The Concerto Competition
Ithaca College School of Music Concerto Competition Information
Updated January 2017
The Department of Performance Studies at Ithaca College’s School of Music seeks to recognize our most outstanding student performers through a Concerto Competition. The competition will serve as a School of Music showcase and provide an exceptional educational experience for all involved.
1. Any Ithaca College student enrolled for private lessons with an Ithaca College music faculty member during the semester of the Concerto Competition is eligible to participate with the approval of the student’s teacher.
2. Applicants will perform the solo part(s) from a work that is accompanied by orchestra, chamber orchestra or wind ensemble. A maximum length, not normally to exceed 20 minutes will be allowed for any one performer in the final performance.
3. Applicants will be allowed to enter one piece per year in the competition.
4. All applicants will perform from memory.
5. Duos (not including accompanists) will be permitted to enter the competition with the approval of their instructors.
6. No electronic/computerized/midi accompaniments are allowed for the preliminary or final rounds of the competition.
II. Application Guidelines
1. Applicants are required to check with their applied teacher to determine if there is any question in the teacher’s mind about the difficulty of preparing the piece with only limited rehearsal time or the difficulty of the orchestra parts. If there is any question, the applicant is required to submit the score of their chosen work to the orchestra director (or wind ensemble director if that ensemble is required) for approval prior to submitting the entry form.
Please note: The ensemble conductor reserves the right to determine if the submitted work is acceptable for use in the competition in terms of the level of collaborative difficulty and other factors related solely to the accompaniment.
III. Concerto Competition - Preliminary Round Information
- All preliminary rounds will be held on the Ford Hall Auditorium or Hockett Family Recital stage during the evenings of the first week of the spring semester. Scheduling of the preliminary rounds will rotate performance areas in a three-year cycle:
- Students will apply online and the resulting data will be shared with Area Coordinators by the last week of the fall semester. Area coordinators will organize the preliminary rounds
- On the first day of finals of the fall semester, all applicants will be sent an online form to sign up for dress rehearsal time. Rehearsal times will be in the performance spaces during the weekend prior to the start of the spring semester. The available times will be 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday except for times blocked out for the MLK concert and rehearsal in year’s in which MLK day observance affects the Academic Calendar.
Dress rehearsal time in the perfrmance spaces will be assigned as follows:
Pianists two 30 minute slots
All others one 30 minute slot
- Two grand pianos will be set up on the stage for the dress rehearsals. The acoustical shell will not be used for the rehearsal, the preliminary rounds, or the final round.
- Work study students will not be assigned to work during the preliminary rounds. The chair of each performance area will be responsible for coordinating set-up of the stage for the preliminary round.
- For the preliminary round, the number of applicants from a single studio will be at the discretion of the teacher. For the final round, it is recommended that a maximum of five contestants from each performance area be passed forward. Duos (not including accompanists) composed of players from two different performance areas must pass the preliminary round in both areas represented and will count as one contestant from both areas.
- Contestants must provide their own accompanist and perform from memory.
- A harpsichord will not be used to perform an orchestra reduction.
- Preliminary round contestants will be limited to exactly ten minutes from the moment they walk onto the stage until the moment when the designated time-keeper halts the performance.
- If more than one movement of a work has been submitted for performance, the contestant must display representative portions of every movement during the ten minutes.
- The judges will only consider the quality of the performance on the day of the competition when making their choices. The potential of a soloist, the age of a soloist, the difficulty of a piece, the ease or difficulty of putting a piece with accompaniment, the perceived quality of piece, or any other factor or criterion apart from the performance itself will not be considered by the judges. Judges will consider tone, technique, rhythm, musicianship, stage presence, and intonation (except for piano and percussion) when evaluating contestants.
- Area Coordinators will forward the names of the finalists to the Performance Studies Department Chair immediately after the conclusion of the preliminary round.
IV. Concerto Competition - Final Round Information
1. The final round of the competition will be scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. the first Sunday following the first week of the spring semester.
2. All finalists will be notified of their performance time as of Noon on the Friday preceding the Final Round of competition. Entrants will find this information posted on the bulletin board outside the Music Office in addition to receiving an e-mail confirmation. Times will be chosen by lot.
3. As in the preliminary rounds, dress rehearsal time on the stage will be limited to 60 minutes for pianists and 30 minutes for all other competitors and finalists will be able to sign-up through an online process.
a. As in the preliminary round, finalists will be limited to exactly ten minutes from the moment they walk onto the stage until the moment when the designated time-keeper halts the performance.
b. As in the preliminary round, if more than one movement of a work has been submitted for performance, the contestant must display representative portions of every movement during the ten minutes.
4. Normally, there will be a fifteen-minute break every two hours of the competition. The Competition Director will confer late during the preliminary days to decide upon the exact schedule, considering the number of finalists and particular demands for stage settings.
5. As in the preliminary round, finalists will perform from memory and provide their own accompanist.
6. Finalists will appear as scheduled without exception and will be disqualified automatically if unable to appear at the scheduled time. At the judges’ discretion, rare exceptions will be made.
7. As in the preliminary round, the judges will only consider the quality of the performance on the day of the competition when making their choices. The potential of a soloist, the age of a soloist, the difficulty of a piece, the ease or difficulty of putting a piece with accompaniment, the perceived subjective quality of the piece, or any other factor or criterion apart from the performance itself will not be considered by the judges. Judges will consider tone, technique, rhythm, musicianship, stage presence, and intonation (except for piano and percussion) when evaluating contestants.
V. Concerto Competition Concert
1. Normally, the Concerto Competition Concert will take place the Saturday evening prior to the last week of block 3. However, if the Wind Ensemble is involved, the performance will occur on a separate concert.
2. The competition winners will meet with the orchestra or wind ensemble conductors directly to arrange the rehearsal schedule.
3. The Concerto Competition Concert may consist of optional pieces by the orchestra (chosen at the discretion of the director) as well as the performances of the competition winners.
4. The order of the soloists’ performances will be determined by the ensemble’s conductor.
5. The final dress rehearsal for the orchestra will be extended one hour.
VI. Concerto Judging Guidelines
1. Part-time/Adjunct faculty who teach music majors can opt to participate in the judging, both in the preliminary and final rounds.
2. There will be seven judges for the final round including one judge from each performance area (brass, string, percussion/guitar, piano, woodwind and voice) and one non-studio teacher chosen by the Concerto Competition Director. If a judge is not available from a given performance area, another non-studio teacher, preferably with the same performance background will be asked to serve.
3. Membership on the committee will be done on a rotating basis with the assignments made by the IC Concerto Competition Director prior to Thanksgiving break. No person will serve more than once every three years.
4. The orchestra conductor (and the wind ensemble conductor if that ensemble is involved) will not be a judge unless he or she is a member of the committee chosen from the at-large pool. The input of the conductor(s) on the competition process itself will be limited to the approval of the pieces before the competition, and the order of soloists for the Concerto Competition Concert. Conductors may be members of the committee if selected by the IC Concerto Competitions Director from the at-large pool.
5. The IC Concerto Competitions Director will be present throughout the competition final round acting as time-keeper and ensuring that the judges adhere to the competition guidelines. The Director will not be a voting member, but will be responsible for collecting and tallying the votes with the chair as a witness. Further, the Director will lead all voting proceedings to identify the various options for number of winners (3, 4, 5, or 6).
6. Judges are forbidden to discuss any aspect of the competition or the contestants at any time during the competition before the winners have been chosen. Failure to observe this rule will result in dismissal.
7. The judges will only consider the quality of the performance on the day of the competition when making their choices. The potential of a soloist, the age of a soloist, the difficulty of a piece, the ease or difficulty of putting a piece with accompaniment, the perceived quality of the piece, or any other factor or criterion apart from the performance itself will not be considered by the judges. Judges will consider tone, technique, rhythm, musicianship, stage presence, and intonation (except for piano and percussion) when evaluating contestants.
8. The committee and the Director will meet in the faculty lounge on the day of the competition at 12:15 to elect a chair and to review the judging guidelines.
9. The Judges will sit apart from one another during the competition and refrain from speaking unless necessary.
VII. Scoring, Voting, and Tallying for the Final Round
1. At the conclusion of the competition, the judges will adjourn to the Faculty Lounge. Without discussion and in secret ballot, the judges will rank their order of choice from first to last (1 being the top choice). Therefore, the number of scores that judges give is equivalent to the number of contestants that have competed: i.e., 20 scores for 20 contestants, etc. Each judge ranks all competitors in his/her order of preference. It is recommended that each judge use a point system of individual choice to organize tallying and differentiate contestants effectively.
2. With the chair as the only witness, the Competition Director will silently tally the ballots to determine the top six finalists. The contestant with the fewest points places first with everyone else following. The Director will reveal the names and rank of the top six finalists to the judges.
3. There will be a minimum of two rounds of voting. The first round will determine the top six performers. The second round will determine how many of those six will actually perform, assuming time allows. Judges will not re-rank in the second voting, but will vote on how many winners from the top six perform. This will happen without discussion by silent ballots that are passed to the Concerto Competition Director.
4. The Director, with the chair as witness, will tally the votes. Before declaring the winners, the Director will add the number of minutes for each of the pieces in the top six places. The combined number of minutes for the winners may not exceed 45. If the number of top six places the judges vote to include exceeds the 45 minutes, only the number that falls within the time limit will be declared winners. The order of the top six may not be changed, even if doing so would allow an additional winner within the time limit. The list of winners will be posted with the winners in alphabetical order outside the music office immediately after the conclusion of the voting.