Local Policies 2022

Our local festival follows the rules laid out by the Alberta Music Festival Association, which is the governing body for the 38 local festivals in the Province.
Although we make every effort to double check each entry, we ask that you familiarize yourself with the rules, in order to avoid potential issues
​(including possible disqualification). If you have questions about a particular rule, please feel free to email us at mhrotarymusicfestival@gmail.com.
Below the link to the Provincial Rules, you will  find our own Local Festival policies, which are unique to our festival and may differ from AMFA.

Alberta Music Festival Association RULES

The scope of our Festival requires that participants be familiar with and comply with all Alberta Music Festival Association Rules and Regulations.  These are updated annually and can be found in the current year’s Provincial Syllabus.  It is the competitor’s responsibility to know and follow these rules.  Failure to comply with the Alberta Music Festival Association or the Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival Local Policies may result in a competitor’s disqualification or cancellation of entries and forfeiture of any awards.


1.      The competitions shall be under the working management of the Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival Committee.  Any questions shall be referred first to the Executive Director, then through to the Chair of the Music Festival Committee, whose decision on any matters shall be final and binding upon all concerned.

2.      Protests will not be considered unless they are made in writing, signed, and include contact information.  These protests can be sent to the Rotary Music Festival Committee and delivered to the Executive Director within 48 HOURS of the event in question.  Any protest must be accompanied by a fee of $15.00 which will be refunded in the event of the protest being sustained.  A response from the Committee can be expected within 72 hours after receipt of the written protest.  The Festival Committee will not entertain any protests regarding adjudication decisions. 

3.   In the case of staff, and/or volunteers having personal connections performing within the Festival, every effort will be made to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. As such, a written policy is in place, communicated directly to all teachers within the discipline and relevent volunteers.


1.      In our Festival, the term “Registration” means the initial online submission of a competitor’s name, contact information, age, etc., along with the initial selection of classes and selections to be performed.  The permanent address* of a competitor must be within a 100 km radius of the City of Medicine Hat, or the competitor must have studied in that discipline with an established music teacher within that radius for a minimum of 6 months during the previous year. If a student is attending a post-secondary institution outside of the Medicine Hat area, that student will remain eligible to participate in our Festival as long as his or her permanent address meets the above criteria. There are a few notable exceptions for rural communities outside the 100 km radius. In the case of duos or ensembles with performers living outside the radius, the group must be registered under the local performer's name, and 50% of the group must meet the residency requirement. Our festival is open to amateur student performers only. We do have addenda classes for adult student performers. 

2.      Registrations should be submitted and paid through the online Registration portal by the deadline date.  If, due to unique circumstances, a participant is unable to register online, please contact us.

3.      The registration deadline will be as determined each year.  No late registrations will be accepted under any circumstances.

4.      The Committee reserves the right to refuse entries at its discretion and for any reason.

5.      No refunds will be provided for registration cancellation.

6.      Accompanist names and Teacher names must be provided, using the correct Profile ID number.  

7.      Teachers may request Addendum classes.  However, if an appropriate class already exists in the Provincial Syllabus, we ask that the student be registered in the Syllabus class. Requests must be received in writing no later than November 1st of each Festival year.

8.      Local Addenda classes are NOT provincially eligible.

9.      Requests to change or add classes will be considered at the discretion of the Executive Director.  

10.   Requests to drop classes will be accommodated at any time.  Please note registration fees are non-refundable.

C.        ENTRIES

1.      All competitions, unless otherwise stated, shall be open to amateurs only (unpaid, student performers). This rule does not apply to conductors of choirs, bands or orchestras.

2.      The maximum number of classes any adult performer can enter is TWO Addenda classes. 

3.      A competitor may enter only one solo class in a given group of classes, except where the group of classes contains more than one class for a given age or grade, or allows for more than one instrument. 

4.      A member of a duet or ensemble may enter more than once in a class or given group of classes provided that he or she performs a different part, enters a different age category, or plays a different instrument.

5.      A solo or group may not perform the same selection in the same festival in the following two festival years.

6.      If a solo competitor is unable to perform, no one may take his or her place.

7.      Competitors shall enter the festival and all festival classes based upon their gender identification. Sung and spoken selections are not constrained to gender specificity.

8.      If a student (who takes private lessons) is part of a school Musical Theatre production number (this includes duets, trios, large groups), they may enter the festival as part of the group if they are entered by the School Teacher. They may not enter a solo in the school category.  They must enter any selections in the regular vocal category. They are not the group. The group is a different entity than a soloist. 

9.   To be eligible for recommendation to the Provincial Festival, a solo competitor must have performed at least two selections at the local festival using the same instrument.  N.B. The singing voice is different from the speaking voice.

EXCEPTIONS:      Musical Theatre Classes (1 solo class)       

                              Music Composition Classes (1 solo class)

                              AB Excellence Classes (3 solo classes)


1.      To be eligible for recommendation to the Provincial Festival, a group competitor must have performed at least two selections at the local festival.

2.      In classes with “own choice” selections the quality of material chosen and its suitability to the class will be considered by the adjudicator.

3.      Solo or group competitors may not perform the same selection in the same festival in the following two festival years (Exception: Piano Concertos, see Provincial Syllabus).

4.      In piano classes, concerto music may be played only in Concerto classes. A competitor may add movements to the same concerto in consecutive years.

5.      A competitor may perform a selection only once using the same solo instrument during a given festival.

6.      In classes with “own choice” selections, the total performance must not exceed 20 minutes unless otherwise stated.


1.      The Director shall decide the order of competition.  The Director &/or Committee reserves the right to alter the order or to withdraw any classes at its discretion and without notice.  The Committee also reserves the right to refuse entries that cannot be reasonably scheduled due to timing constraints.  In these cases a refund of the appropriate fees will be issued.

2.      Registration requests for performers aged 28 and under (age determined as of December 31 of the previous year), will be scheduled first.  Then registrations for those performers aged 29 and over (up to a maximum of three) will be scheduled if timing permits.

3.      All correspondence between the Music Festival Office and performers and/or teachers will be accomplished via e-mail to the teachers.  Teachers are then responsible to disseminate information to their students as necessary.

4.      Changes in performance schedule which are received after the schedule has been completed (approximately 3 weeks before the festival begins) will be accepted only at the discretion of the Executive Director.  

5.      No adjustments to the schedule will be accommodated after the Festival has begun.

6.      If a participant must change the time or date of their performance, and this results in that participant not competing with the other registrants in their class, they forfeit the right to a 1st placement in that class.  They will also not be eligible for local awards for that class.  Eligibility for Provincial recommendation will not be affected.

7.      The size of the Festival prohibits special programming for accompanists.  Every effort has been made to avoid accompanist conflicts. 

8.      Classes will run as per the times listed in the Program.  Due to circumstances beyond our control, classes may run late; however, classes will not begin earlier than scheduled.


1.      Competitors may not use the performance room for warm-up or practice at any point during the two weeks of Festival.

2.      A competitor must be present and ready to perform 15 minutes before a class is scheduled to begin.  The festival reserves the right to disqualify any competitor who is not ready to perform when called.

3.      No person off stage may augment a performance in any manner (ie keeping time, singing along, etc).

4.      A published copy of each selection, except those for Music Composition, must be provided for the adjudicator as directed by the local festival.  Each copy must be clearly marked with the competitor name and class number.  The first bar of each line in music scores must be numbered.  Failure to hand in a selection may result in disqualification.

·        In Music Composition a photocopy or computer printout must be provided for the adjudicator at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled performance time.

·        In every other class a photocopy may be used only if the publisher’s written approval is also provided.  A payment receipt will be accepted as indication of publisher’s written approval or digital download. Scores from imslp may be used, provided they are clearly Public Domain.

·        The selections in the current Speech Syllabus are from the public domain and may be photocopied from that Syllabus.  They cannot be photocopied from anthologies which are themselves under copyright, unless written approval has been given by the publisher or copyright holder.

·        If a selection is in the public domain, a photocopy together with the author’s date of death may be used.  If it is not in the public domain, a photocopy may be used only if the entrant provides written approval given by the publisher or copyright holder.  “Public Domain” means that the author has been dead for at least fifty years and therefore the work is out of copyright.

5.      The festival cannot knowingly permit the use of photocopies except as noted above, and adjudicators must disqualify performers who use them.

6.      Accompaniments must be played as written. 

EXCEPTIONS:    Community and Family Music classes

                            Contemporary Ballad classes

                            Folk Song classes

                            Musical Theatre and Movie/TV/Pop Music classes

7.      Memorization is not required in order to perform at festival, although it is strongly encouraged, and lack of memorization will be reflected in the grading system (approximatly 10% and cannot receive "Superior" marking). 
Memorization is required for both Provincials and Rose Bowl (exception: Sonata, Chamber, Composition).   

8.      Taped accompaniments are not allowed.

9.      Transposition up or down is permitted in the following classes except where specified:

Vocal classes under 17 years of age (1 full tone)

Vocal classes 17 years of age and over (1 half tone)

Choral classes (1 full tone)

Light Opera, Musical Theatre, Folk Song and Movie/TV/Pop Music classes  (any transposition is permitted)

10.   Music Festival management will not be held responsible for personal items left behind in performance venues or the Festival Office.


1.      The Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival will operate on the following Grading System for all competitive classes:

SUPERIOR 90% and over

DISTINCTION 85% to 89%

HONORS 80% to 84%

MERIT Below 80%

2.      In all competitive classes, a mark of at least 80% must be achieved to obtain a First Place Certificate (Gold Seal for 12+)This policy will be used especially in the case where there is only one competitor in a class. Although performers do not need to memorize in order to participate in Festival, memorization is required for all SUPERIOR awards (Exceptions to memorization requirement are: Music Composition classes, Chamber/Ensemble classes, and String & Keyboard Sonata classes).

3.      Once a session is concluded, no one may make changes to the marks, including the adjudicator.

4.      All performances in every discipline will receive a mark.  However, for solo performers aged 12 and under, and/or Grade Level 5 & under in Piano Plan II, the mark will not be shared with the performer, teacher, parent, or any member of the public.  12 & under, or Piano Plan II Grade Level 4 and under solo performer marks will only be placed on the internal marking sheet to be used by the Festival office in consultation with adjudicators, for the purpose of determining award winners.  The 12 & under and Piano Plan II Grade Level 5 and under classes will, therefore, have no first and second place winners announced in the performance room.  Participants 12 and under and Piano Plan II Grade Level 5 and under participants will remain eligible for local awards and provincial recommendations.  For performers over the age of 12 all classes will continue to be competitive and numerical marks will be provided as usual. 

*EXCEPTION:  Brass/Woodwind performers at Grade Level 2 or above WILL be treated as age 13 and over, and therefore will receive their marks.


1.      Adjudicators’ decisions regarding performance, Rose Bowl recommendations and Provincial recommendations are final.  Under no circumstances will parents, teachers, volunteers, the Executive Director or the Festival Committee contact an adjudicator to question their decisions.

2.      Competitors for the major award in each of Speech Arts, Vocal, Piano and Instrumental must enter at least two classes in the same category to be eligible.

3.      All decisions of the Adjudicators and the Festival Committee regarding the awards are final.

4.      Candidates competing for the Major Awards (Rose Bowl) will be notified in advance of the competition.  They must then participate in the adjudicated competition as scheduled and directed by the Committee.

5.      Some local festival awards are restricted.

6.      Conversation between an adjudicator and a teacher, competitor, competitor’s friend, or member of a competitor’s family before that adjudicator’s classes are complete and decisions regarding Provincial recommendations and Rosebowl performances have been relayed to the office, is prohibited.  Such an approach may result in disqualification for the competitor.

7      In the instance where the first recommended competitor is not able to attend Provincials, the alternate will be offered the chance to attend instead.  No secondary alternate will be chosen.

I.          PUBLIC

1.      There is no admission fee charged to attend Festival classes.  Goodwill offerings will be gratefully received for the Rose Bowl and Stars of the Festival. 

2.      Anyone moving about the venue should do so quietly.  Conversation is prohibited during a performance and at no time is any teacher, performer, or the general public allowed to engage in conversation with the adjudicator while in the venue.

3.      The public must not leave or enter a room during a performance or adjudication.  Defer to the doorman’s instructions at each venue.

4.      We ask that you record your own competitor’s performance and that you remain stationary and unobtrusive.  Please do not record adjudicator comments.  Flash cameras distract the participants and therefore cannot be used during performances. 

5.      All cell phones, alarms and pagers must be turned off prior to entering the performance room.

J.       ROSE BOWL

1.      Adjudicators from each discipline will be asked for a recommendation for the Rose Bowl Competition. This competitor will be chosen as the best overall performer in their discipline and will then compete against performers from the other disciplines, for the Rose Bowl and a $1000 scholarship. 

2.      Rose Bowl performers are limited to pieces that were performed during the Festival, and cannot be longer than 12 minutes in total (more than one selection may be performed). Although the performer does not have to play it, the adjudicator will be asked for a recommendation of the strongest selection.

3.      Rose Bowl performances must be memorized (exception: Chamber/Sonata).

4.      Rose Bowl performers must be at least 12 years old, and it is expected that the performer chosen will be playing at an appropriately high skill level (this varies from discipline to discipline and will be communicated in advance to the adjudicator). Performers may be recommended from more than one discipline.

5.     There is no alternate chosen for the Rose Bowl, and the adjudicator is not required to recommend any performer from their discipline.

6.     Performance order is decided by random draw, done by an office staff member and witnessed by a member of the Festival Committee. The order, once drawn, is final.

7.    A Rose Bowl winner must sit out for the following two years in the discipline in which they won. Performers may be recommended to the Rose Bowl the subsequent year from another discipline. In the case of Choral or Chamber entries, if 1/4 of the membership has changed, it is considered to be a different choir/group and therefore eligible the year after a win. 


* Permanent address as defined by Statistics Canada: the usual place of residence is the dwelling in Canada in which a person lives most of the time.