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2020 District “Online” Auditions Information

May 31

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 31st, 2020 (Application form will be available on May 2nd, 2020)


ELIGIBILITY: Applicants, including instrumentalists as well as pianists, may range from pre-K to 12; voice applicants must be at least 14 years of age.  The applicant must be a student of an MTNA member in good standing.  It is open to non-members; however, if a non-member would like to submit his or her students’ applications, there will be a flat fee of $35. If the applicant has studied less than a season (30+ weeks) with the present teacher, as of May 31st, 2020, the applicant also needs the written consent of the previous teacher.


REQUIREMENTS: 2 selections, memorized for pianists, each  from a contrasting style period-  baroque, classical, romantic, impressionist, post-1918. One movement of a sonatina or suite counts as one piece; do not submit several movements as one piece. Applicants may perform the third piece for extra 2 Award points. Repeats with 1st and 2nd endings may be played; otherwise avoid double-bar repeats unless the composition is less than 30 seconds long. Transcriptions are permitted, but simplified arrangements or pieces from “method” books are not acceptable. For instrumentalists, an accompaniment is not required. If they want to play with a pre-recorded accompaniment, they are free to do so.


EVALUATION CATEGORY:  All students who wish to play one piece with or without music, or pianists performing two pieces with music, may enter the auditions for the judges’ evaluations only and will not be eligible for a grade (color award) or concert performance.  They will be eligible for 2 points towards District Award Points and a participation certificate. Select EVALUATION on the application under Audition Type.


APPLICATION PROCESS: Applicants are required to make one video with the repertoire that are listed on the application form. The pieces do not have to be recorded as one take but the performance must be filmed no earlier than April 25, 2020. Once the video is ready, applicants have to upload it to YouTube and make sure to set the Privacy setting as “Unlisted.” In the application, you will be asked for the YouTube link information. You will also need to upload PDFs of music that the applicants are playing. The music will be submitted to the judges along with the YouTube video.


FEES: Because we are not using a facility for the audition, we could lower the fee for this year. Each audition, regardless of regular audition or evaluation, the following is the fee schedule:

  • Less than 8 minutes – $15
  • 8-14 Minutes – $20
  • 15+ Minutes – $25


APPLICATION/PAYMENT REQUIREMENT: In order to minimize the confusion, only applications and payments from members will be accepted. Applications/Payments received from parents/families will be discarded. There has been a continuing issue of families filling out applications incorrectly and not sending payments so as to make our volunteer efforts much more difficult. So please fill out applications yourself and try to make a single payment through PayPal. When you are making a payment, please type your students’ names in the note so that we know the payment is for which students.


JUDGES: The panel of judges will be given the student’s age and years of study.  Since judges vary in personality and taste and are giving their personal impression of a single performance, there may be substantial differences in evaluations from judge to judge and from season to season. However, they will not penalize the applicant for the instrument’s flaw such as out-of-tune piano, due to the social distancing mandate. We must accept, if not necessarily agree with, these differing opinions!


GRADES AND AWARDS: A numerical grade will be given in addition to a color award.  Gold award grades will range from 95 to 99 (with 100 reserved for extraordinary performances); Silver from 90 to 94; Red from 85 to 89; Green from 80 to 84.  Scores which average to 1 will be moved up to the next higher grade.  Gold and Silver award students will have the opportunity to perform at the district concerts.  A concert performance merits 2 points in the District’s Award Program.


GUIDELINES FOR GRADES: The judges will be using the following guidelines for the grades and awards:

GOLD (95, 96, 97, 98, 99) – Outstanding performance played with expression, style, technical security and poise. Any missed notes do not disturb the flow. Instrumentalists and vocalists show mastery of intonation. Repertoire is appropriate for age and seasons studied. Both are very well mastered and ready for public performance. Merits 5 points in District Award. Program.

SILVER (90, 91, 92, 93, 94) – Superior performance, well prepared and executed. Perhaps one or two musical or technical elements are not quite mastered, or there is a brief memory or technical slip. Instrumentalists demonstrate a pleasing level of intonation. Merits 4 points in District Award Program.

RED (85, 86, 87, 88, 89) – Commendable performance with moments of beauty. Although there is some work worth noting, student may appear unnerved, or at times perform hesitantly. Instrumentalists and vocalists may show lapses in intonation. Merits 3 points in District Award Program.

GREEN (80, 81, 82, 83, 84) – Pieces are performed with limited awareness of style and little attention to musical and technical elements.  Possible memory problems.  All three pieces not ready for public performance. Merits 2 points in Award Program.


SEASONS STUDIED means teaching season – not years, not the total number of lessons.  We realize that there are inequalities here – that some students study only 32 or 36 weeks in a season and others perhaps as much as 48 weeks.  A student who began lessons in the fall of 2000 would have completed 4  seasons by May 2005.  It does not matter whether the student took just 4 weeks off during the summer or 3 months off during the summer.  It’s not 100 % fair, but nothing in life is 100 % fair!


THE CONCERT PIECE: Because we are having an online audition, we will be asking the Gold and Silver Medal winners to re-record the piece chosen by the judges or extract it from the audition video and upload it to Youtube for the public to listen to.


ANY QUESTIONS you may send an email to nysmtadistrict4@gmail.com



May 31


NY United States


Tomoko Uchino