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Registration is closed.

The cost for each entry is $35. This includes a detailed adjudication of the performance including pointers for continued success which would not be available in a 5 - 10 minute traditional festival setting as the adjudicators will be able to review the performance several times to conduct a detailed analysis of the musicality presented. CMEA Central Section has also invested in technology to allow us to host this festival virtually. We hope you will find this to be a valuable experience. All entries will be provided comments and a rating, if desired. Payments can be made through our website using a credit/debit card. Checks are accepted but not the preferred method of payment. Directors who would like to use credit acquired for a 2020 Large Group Festival will be able to. Contact Festival Coordinator Rob Bentley for further information.

The following information is required at registration:

Director name and contact information

NAfME/CMEA active membership ID# and expiration date (will be verified with CMEA) Must be valid until at least through 4/30/21.

Number of students being registered

A list of student names/instruments/grade

CMEA Central Section is committed to providing access and opportunities for all students in our community. $25 Scholarships are available for students attending Title 1 schools. For more information on scholarships please contact Festival Coordinator Rob Bentley.

Once registration has been completed and membership verified, Directors will receive an upload link for submissions.

Here is the link to the Consent Release form You will upload the form along with the video and sheet music.

Here are the adjudication rubrics for Instrumental, Piano, Percussion, and Vocal entries for your information.

Submission of videos

The window for video uploads is April 19th through April 30th.

Requirements for Submissions

  • Students must be enrolled in their respective school music programs in order to participate.

  • If a student not enrolled in their school music program wishes to participate, they may do so ONLY with the permission of the school music Director of the school that they are registered!

  • If a student attends a school that does not have a music program, they may be sponsored by any CMEA member.

  • Directors must be a current member of NAfME/CMEA member (member ID required).

  • Private studio teachers may also register their students as long as they are members of NAfME/CMEA.

  • For membership information please call NAfME at (800) 336-3768 or visit

Guidelines for Submissions

  • All vocal and instrumental students may participate (including guitar/harp & piano)

  • Student submissions should include a minimum of 1 1/2 minutes for elementary aged students and 2 minutes for high school aged students but no more than 8 minutes total.

  • Accompaniment is not required

  • Music does not need to be memorized

  • Only video submissions will be accepted

  • The performer should be in full view of the camera

  • At the beginning of each video, participants should introduce themselves, indicate which school they are from, and the selection they will be performing.

  • Participants performing more than one movement should submit one continuous video.

  • Directors should carefully work with students when selecting repertoire.

  • Repertoire can include solo etudes, including melodic or technical exercises from method books.

  • Submissions of large ensemble parts from band/orchestra repertoire (i.e. 2nd clarinet part, 1st alto, soprano, etc.) will not be permitted.

  • Popular musical arrangements are acceptable if the arrangement has music merit and is performed tastefully.

  • The adjudicator must be provided with a copy of the music.  The music should be uploaded as a pdf into the festival registration platform. See resources below for easy scanning tips.

  • The numbering of measures is highly recommended, but not required.

  • Teachers and students should follow federal copyright laws in providing music for all performers.

  • Accompaniment is strongly encouraged (but not required) for all solos.
    Comment: pre-recorded, or sequenced accompaniments are permitted. Alternative accompaniment instruments (i.e. guitar, harp, SmartMusic, etc.) may be substituted for piano.

  • For all percussion events, an appropriate substitution of percussion instruments is permitted, but should be done on instruments that are as close as possible in range, function and type to the original instrument. (For example, concert bells may or may not be an appropriate substitution depending on the selection performed. Concert snare would be an appropriate substitution for parade drum.)

  • Multi-track layered video performances created with the use of software or other applications are permitted.

Recording requirements:

Each individual recording should be captured in one take.

Individual recordings should not be altered.

Final multi-track layered videos should not be altered.  

Individual parts may be recorded by different students, the same student or any combination thereof.

  • If recording ensembles in-person, teachers and participants should follow their local health department guidelines regarding COVID-19 and have permission from their school administration for the recording of ensembles.

  • Because of the nature of submitting videos, a media release form will need to be signed by each parent/guardian and collected by the Director. We will provide the media release form once you are registered.



  • Performers are eligible to receive ratings of: Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor for their performance. “Command Performance” ratings will be awarded the highest quality musical performances!

  • Participants may also enter for comments only.

  • Participants will be scored and rated based on the quality of the performance and not the level or type of music that is being performed. Adjudicators will not take off points due to attire or poor audio quality (within reason). 

  • Only written comments will be provided.

  • Adjudicators will use a form to input all comments and this will be shared with directors within one week of the festival closing date.

  • Certificates will be mailed to each participating school following the festival.


We would like to thank you for your participation in the 2021 CMEA Central Section Solo & Ensemble Virtual Festival! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Rob Bentley

CMEA Central Section Festival Coordinator

(559) 424-3345


CMEA Central Section does not endorse the sharing of the performance video
outside of the festival due to copyright!


Director/Teacher Agreement

  1. I certify that the files submitted will represent authentic recordings of my students.

  2. I verify that at the time of our submitted performance these students were enrolled in the music program at our school.

  3. I verify that the recorded performance uses legally purchased music and if an arrangement is being used, the proper permissions have been secured prior to recording.

  4. I verify that I have reviewed the student submissions to ensure the quality of the recording before uploading.

  5. I understand that the recording will be submitted for the purposes of adjudication only and all media will be deleted at the conclusion of the festival.

  6. I understand that the recording will not be streamed or shared outside of the adjudication of this festival and that if I share the video outside of this festival, I must obtain all sync rights for the performance.

  7. I have obtained parental/guardian consent for the students participation and will obtain a media release for each student’s participation in the CMEA Central Section Virtual Solo & Ensemble from their parent(s)/guardian(s) prior to submitting the performance for review.

  8. I understand that I must provide copies of the media release forms to CMEA Central Section upon request.

  9. I understand that the students’ likenesses, images, and videos will be used solely for the purpose of performance evaluation by an adjudicator in this event. All likenesses, images, and videos will be permanently deleted at the conclusion of the event.

  10. I understand and agree that all such media will not be returned.

  11. I have agreed to submit this application by electronic means. By entering my name, I am signing this application electronically.

  12. I certify that all responses on this form are correct and complete to the best of my knowledge.


Uploading Files

  •  Reduce the video file size

    • The student instructions request they adjust their camera settings while recording to create smaller file sizes. If you still find large file sizes, please compress the files for faster upload.

    • Suggested settings: 720 HD x 30 fps  or 1080 HD x 30 fps

    • There are many options available online for reducing file size.

    • See Video Compression Resources below for some suggested systems.

  • All submissions must be in a video format i.e. MP4, MOV, AVI, etc. (phone video quality is fine).

  • Participating directors will receive a link to upload videos to a shared Google Drive containing subfolders for each instrument/voice type. Links will be shared with participating directors on April 18th

  • Directors are responsible for collecting and uploading all videos to the shared folders, including sorting performers by instrument type.

  • All files must be uploaded by April 30th

  • Each file should be labeled correctly, i.e. student name, instrument, and school. Example: Jane Doe; trumpet; ABC Middle School.

  • Files not labeled correctly will not be evaluated

  • No refunds will be issued due to incorrect submissions



QuickTime Player (Mac)

The QuickTime Player is a fast option for Mac users!

  1. Open the app from your Applications folder

  2. Click File > Open File to load the video

  3. Click File > Export As

  4. Select 720p

  5. Save the file

VLC (Windows, Mac, Linux)

First, download VLC (Windows, Mac, and Linux versions are available). After it’s done installing...

  1. Click Media > Convert/Save.

  2. Click ADD and select the video file

  3. Click Convert/Stream

  4. In the Profile dropdown select a video option

  5. Click Save



You may choose to scan your music with a traditional scanner or use one of the smart phone options available.

Scan to a note on your iPhone - YouTube Video Link

Genius Scan APP

Download Genius Scan to your smartphone (free app) 

  1. Open App

  2. Click on blue circle with camera icon in bottom right corner

    1. Allow app to use your camera

  3. Hover phone over first page of music

    1. The app will highlight the music in orange

    2. Click the orange button at the bottom center to take the photo/scan of the music

    3. The picture move to the bottom left corner and you can continue to take photos/scans of the next pages

    4. Take a scan/photo of all pages

  4. Click the “check mark” in the bottom right corner of the app once all pages have been scanned.

  5. If needed, edit the photos/scans before you save or share the scanned document

    1. Click on the page you want to edit

    2. Select “edit” at the bottom of the screen

    3. Rotate or crop your photo

    4. Click the back arrow at the top left of the screen when finished

  6. Rename the file

    1. The automated file name is at the top, showing the date and time

    2. Click next to it, delete the date/time and type the title of your piece

  7. Share/Send the file to your school music teacher

    1. Click the share button to the right of the title

    2. Scroll to see the multiple options

    3. Click the preferred option



  • Prepare your introduction:

    • Performer name

    • School name

    • Title of selection (and movements if appropriate)

    • Composer

  • Consider accompaniment options:

    • Perform with live piano accompaniment

    • Perform unaccompanied (ALL events are permitted to perform unaccompanied if necessary for the 2020-2021 Virtual Solo & Ensemble Festival, including music theater.)

    • Use a pre-recorded accompaniment

    • Use an online resource. 

    • Set-up your recording space and make a test recording.

      • Adjust the camera settings to record at (preferred) 720pHD at 30 fps (frames per second) or (maximum) 1080pHD at 30 fps.  See tips below

      • Performers - Try to get as close-up as possible on video recordings.

        • Soloists should stand when possible. Performance(s) must be recorded without interruption, no edits allowed. 

        • Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for a formal experience.

        • Performance:

          • Start recording

          • Say the introduction

          • Perform your music

          • End recording

        • Instrumentalists should include a view of hand position so adjudicators can provide feedback on technique.

        • Vocalists should stand and include a view of torso so adjudicators can provide feedback on posture.

        • Teachers and performers should follow their local or tribal health department guidelines regarding COVID-19 and have permission from their school administration for the recording of ensembles.

      • Accompanist - Should be farther away from the recording device. Be sure the adjudicator can hear the performer well, and not just the accompaniment!

      • Consider your environment and background in the video, don’t include anything in the video that could be a distraction to an adjudicator.

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