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Strike A Chord - Rules and Regulations

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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, and entry fees paid by 5.00pm AEDT Thursday 21 May 2020. The entry fee is non-refundable.

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 secondary school program (or home-school equivalent) as at 6 September 2020.

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

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

5. Groups selected for the Semi-Finals and 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, 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 an entire piece of music, or one or more movements from a larger single work. 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 must also attach 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. If you have any concerns about providing or obtaining sheet music for your piece, please contact us [email protected].

Please contact APRA AMCOS if you’re not sure. 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), please notify championship management via email. Championship management will confirm whether this option will be possible for the Semi-Finals and 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 September 6, 2020. 

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. The quality of the video recording shall not unduly influence the decision of the judging panel. 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. 

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.

d. The performance must take place in front of a live audience (suggested min. 15 people). The video recording should continue after the end of the performance to include audience applause. 

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 3 minutes, spoken to camera, and may be recorded in any location.

Please include, as a minimum, the following information in your Introduction video:

 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. Title and composer of the piece being performed.

 d. Brief responses to the following questions: 

   i. Why did you choose this piece? 

   ii. What do you like about it? 

   iii. What did you learn from playing it? 

   iv. What else do you want to tell us?

 e. 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.

 f. 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 September 5, 2020. 

2. Following the Semi-Finals, 6 groups will be selected to progress to the Grand Final in Melbourne on September 6, 2020. 

3. If selected to play at the Semi-Finals/Grand Final, groups must be available to travel and perform in Melbourne on September 4-6, 2020.

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.


Additional information for semi and grand finalists

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

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]