What is Piano Festival?
Information for Teachers, Parents and Students
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Who May Enter?
Music students of public-school age. The music teacher must be either 1) a member in good standing of the Schubert Club or 2) submit a $65 teacher registration fee with the student applications with less than 10 students or $75 for 10 or more students. The Festival consists of a variety of events including solo, concerto and ensemble classes. The solo entry fee is $20; the ensemble entry fee is $40 (per group); quartet entry fee is $50. The class level entered is ascertained by the teacher according to the student's ability and years of study.
What are the Requirements?
A required piece is selected from the official YMF Syllabus of Required Pieces (selected from works by American composers). In addition entrants in the solo event are required to perform a choice piece. The choice piece must be one written by a non-American composer (above Primary 4 level) and is generally of the same level of difficulty as the required piece. Both pieces must be performed from memory. Concerto and ensemble classes have somewhat different requirements.
How is a Gold Cup Earned?
Points earned annually are duly recorded and accumulated on individual student records. When 15 points have been earned in a given event (e.g. solo, duet, concerto) the student receives a Gold Cup award for that event. Further points are accumulated toward a second or third gold cup.
What is the Purpose of Festival?
  • Students have the opportunity to perform in a non-competitive setting.
  • Festival gives music students the opportunity to hear performances by other young people studying at their own level.
  • Festival develops performance poise.
  • Festival encourages further study by providing recognition for achievement at each level of musical progress and a further incentive to continue as outlined above in the Gold Cup program.
  • Festival is particularly enjoyable for piano students (who comprise more than 90% of the participants) because it offers them a way to feel part of a larger musical experience. Pianists hear others play and realize there are others who share their musical interest.
How Does the Festival Operate?
A typical class is made up of eight to twelve performances and lasts an hour. Classes are open to family and friends. Students have the opportunity to perform on good pianos in large classrooms or an auditorium on the campus of Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut.
Two adjudicators preside over each class writing comments and evaluating each performance. These adjudications may contain constructive criticism as well as praise for the musical achievements of each performer at his or her stage of studies. These comments are distributed by the student's teacher in the weeks following Festival.
Finally, points (up to a possible 5) are awarded for each performance. These evaluations are based on average ability, quality of preparation and excellence of the individual performance. Each performer receives a certificate indicating the number of points awarded.
Special Requests
For piano entries only.
Members of a family are automatically scheduled on the same day where possible. If a family wishes to specify in advance what day they wish to be scheduled, a special request may be added to the application ($20 for one child, $30 for more than one child). Please discuss this with the teacher before the applications are submitted.
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