Victoria School Music Festival

Choir

2020 Dates:

VSMF Choir Section
Video submission date:
Fri Sept 18th - Fri Oct 16th

Key:

UPC = Upper Primary Choir, JSC = Junior Secondary Choir, OSC= Open Secondary Choir

Festival Administrator
Michael Jongebloed
Victorian School Music Festival
228 Auburn Road
Hawthorn Vic 3122
PH: 03 98188520
Mobile: 0419 556 460
Email: michael@vsmf.com.au

2020 FESTIVAL REGULATIONS

Registration Process

Registration Process

  • Registrations open on Monday August 24th 9am & close Thursday August 27th 2020.
  • Registration can only be submitted on-line at www.vsmf.com.au
  • Requests made after Thursday August 27th 2020 (close of applications) will be considered if possible.
  • $130 per ensemble for Online Adjudication and streaming of performances
  • Registration fees are inclusive of GST.
  • Registrations will not be accepted without a school order number. Tax invoices will only be issued after videos have been received for adjudication.
  • Each Ensemble will provide a video with high quality audio in a performance situation for Adjudication & Streaming. Videos can be submitted from Friday September 18th until Friday October 16th

Participation Criteria

SCHOOL CHOIRS

  1. The Festival is open to students who are currently attending any primary or secondary school, and who are participating in school/college choirs
  2. Combined school groups may participate if that choir rehearses on a regular basis. Confirmation of this arrangement must be sent with the registration form and co-signed by the principals of the schools involved.
  3. Teachers may not sing with the choir.
  4. No school may register the same choir or a choir made up of 80% of the same performers in two different levels within the same genre of ensembles (eg. Junior Secondary Choir & Open Secondary Choir)

Performance Criteria

CHOICE OF REPERTOIRE
  • Please refer to category information for specific regulations regarding choice of music.
  • In 2020 it is not compulsory for ensembles to play repertoire from the set list. It is expected, however that all ensemble repertoire is reflective of the section they are performing in.
  • Any ensemble that fails to meet the performance criteria as set out for each category may be excluded from receiving a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze award. This decision will not be at the discretion of the Chair of Adjudicators.
PERFORMANCE VIDEO
  • Video quality: A professional video is not expected, however, we urge you to create the best audio and video quality possible. Inadequate audio and/or video quality can lead to an entry being unable to be adjudicated.
  • Video editing forbidden: The video must not be edited in any way and must run continuously from beginning to end as a live performance.
  • Sound recording: The performance recorded for the video entry must be acoustic and not amplified or altered electronically in any way.
  • Announcement of works: Each Ensemble must introduce their School name, ensemble, section and complete program as if a live performance.
  • File name of the video: The video for the 2020 VSMF Online must be titled as follows:
    “2020 VSMF [Name of School & Section]”; all words should be separated by a space, e.g. “2020 VSMF Fine Music HS Junior String Orchestra Section”.
  • Only the following video formats will be accepted for your performance to be streamed: .mp4, .wmv, .mov, and .avi. If providing separate audio recording please supply on the following formats .aiff or .wav file formats due to their superior fidelity over .mp3.
  • Upload your Video and digital scores to any of the File Sharing platforms you use: Dropbox, Googledrive, OneDrive and email the link to michael@vsmf.com.au
  • See details below for recommendation on making your best recording

What are Some Basic Ensemble Recording Tips?

Choose the Best Space
Where you choose to record your ensemble can make a huge difference in the sound. If possible, look for the following characteristics in your recording space:

  • A large room with high ceilings – this will help with the blending of the instruments and reduce the harsher sounds that can occur in smaller rooms when the musicians are too close together.
  • Make sure to minimize background noise, such as outside sounds from traffic or passersby, air vents, any buzzing or vibrating lights and other noise that could be picked up by your microphones.
  • Before you go to all the work of setting up your equipment and scheduling your musicians, do some test recording in the space. Using something like Zoom H1n Handy Recorder will help you make sure it sounds how you want and that there aren’t any ambient noises that you didn’t previously notice.

Select the Appropriate Equipment
While it’s likely that you’re operating on a limited budget, try to use the best ensemble recording equipment you can afford, such as condenser microphones and high quality cables and headphones. Contact your Media Department to see if they can be involved in the recording project. If you’re short on funds, you could rent some equipment or see if another music program might allow you to borrow from them.

There are a number of options for recording your ensemble, see details below

  • Record your performance on a Video camera that has high quality audio or that has inputs for high quality external Microphones
  • Record your performance on a Video camera and record the audio separately. Record your performance Audio only, use a USB Audio interface to record directly into your computer using software or Record you performance Audio only, recording directly into a Digital Recorder. Using products such as -Tascam DR40x or Zoom H4N
    Provide both files for us to merge.
  • Record your performance on an iPad, use a USB Audio interface to allow you use the audio from external Microphones.

Microphones
High-quality microphones are probably the single most important piece of equipment to successfully record your ensemble.

Set up the equipment properly
This may be the most intimidating part of recording your ensemble, but it doesn’t have to be! These simple set up tips will have you well on your way.

  • Use two condenser microphones on a bar on one stand, or you can use two stands and place them about 4 feet apart.
  • For a smaller ensemble you can place the microphones about 5 feet in front of the musicians on a mic stand about 4 feet high. For larger ensembles, you’ll want to position the microphones quite a bit higher above the musicians – 3 meters if possible. In this situation, you could use a fifteen-foot mic stand with a stereo pair bracket or mics hanging from the ceiling.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions on your equipment to ensure that all the cables are plugged into the appropriate input and output sockets. Do some test recording to confirm you are capturing sound from all your microphones.

Perform Some Test Recordings
Before you bring your students in for final recording, it’s important to work out the kinks in the room and equipment set up by performing some test recordings. Using the tips from above, set up your equipment in the way you think will work best for your room, your ensemble and your musical selections. Ask a small group of students to help you make several brief recordings. You should carefully note the setup, adjust the equipment and seating for each test recording. Once you have several tests completed, listen to the recordings and note which set up gave you the best sound – you’ll use this setup for your final recording.

Recording Your Ensemble
Now you’re ready to record your ensemble. Set up the equipment and the musicians in the manner that gave you the best test recording. Set the recording levels carefully and check them using the loudest passage of the selection. Recording experts recommend you set the levels just under the loudest level on the meter. If you are using a mixer, set levels in this order: input level, mix, main and finally recorder levels.

On the day of your recording, allow enough time to do a sound check. Ideally, you’d also allow enough time to do more than one recording so you can get the absolute best results possible. Resist the temptation to adjust levels during the recording. Once you have set things up, performed your testing and sound check, then just let the musicians play. Be patient and give yourself time to learn and adjust. This is why it’s great to have time to do a second session – you could make minor adjustments after the first one if necessary.

Provision of Conductor Scores

You will need to provide copies for all pieces you are performing

  1. Participating groups are required to provide one digital (1) copy of each work being performed for adjudication purposes.
  2. All changes to the work must be clearly indicated
  3. All pieces provided for the adjudicators must have each bar numbered.

 

  1. Please refer to category information for specific regulations regarding performance criteria.
  2. If the total performance time as permitted in the performance criteria is exceeded, excess performance time will be subtracted from the on stage tutorial time.
  3. Each choir will receive an award being Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze. Refer to Choir Section information for eligibility.
  4. Excess performance of more than two (2) minutes may result in exclusion from receiving a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze award. This decision will be at the discretion of the Chair of Adjudication.
  5. The decision of the panel of adjudicators is final. No further correspondence will be entered into.

Adjudicator's Comments

Adjudicators will provide both a written adjudication sheet and recorded comments. Adjudication comments are made available to all participating schools.

PRIMARY SECTION:

  • Minimum membership of 10 performers
  • Performance time not exceed 8 minutes
  • One teacher may accompany the choir on piano or guitar.
  • No recorded accompaniment may be used
  • Each Choir must perform at least two (2) contrasting, published pieces of music.
  • Repertoire suitable for this section could be sourced from the following books:
    Oxford Junior Voiceworks Vol 1 & 2
    Choral Time – Yr. 3 & 4 ,Bk 1 & Bk 2; Yr. 5 & 6 Bk 1, Bk 2 or Bk 3
  • Australian repertoire used at the ANCA Reading Day in February 2020 has been listed below:
    Some Days – Ben Van Tienen (Unison)
    Perfect Day – Daniel Brinsmead (2 part)
    Giant of the Forest – Glyn Lehmann (2 part)
    I’m a Spy – Ruth McCall (2 part)
    Little Bonsai Tree – Katherine Ruhle (2 part)
    Whenever the Wind is High – Todd McNeal (2 part)

Each Choir is required to perform at least one part song in their programme and is it is highly recommended choirs consider Australian works, selected from the list above, OR from lists available in previous years.

JUNIOR SECONDARY SECTION:

  • Minimum membership of 10 performers
  • Performance time not exceed 10 minutes
  • One teacher may accompany the choir on piano or guitar.
  • No recorded accompaniment may be used
  • Repertoire suitable for this section could be sourced from the following books:
    Oxford Junior Voiceworks Vol. 1 & 2
    Choral Time Secondary Bk 1
  • Australian repertoire used at the ANCA Reading Day in February 2020 has been listed below:
    Lost the Plot – Paul Stanhope (SSA)
    Woodark – Todd McNeal (2 part)
    Songs of the Sea and Sky – Todd McNeal (2 part)
    A Red Robin – Daniel Brinsmead (SSA)
    A World of Happiness – Nicholas Buc (2 part)

Each Choir is required to perform at least one part song in their programme and is it is highly recommended choirs consider Australian works, selected from the list above, OR from lists available in previous years.

OPEN SECONDARY SECTION:

  • Minimum membership of 10 performers
  • Performance time not exceed 12 minutes
  • One teacher may accompany the choir on piano or guitar.
  • No recorded accompaniment may be used
  • Each Choir is required to perform at least one 3 or 4 part song in their programme, and one Australian work of their choice

Suggested Australian composers are: Paul Jarman, Mark Puddy, Annie Kwok, Dan Walker, Katherine Ruhle, Ruth McCall, Todd McNeal, Daniel Brinsmead, Ben Van Tiernen, Nicholas Buc, Glyn Lehmann, Deborah Cheetham and Paul Stanhope (all these composers have been featured in ANCA Reading Days from 2016 to 2020)

Elizabeth Scott

Chief Adj of Choir

Elizabeth Scott graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1995 having earned the prestigious Student of the Year Award and the Reuben F. Scarf Scholarship for academic and
musical excellence.

Elizabeth was the Assistant Chorus Master to Sydney Philharmonia Choirs from 2006 to 2008 and was the Acting Music Director for the first half of 2013. She has been the Musical Director
of Vox, Sydney Philharmonia’s youth choir since 2008 and has built this ensemble into one of Australia’s leading youth choirs. She is the Associate Conductor of Sydney Chamber Choir and is
also in demand as a guest choral director for ensembles including Canberra Choral Society, Coro Innominata, Macquarie University Singers and Orpheus Choral Music.

Elizabeth is a graduate of Symphony Australia’s Conductor Development Program and was awarded the Sydney Choral Symposium Foundation Choral Conducting Scholarship in 2008. She works regularly with Cantillation and has performed and recorded with Pinchgut Opera and The Song Company. Elizabeth is currently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting.