Music Rules & Regulations – 2020

The Festival relies on the integrity of entrants to comply with all rules regarding age, membership, etc. in entering specific classes.

In these rules and regulations:

  • Association means the Kiwanis Music Festival Association of Greater Toronto.
  • Festival Office means the Kiwanis Music Festival Office of Greater Toronto.
  1. Scholarships are available to individual competitors in solo classes for voice, instruments, speech arts, as well as group competitors. Recipients must have a mark of 85 or more. To be ELIGIBLE to be awarded a scholarship, a competitor must enter TWO OR MORE classes. Failure to participate in all classes entered and programmed will influence the awarding of scholarships.
  2. Scholarships are awarded solely on the recommendation of Adjudicators to competitors who show the most promise of future development musically.
  3. A complete list of scholarships will appear on our website. Winners of scholarships will be advised officially by the Association and public announcements thereof may be made as deemed appropriate. All scholarship cheques must be cashed by the end of the Festival fiscal year, June 30, 2020.
  4. Competitors who have passed an RCM or Conservatory Canada grade level exam before the deadline entry date may not enter that grade in the festival.


  1. The competitions shall be under the Management of the Association.
  2. All matters not dealt with in these rules shall be referred to the Association, whose decisions on such matters shall be final and binding upon all concerned. Complaints or protests will not be considered unless made in writing to the Festival Office. Under no circumstances are such protests to be made to the Adjudicator.
  1. All competitions, unless otherwise stated, shall be open to amateurs only. “Amateur” means any person who up to the date of closing of entries for the forthcoming Festival has not been in receipt of remuneration forming the major portion of livelihood from the profession or practice of music. A competitor who qualifies as a professional for the purpose of a particular class is not precluded from qualifying as an amateur in other classes. Please note that musicians who are members of Actra, Equity or the Musician’s Union are considered to be professional.
  2. All competitions, unless otherwise stated in these rules and regulations and in class headings, shall be open to any competitor without regard to residence or citizenship.
  3. In all classes in which an age limit is prescribed, competitors must be no older than the prescribed age on the last day of the forthcoming Festival. Exact date and year of birth must be entered in the space provided on the entry form. Classes marked “Open” are open to all aged competitors, within the guidelines noted for the section or the class. Competitors under eighteen years of age on the last day of the forthcoming Festival are not eligible for competition in classes for Senior Vocal Solos. Competitors may enter only once in each class. Competitors who have taken an RCM or Conservatory Canada Exam in the preceding year are not eligible to enter that grade level in the current festival year. (i.e. if you took grade 4 piano exam in 2020 you may not enter grade 4 in 2020 festival).If a competitor received a first place award in a graded class in the 2020 festival, they cannot enter the same graded class in the 2021 festival. (This does not apply to SR or INT classes.)
  4. Competitors in Choral Societies, Choirs, Orchestras and Bands must be bona fide members of their respective organizations on January 1st of the year of the Festival. Competitors must be prepared to submit a list of such members under circumstances wherein a certificate of bona fide membership is required by the Association.
  5. Conductors may be either professional or amateur. Conductors may not sing with their choirs nor play with their orchestras/bands/ensembles.
  6. Competitors are urged to exercise caution in entering the class information on the entry form since transfers to other classes are impossible following the closing date for entries. Please read the notes in each individual section before completing your entry form.


  1. Test pieces must be performed in the prescribed key; transpositions are not allowed unless specified under the class or section. However, in all choral classes transpositions will be allowed one tone or semi-tone up or down.
  2. In all solo classes all selections must be played or sung from memory. Use of music will result in adjudication only; no mark will be awarded. Exceptions to this rule may be found in Solo Brass, Solo Percussion, Solo Woodwind Sections, Piano Duet Section and String Sonata Section. Please read the section notes for exceptions.
  3. Choral numbers must be sung in the language(s) given in the printed copy. Translations of songs, into English, must be provided. Piano accompaniment only. However, if a solo instrument or hand-held percussion (maximum 5) is indicated it will be allowed. No additional set-up time or electronic amplification will be permitted. The competition is based on the performance of two contrasting selections, only one of which may include brief solo or solo ensemble passages. The total number of bars of the solo or solo ensemble passage(s) may not exceed 10% of the total length of the selection.No medleys. Language and accompaniment optional; same voicing as test piece.
  4. Where a specified edition is indicated in the Syllabus a copy thereof will be furnished to the Adjudicator by the Association. Specified editions as indicated in the Syllabus are recommended but not mandatory. Where editions are not specified, any standard edition is acceptable. When you are ordering music leave at least two months lead time.
  5. PLEASE NOTE: NO REPEATS SHOULD BE PLAYED. However, repeat signs should be observed if indicated in the Piano Syllabus 2015 Edition.
    Rule 17 does not apply to vocal repertoire that has verses.
  6. In “Own Choice” class time limits must be observed or a penalty in marking will result. Competitors must provide an original of the music selected for the use of the Adjudicator. Such music, with bars numbered, must be delivered to the adjudicator’s secretary immediately preceding the respective competition. Failure to comply with this regulation shall result in the competitor being adjudicated without marks. The Association reserves the right to disqualify any competitor presenting a photocopy or computer-generated copy to the adjudicator
    Performance times (i.e. length of pieces in minutes) MUST be included on the entry form.Accompanists may use photocopies – though originals are preferred. MUSIC MUST BE RECOVERED from the Adjudicator’s secretary immediately following the respective competition, unless otherwise stated under the heading of the section. Any music not recovered at the session must be collected at the Festival office. We are not able to pay for postage.
  7. A piece of music or dramatization, whether prescribed or own choice, cannot be used by a competitor in more than one class or in more than one year. Repertoire which does not coincide with stated categories will result in disqualification. See Rule 38.


  1. Photocopying of copyright music for the purpose of performance is illegal. No photocopies, computer-generated copies or copy derived from computer programmes will be allowed in this Festival in any case whatsoever, unless they show legal authorization by the publisher, proof of payment or proof of public domain. Public Domain is not applicable for anything in Music Theatre.

The Association reserves the right to disqualify any competitor presenting an illegal photocopy, computer-generated copy or copy derived from computer programmes to the adjudicator. Please note that accompanists are permitted to play from photocopies but it is strongly suggested that originals be used.

Entries & Entry Fees

    1. Copies of the Syllabus and  may be obtained from our website at Separate entry forms are required for solo and group entries. Entry forms must be completed using our on-line registration forms.

Performance times (i.e. length of pieces in minutes) MUST be included on the entry form.

Group entry forms MUST include the number of performers in the group.

The Association will levy a $50.00 administration charge for N.S.F. cheques.

Deadline For Entries

Entries should be filled in using the on-line registration form.  The deadline for entries is  FRIDAY, January 29th. Payment can only be accepted via our online payment process. Entry forms cannot be completed without payment.

  • The entry form must be signed by the competitor or a person authorized to sign on the competitor’s behalf and accompanied by the entry fee indicated in the Syllabus.
  • It is the responsibility of the competitor to read all rules and enter the correct class by CLASS NUMBER. In cases where entries have been submitted for the wrong class entrants will be disqualified; the Festival will transfer them into the correct class for adjudication only, where possible. Incomplete entry forms will NOT be accepted. It is NOT the responsibility of the Festival Administration to ensure that the correct class number has been entered.

    Please note that a competitor may not perform any piece that has been performed previously at this festival.

    1. Entry fees cannot be refunded, except under circumstances where the entry is refused by the Association. Competitors desiring to withdraw their entry must do so in writing (either by mail or email) to the Festival Office as early as possible and will not have their fees refunded.
    2. Failure to participate in all classes entered and programmed will influence the awarding of scholarships. Notice of withdrawal must be made to the Festival Office at least two (2) days prior to scheduled performance.
    3. The Association reserves the right to reject any entry for any reason.
    4. The Association may, in its sole discretion, combine classes if it considers the number of entries in such classes to be insufficient.
    5. It is essential that you notify the Festival Office of any change of email address following submission of entry form as all communication occurs through this medium.

    Programme Procedure

    1. Following the closing date for entries, the Association shall decide the order in which the classes will take place and reserves the right to alter the order, if necessary.
    2. The Association reserves the right to subdivide any class into two or more competitions under circumstances where the number or character of the entries would justify such a subdivision.
    3. The Association reserves the right to substitute or appoint additional adjudicators.
    4. The Association reserves the right to disqualify any competitor who is not ready to perform when called. See also Rule #14 regarding memorization.
    5. Accompanist requirements are the responsibility of the soloist or group. Programme order will not be changed to accommodate accompanists.
    6. In all solo classes piano accompaniment is required, unless otherwise specified. Please see section 50.

    FOR CHORAL CLASSES: Piano accompaniment only. However, if a solo instrument or hand-held percussion (maximum 5) is indicated it will be allowed. No additional set-up time or electronic amplification will be permitted. The competition is based on the performance of two contrasting selections, only one of which may include brief solo or solo ensemble passages. The total number of bars of the solo or solo ensemble passage(s) may not exceed 10% of the total length of the selection. No medleys. Language and accompaniment optional. This same singers must be used in both pieces that are to be performed.

    1. A chord ONLY may be given on the piano at the commencement of each piece of unaccompanied music.
    2. Except where otherwise noted, no props will be allowed in any class.
    3. In string classes for juniors (grade 4 and under), competitors may have their instruments tuned by a teacher or other person.
    4. No rehearsal on stage is permitted; pianos may NOT be tried except by accompanists. Tuning and warm-up are permitted within the allowed time limit where noted. Offstage and warm-up facilities are not available, nor should they be expected.
    5. No competitor may approach the Adjudicator.This may result in disqualification. No teacher or member of the public may speak to the adjudicator. Necessary questions from a competitor must be directed to the adjudicator’s secretary.“Disqualification” means that no marks or awards will be given. An adjudication will, however, be given.Time limits will be strictly enforced. The adjudicator has the discretionary authority to stop the performance.
    6. The marks awarded by the adjudicator are final. Only the top marks will be announced.
    7. The Festival does not make music stands available to competitors in solo or small group classes.
    8. The Association will not be responsible for the loss of or damage to scores, musical instruments, music stands or other property.


    1. Photography at sessions is permitted with the following provisos:

    Photographs and videos may be taken during the performance of solo classes only. A suitable location will be set up in each venue where the parent/guardian/teacher may sit to take pictures/videos during their competitor’s performance. It is not permitted to take videos/photographs of any competitor unless you are their parent, guardian or teacher.

    No photography or videos are permitted for any school class. This is a policy of the school boards.

    No photography is permitted for commercial purposes, except by the accredited agents of newspapers, television stations, etc.

    All users of cameras/phones, etc. must not advance further forward than the Adjudicator. The use of any flash or lighting is forbidden during performances. There must be no movement by the operator during the performances. All recording equipment must be SILENT. No photography or videotaping is allowed of competitors or Adjudicators without their express permission. These rules are designed to protect the concentration of the performer and the adjudicator. They apply to any other type of behaviour which might also damage this concentration.

    1. Cell phones / pagers / smart watches must be turned off or in silent mode.


    1. Certificates will be presented at a time decided upon by the Association and in accordance with the following classifications and minimum standards: platinum 92 and above, gold 86-91, silver 82-85, bronze 75-81: unless these marks are obtained the awards will be withheld regardless of the number of entries. A minimum mark of 85 is required for eligibility for scholarships (as well as a minimum entry in two classes) To be eligible for Provincials, a minimum mark of 85 is required.
    2. Senior (SR) and Intermediate (INT) classes, which are the most senior level of competition, are defined as being those classes where a competitor is either working at the level of or has attained an ARCT or equivalent.
    3. Competitors in solo categories in all grades and levels should be aware that there is the possibility that they may be recommended to compete at the Provincial Finals which will be held virtually in June 2021. Competitors in Musical Theatre, Percussion and Speech & Drama may also be recommended for ages 6 and over. We are permitted to send only three (3) competitors per level, per discipline.
    4. Adjudicators’ reports and certificates will be emailed to competitors at the conclusion of the Festival.  It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that they have entered valid emails on the entry form.

    Provincial/National Qualifying Classes

    1. Provincial/National Qualifying Classes

    Competitors who enter solo instrumental categories from RCM/CC Levels 1 to ARCT, musical theatre, speech arts and percussion may be asked to attend Provincials at the recommendation of the Adjudicator. We are only permitted to send three (3) competitors per category. Competitors must also reach a minimum mark of 85 in order to proceed to Provincials. Recommended competitors will be notified by the Festival Office. Please do not call the office to ask.

    1. Each year our team of adjudicators recommend competitors for the Finals of the Ontario Music Festivals Association (June 202) in the following categories: Brass, Guitar, Harp, Musical Theatre, Piano, Speech and Drama, Percussion, Strings, Voice, Woodwinds and Small Ensembles. Criteria for repertoire is listed in the Provincial Syllabus ( which may be obtained from their respective websites. Classes that are eligible to proceed to the Provincial level are marked with the letter P.