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Rules and Regulations

The following rules apply to all disciplines in the Niagara Festival of Performing Arts.

 

General

 

1. The competitor's age is as of December 31, 2024.

2. All entries and payment must be received by January 31, 2025.  Late entries will be subject to a $25.00 late fee until February 10, 2025 (this date can be changed depending on number of entries).  Changes to entries will only be allowed until February 10, 2025 accompanied by a fee of $15.00.

3. Competitors must enter at the same grade/age level for their discipline.  Competitors cannot compete in two different grade or age levels.  Competitors can only enter ONE selection per class.

4. Competitors in all classes will declare their selections on their entry forms.  

5. All competitors must be amateurs.  An amateur shall be defined as: 

·      a music student, performer, or any person who does not earn significant income (see below) from performance or teaching in the discipline in which they are participating.  A professional shall be defined as:

·      an individual performing in a professional show and/or earning significant income (over $5000.00 for adults and over $1000 for children up to 18 years) from performing or teaching music privately or in the school system.

·      Individuals who are full or junior members of either ACTRA or EQUITY or are collecting credits to becoming an Equity member.  

·      Children up to 18 years who perform in a professional show and are not paid, receive valuable professional experience, and are therefore considered professional for the calendar year in which they are cast.

a.     The calendar year is defined as September 1st – August 31st.  

b.     If the individual is enrolled as a full member of either ACTRA or EQUITY, has performed in a professional show and/or received professional income (over $5000.00 for adults and over $1000 for children up to 18 years), they are then considered professional and are therefore ineligible to participate in the OMFA Provincial Finals for that same year (eg. if the individual was recommended in February, but then joined ACTRA or EQUITY (eg. April).

c.     If the individual has received professional income after they were recommended to the OMFA Provincial Finals, they would be ineligible to participate and their entry fee would be refunded, if applicable.

d.     An exception would be made for an individual participating in another discipline that is different from the reason for their ACTRA or EQUITY membership (eg. an individual performing in a professional musical that has been recommended for classical piano would be allowed). 

e.     Disciplines that cannot be entered when performing in a professional musical include Musical Theatre, Speech Arts, Songs from the Screen and More.

6 . Deportment and appearance are important to a polished performance.  Footwear and suitable stage attire should be worn.  

7.  A selection may be used in one class only at the festival and cannot be re-used in future years in the festival excluding the Open Musical Theatre class.

8. Original scores, books and/or music are to be given to the Festival Secretary for the Adjudicator.  Receipts for digital copies must be provided showing payment with title and amount – digital title pages are not receipts.

9.  Competitors do not announce their name or selection when performing in Musical Theatre.  For all other disciplines, competitors can announce their selection if they wish but it is not mandatory.

10. Competitors must stay until their class is completed to receive the adjudicator's comments and  in order to receive placement.

11. Videotaping of competitor's performances is allowed but only by a family member.

12. Videotaping of the adjudicator's comments is not allowed.

13. The Niagara Festival of Performing Arts does not provide refunds FOR ANY REASON including inclement weather. The festival will proceed and will not cancel.

 

 

Classical Voice

  1. Please read the specific rules for each class.

  2. Songs may be transposed to suit the entrants voice within reason.

  3. Singers should perform at the graded level they are currently studying at.

  4. Singers may introduce their song(s) and composer(s) but it is not mandatory.

  5. Singers may not sing musical theatre, pop or jazz selections for the List C class.

  6. All selections should be sung from memory.

  7. All selections should be sung with acoustic piano accompaniment.

 

Popular Voice

  1. Singers must sing a popular voice selection in one of the following genres: pop, pop folk,R & B, soul, rock, alternative, indie, jazz or country.  Selections should be covers from commercial artists in these genres and/or original compositions.  Selections from Musical Theatre (both staged and non-staged), cabaret, revues and stand-alone songs in musical theatre style are not allowed.  Rap and Hip Hop are not allowed.  Selections from Conservatory Canada Contemporary Idioms Voice lists and the RCM List C  (Levels 1- 6 ) and RCM List D (Levels 7 – 10) are eligible excluding musical theatre and operetta. Age appropriate repertoire and suitable lyrics/offensive language must be taken into consideration when choosing selections that are suitable for all audiences.  All selections must be sung from memory.   

  2.  Accompaniment can be acoustic piano, instrumental backtracks without vocal background tracks, guitar or ukulele .  Self-accompaniment is allowed.  Entrants must supply their own sound source.

  3. If an original copy of the music is not obtainable, competitors must provide lyrics for the adjudicator and purchase the music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc and provide a receipt.

Musical Theatre

  1. Costumes may be worn in musical theatre, but are not taken into consideration in the adjudication.  Costume changes in concert classes should be added into the total time allotment.

  2. Only 2 hand help props may be used in musical theatre. A chair will be provided at the venue if needed.

  3. Songs may be transposed to suit the entrants voice within reason.

  4. No cuts are allowed in vocal sections of the songs – only instrumental cuts (eg extended piano interludes) are allowed if necessary and repeats should not be observed.  Additional music should not be added for dance breaks.

  5. Junior or simplified versions of musical theatre selections are not allowed.

  6. Age and culturally appropriate repertoire and suitable lyrics/offensive language should be taken into consideration when choosing selections.

  7. All selections must be sung from memory.   

  8. All selections should be sung with acoustic piano accompaniment.

Songs from the Screen and More

  1. Costumes may be worn in Songs from the Screen and More, but are not taken into consideration in the adjudication.  

  2. Only 2 hand help props may be used in this category. A chair will be provided at the venue if needed.

  3. Songs may be transposed to suit the entrants voice within reason.

  4. No cuts are allowed in vocal sections of the songs – only instrumental cuts (eg extended piano interludes) are allowed if necessary and repeats should not be observed.  Additional music should not be added for dance breaks.

  5. SONGS THAT ARE PERMITTED - songs from animated films, anime, movies (see not permitted specific rules below) or television shows/series.   Songs that were written for, or first appeared in, a movie or film (Titanic). Songs from film musicals – singers must use film version arrangement (eg.  Santa Fe, Newsies; Breaking Free, High School Musical; Somewhere Over the Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz).   Songs from musicals that have only been workshopped (not fully staged); stand-alone songs in musical theatre style (eg. Girl in 14G, Taylor the Latte Boy, Darryl is a Boy; songs from Smash television show, etc.).  Songs written for but have been cut from staged musicals (eg. More to the Story,  Shrek, Crossing a Bridge, Anastasia)

  6. Instrumental cuts are allowed in extended piano interludes

  7. Duets that can be performed as a solo,( eg. I See the Light, Tangled,  Shallow, A Star is Born, A Whole New World, Aladdin)

  8. SELECTIONS NOT PERMITTED - Songs that were originally written for live fully staged musicals and that were later made into movies, (eg. The Sound of Music, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Hamilton, In the Heights, Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked, 13). Songs that have been originally released as a commercial pop song and are later included in films should be entered in the Popular Voice (eg. songs from Mamma Mia, Sing, & Juliet). Songs that were originally released as a commercial pop song and are later used in a jukebox musical should be entered in Popular Voice. (Moulin Rouge, Beautiful, Mamma Mia)

  9. Age/culturally appropriate repertoire and suitable lyrics/offensive language should be taken into consideration when choosing selections.

  10. All selections must be sung from memory.   

  11. All selections must be sung with acoustic piano accompaniment.

 

Classical Piano

  1. Please read the specific rules for each class.

  2. Pianists should perform at the graded level they are currently studying.

  3. Selections should be played from memory.

  4. Pianists may introduce their selection and composer.

  5. Associate/Diploma classes are for pianists who are currently working at the ARCT level.  After two years of study, competitors should enter the Open level class.

 

Contemporary Piano

  1. Please read the rules regarding this category.

  2.  Selections should be contemporary piano pieces written after 1960 that are not in the current RCM or CC syllabi.

  3.  Pop songs, covers and classical pieces are not allowed in this category.

Popular Piano

  1. Competitors must perform selections in any of the following genres: pop, pop/ folk, R & B, soul, rock, alternative, indie, jazz or country. 

  2. Selections must be covers from commercial artists in these genres. 

  3. Selections from Conservatory Canada (CC) Contemporary Idioms Piano lists and the Royal Conservatory of Music Popular Lists (RCM) that meet the criteria listed above and are covers of pieces that have been heard on the radio or in TV and movies from 1950 onwards. 

  4. Selections that are NOT permitted:
    • Rap and Hip Hop. • Songs listed in the RCM or CC classical piano syllabi • pieces from Christopher Norton anthologies• pieces from contemporary repertoire anthologies 

  5. If playing an original composition, the score must be provided to the adjudicator.

 

Scholarships

 

  1. Scholarship recipients will be chosen at the Adjudicator's discretion. Each scholarship has specific requirements as to age, residency, class entered and may change year to year.  Competitors MUST enter a minimum of 2 classes to be eligible to qualify for a major scholarship.  

  2. Scholarship winners and their teachers will be notified by email.  

  3. Scholarship winners may or may not be chosen by the Adjudicator to perform on the Gala concert.

  4. Scholarship winners will receive their awards either by cheque or e-transfer.

  5. The Overall Scholarship in any discipline can only be awarded twice consecutively to the same competitor.  If the same competitor gets recommended for a third time, they will be awarded the 'Most Distinguished Artist/Performer' scholarship.

 

OMFA Provincial Finals

 

  1. The Adjudicator can recommend up to 3 competitors per level/age category/class to the Provincial Music Festival. Recommended competitors must accept their first festival recommendation.

  2. Recommended competitors will be informed by email  immediately following The Niagara Festival of Performing Arts and must accept or reject their recommendation within TWO (2) days of notification.   Competitors are responsible to read the rules on the OMFA website for their recommended discipline/level to make sure they are entering the correct selections, pay their own entry fee and provide their own accompanist if needed. Recommended competitors must submit their entry form and fees by May 1, 2025, 9:00 p.m. online to the OMFA website.

  3. All virtual competitors must submit their entry by May 1st which will include one or two contrasting selections.  Please plan accordingly and have your contrasting selections prepared.

  4. The OMFA Provincial Finals will be held in TBD in 2025.

 

Adjudication

 

  1. A listing of classes and competitors will be posted on the website by February 15, 2025 as a digital program for download.

  2. Competitors may be required to certify that the festival rules have been followed. If an infringement occurs, adjudication may be given, but no mark will be awarded.

  3. The minimum mark to win a scholarship and to be recommended to the OMFA Provincial Music Festival is 85 in competitive classes. 

  4. All competitors will receive the Adjudicator's written comments.

  5. Adjudicating will be by a qualified Adjudicator in each discipline and all decisions made will be final. Criteria for judging/adjudicating will be for overall artistry and as well, musicianship, musicality and expression, choice of repertoire, communication, presentation and attire. In Classical Voice, Musical Theatre and Songs from the Screen and More, voice quality, diction, characterization and acting will also be taken into consideration.

  6. No participant or their parents may approach or contact the Adjudicator. This may result in disqualification.   Any questions from a participant or their family must be directed to the Festival Coordinator or Welcome Desk Volunteer.

  7. No video or audio recording of the Adjudicator’s comments is allowed.

  8. No coaching from audience members is allowed.  

  9. The Adjudicator's decisions are final. 

Sheet Music
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