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Strike A Chord - Rules and Regulations

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General 

1. Chamber music for the purpose of the championship is defined as a group consisting of 3-8 players, one player/singer per part, with no conductor or adult accompanist. All groups entering the championship must comply with this definition.

2. One online entry form per group must be submitted by someone over the age of 18 on behalf of the group. The entry form must be fully completed by 5.00pm AEST Thursday 13 May 2021.

3. By entering this Championship, you agree that Musica Viva may use your name, photographs or any video footage including First Round video entries for any purpose. All rights, including copyright in such media shall vest in and be owned by Musica Viva in perpetuity.

Musica Viva has the right to produce and distribute without limit or payment of any fee, audio and/or video recordings of all championship concerts or events in whole or in part.


Group Personnel and Make-up 

1. Groups with a minimum of three and maximum of eight performers can enter.

2. All performers must be enrolled in a full-time Australian primary or secondary school program (or home-school equivalent) as at 15 August 2021.

3. Primary school students are permitted to perform in a group if at least 50% of the group are in secondary school.

4. Adults are not permitted to accompany the group on piano or any other instrument.

5. An ensemble that has won first prize in any previous Strike A Chord championship is not eligible to compete in subsequent years; however, individual players from a first prize winning ensemble may enter in different ensemble combinations in subsequent years.

6. Students may compete in no more than two groups nationwide.

7. Groups selected for the Grand Final must perform the same work, with the same personnel, as in their First Round performance video. 


Instruments and Repertoire 

1. Any combination of instruments and/or voice may be used, with one musician on each part, but the group may not include a conductor. Amplification is not permitted except in the case of instruments which by their nature require it or where required by the score. Vocalists are not permitted to use a microphone.

2. Repertoire should be broadly classical in style. No jazz, musical theatre, pop or rock music. Classical works with jazz or folk influence may be permissible at the discretion of the Artistic Director. If you are in any doubt as to the eligibility of a work please contact championship management for confirmation. 

3. Each group must perform either one entire piece of music, or one or more movements from a larger single work. Two or more works by different composers, or movements from different works, are not permitted. Repeats are optional. No cuts to music will be allowed, except in exceptional circumstances, and written approval must be obtained from championship management.

4. The total performance time for each group must not be less than 4 minutes or more than 12 minutes. Tuning time and pauses between movements will not count as performing time. 

5. If the group’s chosen music is in copyright, the original full score and performance parts must be used for the performance. Groups must have purchased original sheet music and must submit an electronic copy of the full score with their entry, for use by adjudicators. This may be a scanned hard-copy, or a score that has been purchased for download.

If the group’s chosen music is out of copyright it is permissible to perform from, and to scan and electronically submit, a photocopied score or a pre-scanned score downloaded from a free-use website. In this instance the group may be asked to provide written verification that the work is in the public domain. 

While Musica Viva has permission to handle the performer’s photocopies during the championship for adjudication purposes only, the organisation does not condone the unlawful copying of Copyright material.

Please contact APRA AMCOS if you’re not sure (http://apraamcos.com.au/). We respect copyright and breach of copyright may lead to disqualification. Musica Viva covers any performance licensing during the finals weekend. 

6. If the group wishes to play the piano in any unconventional manner (including touching the strings), they may do so on their own instruments in their First Round entry video. Championship management will confirm whether this option will be possible for the Grand Final. Any additional hireage fee, tuning or repair of any damage incurred to the piano is at the cost of the group at all levels of the championship. 

7. Groups may perform using a digital score. If the score requires audio-visual, digital or computer equipment as part of the performance, this must be provided and operated by the group. Any additional venue or technical costs will be paid for by the group at all levels of the championship.


Succession Through the Championship Rounds 

Video recordings

1. The First Round of the championship requires each group to submit 2 separate video recordings – the first is of their performance, and the second is a spoken introduction of the group. 

2. Videos may not be shared publicly by the group until after the completion of the Grand Final on August 15 2021. 

3. Video 1 – Performance.

a. The video must be recorded in a single take, with no editing. 

b. Videos may be recorded with any device, including smartphones, video or digital cameras, etc. If the Grand Final cannot be performed live via live streaming, your entry video will be used as your Grand Final performance video. Please ensure performers are dressed appropriately (eg school uniform, performance attire, etc), and that all players are clearly visible.

Groups are encouraged to test recorded sound quality in advance of the performance and make reasonable adjustments where necessary (eg. microphone placement) so that the judging panel can hear the group at its best. Video recordings must not be edited or processed to improve sound quality.

c. The recording device must be set in a static position throughout the performance, with no zooming in/out or moving around during the performance. All performers must be visible throughout the video.

d. We encourage students to practice social distancing in the performance video, according to current regulations in your area. We trust you to use your best judgements and put the health and safety of your ensemble first.

e. Performance videos must be uploaded to a secure file-sharing website (Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, etc). It is the group’s responsibility to ensure Musica Viva has permission to view all files. The link for the videos must be included on the championship online entry form. 

f. Please save your video using the file name [groupname PERFORMANCE]

4. Video 2 – Group Introduction. 

This video will be used for publicity purposes only and will not have any influence on the decision of the judging panel. 

You may be as creative as you wish with this video, including camera placement, editing, lighting, etc, as long as the voice/s are clearly audible throughout.

Introduction videos should be maximum of 2 minutes, spoken to camera, and may be recorded in any location. We encourage students to practice social distancing in the introduction video, according to current regulations in your area. Student responses may be filmed one at a time.

We trust you to use your best judgements and put the health and safety of your ensemble first.

Here’s an example of information to include in your video, but you could just tell us something fun or interesting about your group!

 a. First name and instrument of each player in the group.

 b. Name of the group, and where the group is from (town/suburb/city and state, eg. “Bowen, Queensland” or “Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria”).

 c. Brief responses to the following questions: 

   i. Why did you choose this piece? 

   ii. What did you learn from playing it? 

 d. Introduction videos must be uploaded to a secure file-sharing website in the same folder/location as your entry video. The link for the videos must be included on the championship online entry form.

 e. Please save your video using the file name [groupname INTRODUCTION]


Judging and final rounds

1. At the completion of the First Round, a total of 12 groups, from at least 6 states/territories, will be selected to play at the Semi Finals in Melbourne on August 14, 2021. 

2. Following the Semi Finals, 6 groups will be selected to progress to the Grand Final in Melbourne on August 15, 2021. These groups may be from any state/territory.

3. If selected to play at the Semi Finals/Grand Final, groups must be available to travel and perform in Melbourne on August 13-15, 2021.

4. Groups will be responsible for organising and funding their travel and accommodation; travel subsidies will be available to selected groups requiring extra assistance in attending the Finals Weekend to perform.

THE DECISIONS OF THE JUDGING PANEL WILL BE FINAL. NO CORRESPONDENCE WILL BE ENTERED INTO. 

Additional information for grand finalists

1. All Semi Finalists will be required to submit a signed Authority to Photograph, Film and Record form prior to the Finals Weekend. 

2. Page Turners will be provided by Musica Viva at the Semi Finals and Grand Final if required.  

3. One tuned piano (tuned to A441hz) will be provided for the Semi Final and Grand Final rounds. For any performance requiring an additional/different keyboard or piano, or variant tuning it will be the responsibility of the group to source the instrument and pay any hireage/tuning/moving costs. 

4. UNAUTHORISED RECORDING OF SEMI FINAL AND GRAND FINAL PERFORMANCES BY PHONE, CAMERA, VIDEO CAMERA OR OTHER EQUIPMENT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. Photos in common/public areas such as foyers and outdoor areas are permitted and welcome. Musica Viva intends to live-stream the Grand Final, subject to confirmation. Each group in the Semi Finals and Grand Final will receive a digital photograph of their performance from our professional photographer. 

5. All performers must behave with kindness, courtesy and respect for all staff, teachers, volunteers, jury members and other performers at all times. 

All decisions made by championship management will be final. 

Any general queries about the championship or the above rules should be referred to championship management [email protected]