Anyone with an interest in music and some musical talent can make an entry to perform at the festival either by themselves or together with a group of people (subject to the rules of the particular classes that they enter). The classes available cover a wide range of vocal and instrumental possibilities.
To make an entry you will need to identify an appropriate class from the Syllabus, which can be downloaded from this site. Please be sure that your entry will satisfy the rules for that class. You must download and print an Entry Form, also available on this site. Complete all sections of the entry form and return it by post to the secretary with a self addressed envelope and a cheque to cover the cost of the entries, so that it will arrive before the closing date.
It is quite usual for a single Entry Form to be used to make several entries. One person (often a teacher or parent) will make entries on behalf of several individuals or groups in different classes.
It is important that we should know in advance the composers and titles of pieces of music that are to be performed so that the Adjudicators can judge the performance. There are also strict rules about making copies of the music being presented before the festival. Please be aware of the rules relating to making photocopies of music which will be strictly applied.
We will always try to accommodate late entries for a few days after the closing date but we cannot guarantee that they will be accepted because of time restrictions and the entries may not appear in the Festival Programme.
You will be advised of the time, date and location of your performance(s) about three weeks before the festival when confirmations will be returned to you by post. It is not possible to do this earlier because the programme for the festival must be constructed on the basis of the entries that have been received by the closing date.
Performers should note the maximum time allowed for their performance and they should rehearse to ensure that this can be achieved. This is important for the smooth running of the festival and to allow performances to be fairly compared by the adjudicators. Entries that significantly exceed the stated time may be disallowed.
The adjudicators are musicians of national and international renown who are present at the festival. They observe the performances and then make a judgement of the quality of the performances against the Festival criteria. They will provide performers with written feedback about their performance.
We have two professional pianists who can provide an accompaniment to performances if this is required. It is essential that they are made aware of this in advance and that they should be given a copy of the music before the festival so that they have time to rehearse the accompaniment. Please be aware of the rules relating to making photocopies of music which will be strictly applied.
Almost all of the classes will have associated with them a Trophy which may be a cup or similar and a certificate. If the adjudicator decides that a sufficiently high standard has been achieved in that class, they will award the appropriate Trophy. Trophies will be held for one year and, in the case of a cup, they may be engraved at the competitor's expense. Those classes which are 'non competitive' will not have a trophy.
Each entry for the festival has a cost associated with it which is stated in the Festival Syllabus. This fee must be returned in the form of a cheque with the application form. At the time of the performance the performers will be admitted to the Festival free of charge but all accompanying adults and children must pay the normal entry fee.
The costs of running a festival such as this are high. Although all the Festival organisers are unpaid volunteers, there are many costs associated with issues such as premises hire, printing etc.
People associated with the festival who have a commitment to its success and continuation are willing to make a financial gift of £20 per year are identified as Patrons of the Festival. To recognise this, they receive a Patron's ticket which allows them free access to all sessions of the festival.
The rules of the festival clearly state that no photographic, audio or video recording is permitted at any time during the festival. There are many reasons for this and anyone who is found to breach this rule will be asked to leave the festival immediately and will not be readmitted during that year. The only exceptions to this are that there may be a newspaper photographer and an official Festival Photographer who will take photographs for publicity purposes. These photographers will be clearly identified by ID badges and they will always seek permission of the subjects or, in the case of children, their parents or teachers.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the festival. On the last evening of the Festival there will be the Concert of Festival Highlights when some of the best performers heard during the festival will be asked to return to play again. Entry to the Concert of Festival Highlights, which is usually at 7.00pm on the evening of the final day of the Festival in the Queen's Hall, Hexham, will be free. Entry to all other sessions will be £2.50