rejected entirely. Refunds will not be considered after the closing date.

3. Once an entry has been accepted, no changes will be permitted after the entry close date without authorization of the District Festival committee. Changes are to be announced before the commencement of the class involved.

4. Selections marked “TBA (to be announced)” will be rejected. 
*A non-professional musician is defined as a person whose principal means of livelihood is not obtained by the performance of music in the particular category in which he or she is competing.  

Since adopting the three-year format, it has become clear that teachers and students need to be aware of all pertinent information (e.g. rules and regulations, syllabus changes and updates).  The following information can be found on the SMFA website at  

General Competition and Scholarship Regulations 

Provincial Scholarship Listing 

Concerto & Wallis Competition Information 

Syllabus Revisions/Updates 

District Festival Information including: locations, contacts, festival dates, entry closing dates, entry forms, entry fees, scholarship restrictions, and regulations 

Glossary of Terms

1. The Syllabus is the official guide for competition in Saskatchewan Music Festivals as set out by the Provincial Board of Directors of SMFA and is to be used in conjunction with the SMFA Regulations, updated annually on the website

2. Following is the division of disciplines as used by SMFA:  Choral  Percussion  Vocal   Ensembles/Band  Piano   Musical Theatre  String  Speech Arts    Guitar   Organ  Woodwind  School Music/ Special Education  Brass    

3. The Association has officially adopted the following system and terminology for solo competitors: 

Senior Division Open; Grade A; Grade B; 18 years & under  Intermediate Division 17/16/15 years & under                        Junior Division 14/13 years & under                                  Elementary Division 12/11 years & under                                  Primary Division 10/9/8/7/6 years & under 

4. Provincial classes are identified with the letter (P). Provincial Classes provide the opportunity for recommendation by the adjudicator to Provincial Final Competitions, should a mark of 87 or higher be achieved. Before entering, be sure to read the “Provincial Scholarship Regulations”. 

5. District Festivals may add additional classes and will assign these classes a competition number. In such cases, the addendum will be published at least 30 days in advance of the entry close date. District Festival addenda must be submitted to Provincial Office.

6. Written requests for additional classes may be sent to the District Festival. Such requests will be given consideration and the competitor informed of the decision made by the District Festival committee. 

7. When an entry does not conform to the Syllabus or District Festival addenda, the suffix ‘A’ will be added to the class number to distinguish it from a regular class entry. All unauthorized substitutions, including the unintentional ones such as wrong movements, shall also be suffixed by the letter ‘A’. Classes suffixed by the letter ‘A’ shall be ‘for adjudication only’ and no mark or scholarship will be awarded. 

8. Syllabus suggestions for the upcoming year must be sent in writing to the SMFA Board of Directors, c/o Provincial Office, before May 31. 


1. Competitors may not perform the same selection(s) for any festival performance/competition two years in a row, with the exception of the Piano and Violin Senior Performance Classes 2110 & 3045. The same selection may not be used in more than one class, with the exception of National Class entries.

2. Current syllabus test selections are eligible for competition in own choice classes. An own choice selection cannot be substituted for a test selection. 

3. Unless otherwise stated in the Syllabus, the term “own choice” implies a work or portion of work(s) not exceeding the specified time limit. Where time limits are not indicated, one movement shall be played. It is suggested that all long repeats (over sixteen measures) be omitted. The repetition of very short sections may be observed to preserve the structure of the composition. All da capos and dal segnos should be observed.

4. Test selections listed in the syllabus include suggested editions, generally chosen for their availability. Competitors may use alternate editions of the same work. In vocal test selections, change of key may not be more than one full tone up or down with the exception of Classes 1060 - 1065, and Sacred Music Classes 1080-1085. Senior and Intermediate vocal test selections must be sung in the original language. In own choice vocal classes, competitors may perform the selection in any suitable key. Copyright regulations apply: publisher’s written permission to transpose is required.  

5. Solo competitors are not eligible to enter more than one class bearing the same title in any one District Festival, with the exception of lieder classes, where competitors may enter once as a pianist and once as vocalist. For example, a competitor entering “Class 2001 - Piano Solo, (Senior) 18 years and under” cannot enter “Class 2000 - Piano Solo, (Senior) Open”.

6. Memory work is encouraged in District Festivals and is mandatory at the provincial level with the exception of:  the pianist; in Lieder class 1170  multi-instrument works in the National Senior Percussion Solo Class 7  the National Senior Chamber Group Class 8

7. The piano is the instrument to be used for accompaniment except where other options are stated. Recorded accompaniments are not allowed, with the exception of School Music Classes, where professionally recorded accompaniment tracks may be used. Recorded digital audio, for percussion, is acceptable when published in the score. Use of a digital piano for accompanying is acceptable using the piano setting and transpose feature, if required. Copyright regulations apply. 

8. No amplification equipment is to be used, except for digital audio in percussion classes. 

9. An original or authorized copy of competitor’s music must be provided to the festival committee prior to the beginning of the class. Please number the first bar of each line. For band/ensembles, full scores are preferred; cued conductor or miniature scores are acceptable. Please number each fifth line in Speech Arts selections.

10. Anyone using unauthorized altered or photocopied copyright music will be disqualified; no adjudication, mark, or scholarship will be considered for the competitor. Music downloaded from the internet must show authorization from the publisher or proof of purchase. See “Copyright Information” on pages 7 and 8.

11. Visual or verbal prompting of competitors is not allowed. 12. Only SMFA-sanctioned audio/video recording or photography is allowed. SMFA strictly prohibits audio/video recording or photography, during competitive performance, in order to prevent distractions and breach of privacy and copyright.   


1. The following table indicates the Association’s method of evaluation:
Rating Mark Performance Standard A+  or   88 & above signifies superior performance

A        or   85 to 87 signifies distinction

A-        or   80 to 84 signifies definite merit

B        or   75 to 79 signifies fair standard

C        or   74 & under signifies less than adequate

2. The winner and runner-up of each class will receive numeric marks which may be announced. While marks may be used for administrative purposes, other performers will be given a letter rating on the adjudication sheets and public postings.

3. Competitors in the National classes will not receive an oral or written adjudication. First and second place marks are to be announced. 

4. Two types of certificates will be issued. An ‘Honour’ certificate will be awarded to all winners receiving a mark of 80 or more. A ‘Merit’ certificate will be awarded to all winners obtaining a mark from 75 to 79 and to the runner-up of each class, providing a mark of 75 or more has been attained. In the case of a tie, a certificate will be presented to the two entries.

5. While no specific number of marks can be allotted for memory work, due consideration will be given to memorized performances.


1. The District Festival committee may require competitors to certify that the regulations as set out above have been met. The decision of the committee is final.

2. The District Festival President and one other committee member along with the President of the Provincial Association constitute a protest committee to act at any festival, should the need arise. Unresolved protests may be submitted in writing to the Provincial Office c/o the Provincial President. In no case is the adjudicator to be approached.

3. Any breach of regulations, by the competitor, may result in disqualification.


District Festivals are responsible for setting their own criteria for scholarships and awards. SMFA recommends that, in order to qualify for a district scholarship or award, each individual named on the entry form will have entered and competed in at least two classes in the same discipline when it is evident that there is provision of suitable classes from which to choose. The District Festival’s Scholarship/Award restrictions must be published, at least 30 days prior to the entry close date, on the festival page found on the SMFA website. It is the responsibility of the adjudicator to choose District Festival scholarship winners. Members of District Festival committees, whose family members or students are eligible for scholarships, must not attend the final scholarship meeting of the adjudicator and scholarship committee. Award recipients must have fully complied with the SMFA Regulations and will be announced and presented during the festival or at the Final Awards Concert. 

An annual Provincial Competition will be held for selected representatives from District Festivals. Scholarship winners are selected by the adjudicator and, in each case, will be awarded to the competitor who, in the opinion of the adjudicator, has given the most outstanding performance. If, in the opinion of the adjudicator, the standard attained is not of sufficient merit, the scholarship will not be given.


• District Festivals are allowed one District Winner to the Provincial Finals for each of the National and Provincial Award classes. District Festivals with over 1,000 entries are allowed to send an additional District Winner for the Senior levels only. An accurate record of all competitors entered in Provincial Classes, including name, contact information, and marks, must be maintained.

• District Winners must be selected by the adjudicator and notified immediately following the scholarship meeting.

• Completed pages of the District Winner Recommendation Chart (signed by adjudicator) must be sent to the Provincial Office (via e-mail or fax) immediately following the scholarship meeting. ELIGIBILITY FOR RECOMMENDATION TO PROVINCIAL FINALS

• Competitors must: o comply fully with the Regulations. o enter and compete in at least two solo classes in the same discipline at their District Festival. Instrumentalists must compete on the same instrument, with the exception of percussion, where performers play more than one percussion instrument. This rule does not apply to the pianist in the lieder class. A National Class will not be considered as one of the two classes. Musical Theatre and Voice are considered separate disciplines. o obtain a mark of 87 or higher. In classes where two selections are performed, the combined mark must average 87 or higher. o not exceed 28 years of age. o provide their own accompanist, page-turner, and instrument (piano being the exception).

• Competitors are: o eligible for selection as District winners from one or more District Festivals, providing they are not recommended in the same Provincial scholarship class.  o required to represent the festival where they received their first recommendation.  o not eligible to compete in both Senior and Intermediate scholarship categories in the same discipline, nor in both Grade A and Grade B Voice. 


• Memory work is mandatory at the Provincial level with the exception of: - the pianist in the Lieder Class, the National Senior Chamber Group Class 8, and multi-instrument works for the National Senior Percussion Solo Class 7

• Competitors and accompanists must provide an original score or authorized copy of their music before performing. Number the first bar of each line in the scores. Number each fifth line of the Speech Arts selections. 

• Competitors will perform one selection only in each scholarship competition at Provincial Finals except for the Vocal Concert Group Classes and Speech Arts Classes. The selection must be the one recommended by the adjudicator at the District Festival. The performer may choose which selection to use if recommended from a multi-work class or a class where two selections were performed, unless the adjudicator specifies the selection. Competitors may perform one or more movements of a multi-movement work, to a maximum of 20 minutes, provided all chosen movements were performed in the same Provincial Class at the District Festival. 


• Recordings may be done during the performance or any time before the entry deadline. Recordings must be done with the same choir, conductor, and accompanist as in the original performance. The first take must be used. A festival official must supervise and witness the recording. Recordings must be checked for completeness before being forwarded to the Provincial Office. Arrangements and costs for the recording of these classes is the responsibility of the participating Choral Directors and must be made in consultation with the District Festival committee.

• The performance must be recorded on a high-quality CD or audio DVD. No acoustic or electronic compensation, filtering or other enhancement is to be used while recording. Recordings and music should contain no reference to the name of the choir, its conductor, or the festival from which they have been sent. In the event that a recording made during the scheduled performance is blank or seriously compromised, a substitute recording may be made under the conditions outlined above. 

• A complete original music score for each selection, containing choral parts and accompaniment, in the proper key, is required for the adjudicators. The first measure of each line in the score must be numbered. All copyrights must be observed.  

If further clarification is needed, please contact the Executive Director at the Provincial Office. Entry Forms, Fees, and Choral Recordings, must be RECEIVED by the Provincial Office by midnight May 15. Provincial entry forms may be found at  
At the conclusion of the final sessions, the adjudicators will select the senior competitor(s) to advance to the Grand Awards Competition on Sunday afternoon. Each adjudicator will spend a few moments with the competitors they have chosen, to advise them concerning the selection to be performed on Sunday, as they will be competing for our most prestigious awards. Competitors must choose selection(s) that they have performed during Provincial Finals. There is a 10-minute time limit, which may necessitate an abridged version of their selection(s). Immediately following this discussion, the competitors and adjudicators must report to the on-site festival office. No music is required for the adjudicators for the Grand Awards Competition. After the Grand Awards competition, the judges will deliberate and choose the winner in each discipline, as well as the most outstanding performer, the runner-up and third place. 

Competitors must enter the National Class at the District level and be recommended by the adjudicator to proceed to the Provincial level of Nationals. District Festivals may send one representative in each National Festival Class 1 through 9, and in each of the National Choral Classes to the Provincial level of competition. A choir may enter only one National Choral Class. Eligible winners of each discipline, if recommended, then progress to the National Music Festival. 

NOTE: THE NATIONAL CLASS IS A SEPARATE COMPETITION FROM PROVINCIAL FINALS. COMPETITORS MAY ENTER A NATIONAL CLASS WITHOUT ENTERING A PROVINCIAL CLASS. Memory work is mandatory except for multi-instrument works for the National Percussion Solo Class 7 and the National Chamber Group Class 8. At the Provincial level of National Competition, each competitor is allowed 40 minutes (including time between selections).


• must consult the National Music Festival Syllabus (available online at or Provincial Office).

• must comply fully with FCMF and SMFA Competition Regulations .

• may enter a National Class only in the province in which they live or study. If studying outside the province they must have competed in a Saskatchewan Music Festival within the preceding five years.

• may represent only one province at the National Music Festival.

• must obtain a mark of 88 or higher in Saskatchewan. Competitors in the National Classes will not receive an oral or written adjudication. First and second place marks are to be announced. 

• must be 28 years or under with the exception of choral classes with no age limitation. Competitors under the age of 14 years on December 31 preceding the Festival, please refer to the FCMF Syllabus for special requirements. 

Notwithstanding any other provision in these Regulations, the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association’s Board of Directors shall be the final and binding decision-making authority on all matters pertaining to competitions administered by the SMFA.    

*** Important: As this is a three-year document, changes or corrections can be found at Please check often for updates. ***  

The following National Choral Classes are the only eligible choral classes that can lead to National Competition. No other classes will be considered. There will be no oral or written adjudication given, but the first and second place marks will be announced.  For entry into all National Choral classes, conductors/choirs must comply with the general regulations and entry procedures contained in the National Music Festival Syllabus. To obtain a copy, contact the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association (SMFA) Provincial Office or visit 

Selections performed in the National Class may also be performed in District Festival Classes. The winner of this class may advance to the Provincial Level of National Competition if recommended by the adjudicator. In Saskatchewan, the qualifying mark of the two selections must average 88 or higher. A choir may enter only one choral class at the National level.  

Arrangements and costs for the recording of these classes are the responsibility of the participating choral directors. Arrangements for the recording should be made in consultation with the District Festival committee.   

The competition is conducted at three progressive levels:  
District Festival Adjudicators at the District Festival may choose, in each of the Choral categories, one choir that is felt to be of National standard. The written recommendation along with two copies of the performance recordings and two original music scores must be sent to the Provincial Administrator. Recordings and music should contain no reference to the name of the choir, its conductor, or the festival. A choir may enter only one choral class at the National level.  

Provincial Festival Adjudicators at the Provincial Festival may choose, in each category submitted, one choir that is felt to be of National standard. The written recommendation along with two copies of the recording of the performance and two original music scores must be sent to the FCMF Executive Director within two weeks of the close of the Provincial Festival and not later than July 1st. 

National Festival Recordings are adjudicated and the winners are notified.