District Festival Competitions
Provincial Final Competitions
The Provincial Finals Competition is an event, held the first weekend in June of each year, during which the district winners compete provincially for scholarships and awards. Please refer to the SMFA Regulations & Scholarships (below) for more information. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Provincial Finals were held in virtual format via video recording, June 3 to 6.
Congratulations to Alice Li of Saskatoon, winner of the Beckett/Gustin House Senior Piano Scholarship for the most promising performer in Senior Piano, 20 years of age or younger.
485 virtual performances were heard by judges Darryl Friesen, Winnipeg (Senior Piano); Alison Kilgannon, Sherwood Park, AB (Intermediate/Junior/Elementary Piano); Monica Huisman, Winnipeg (Voice); Leanne Zacharias, Brandon, MB (Strings/Guitar); Richard Gillis, Winnipeg (Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion); and Marion Abbott, Brampton, ON (Musical Theatre/Speech Arts). Awards Presentations were held over Zoom, where the judges shared their expertise with competitors and awarded 133 scholarships, valued at more than $35,000 in total.
An annual Provincial Competition will be held for selected representatives from District Festivals. Scholarship winners are selected by the adjudicator and, in each case, will be awarded to the competitor who, in the opinion of the adjudicator, has given the most outstanding performance. If, in the opinion of the adjudicator, the standard attained is not of sufficient merit, the scholarship will not be awarded.
INFORMATION FOR DISTRICT FESTIVALS
- For 2021, District Festivals are allowed two District Winners to the Provincial Finals for each of the Provincial Award classes, provided the qualifying mark (87) has been attained. District Festivals with over 1,000 entries are allowed to send three District Winners to the Provincial Finals for each of the Provincial Award classes.
- New in 2021: In the SMFA SK Excellence Classes, all District Festivals will be allowed two District Winners in each discipline to advance to the Provincial Finals Competition, provided the qualifying mark (88) has been attained.
- An accurate record of all competitors entered in Provincial Classes, including name, contact information, and marks, must be maintained.
- District Winners must be selected by the adjudicator and notified immediately following the scholarship meeting.
- Completed pages of the District Winner Recommendation Charts (signed by adjudicator) must be sent to the Provincial Office (via e-mail or fax) immediately following the scholarship meeting.
ELIGIBILITY FOR RECOMMENDATION TO PROVINCIAL FINALS
- comply fully with the Regulations.
- enter and compete in at least two solo classes in the same discipline at their District Festival. Instrumentalists must compete on the same instrument, with the exception of percussion, where performers play more than one percussion instrument. This rule does not apply to the pianist in the lieder class. Musical Theatre and Voice are considered separate disciplines.
- obtain a mark of 87 or higher. In classes where two selections are performed, the combined mark must average 87 or higher. The qualifying mark in the SMFA SK Excellence Classes is 88.
- not exceed 28 years of age.
- eligible for selection as District winners from one or more District Festivals, providing they are not recommended in the same Provincial scholarship class.
- required to represent the festival where they received their first recommendation.
- not eligible to compete in more than one category in the same discipline (e.g. Intermediate and Senior; Junior and Intermediate) nor in Grade A and Grade B Voice.
PROVINCIAL PERFORMANCE REGULATIONS
- Memory work is mandatory at the Provincial level with the exception of the pianist in Lieder Class 15350.
- Memory work is mandatory at the District level in all SK Excellence Classes, in order to receive recommendation to Provincial Finals.
- Scores (from original score or authorized copy) will be uploaded to entry forms. SEE INSTRUCTIONS FOR 2021 VIRTUAL COMPETITION WITH ENTRY FORM ( Available April 15).
- Competitors will perform one selection only in each scholarship competition at Provincial Finals except for the Vocal Concert Group Classes, Speech Arts Concert Group Classes and SK Excellence Classes. The selection must be the one recommended by the adjudicator at the District Festival. The performer may choose which selection to use if recommended from a multi-work class or a class where two selections were performed, unless the adjudicator specifies the selection. Competitors may perform one or more movements of a multi-movement work, to a maximum of 20 minutes, provided all chosen movements were performed in the same Provincial Class at the District Festival. Time limits for SK Excellence Classes are found at https://smfa.ca/syllabus-regulations/.
CHORAL CLASSES REGULATIONS – NOT AVAILABLE IN 2021
- Recordings may be done during the performance or any time before the entry deadline. Recordings must be done with the same choir, conductor, and accompanist as in the original performance. The first take must be used. A festival official must supervise and witness the recording. Recordings must be checked for completeness before being forwarded to the Provincial Office. Arrangements and costs for the recording of these classes is the responsibility of the participating Choral Directors and must be made in consultation with the District Festival committee.
- High quality recordings (two selections per class) must be submitted as per instructions on the entry form. No acoustic or electronic compensation, filtering or other enhancement is to be used while recording. Recordings and scores should contain no reference to the name of the choir, its conductor, or the festival from which they have been sent. In the event that a recording made during the scheduled performance is blank or seriously compromised, a substitute recording may be made under the conditions outlined above.
- A complete original music score for each selection, containing choral parts and accompaniment, in the proper key, is required for the adjudicators. The first measure of each line in the score must be numbered. All copyrights must be observed.
If further clarification is needed, please contact the Executive Director at the Provincial Office. Entry Forms, Fees, and Choral Recordings, must be RECEIVED by the Provincial Office by midnight May 15. Provincial entry forms may be found at www.smfa.ca
GRAND AWARDS REGULATIONS – NOT AVAILABLE IN 2021
At the conclusion of the final sessions of each discipline, the adjudicators will select the competitors to advance to each Grand Awards Competition. Each adjudicator will spend a few moments with the competitor(s) they have chosen, to advise them concerning the selection(s) to be performed, as they will be competing for our most prestigious awards. Competitors must choose selection(s) that they have performed during Provincial Finals. There is a 10-minute time limit, which may necessitate an abridged version of their selection(s).
Immediately following this discussion, the competitors must report to the on-site festival office. No music is required for the adjudicators for the Grand Awards Competition. After the Grand Awards competition, the judges will deliberate and choose the winners.
Notwithstanding any other provision in these Regulations, the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association’s Board of Directors shall be the final and binding decision-making authority on all matters pertaining to competitions administered by the SMFA.
2021 Provincial Finals Competition
Wallis Memorial Opera Competition
In July 1999, prior to his death, Gordon Wallis established an opera competition to encourage and assist young Saskatchewan singers in furthering their vocal studies in opera. Held every two years under the administration of the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association, its $5,000 first-place prize is one of a kind in Canada. In addition to the prize money, the winner may be featured as guest artist with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras.
The next Wallis Opera Competition will be held February 25-26, 2022 at the University of Saskatchewan, Convocation Hall, in Saskatoon. Entry deadline is January 15, 2022. Please be advised that, if an in-person competition cannot be held safely and within Sask Health Authority guidelines, the competition will convert to a virtual event. SMFA is not responsible for expenses incurred due to a change in format.
SMFA Musical Theatre Competition
The Saskatchewan Music Festival Association has established a Musical Theatre Competition to encourage and assist young Saskatchewan singers in furthering their studies in Musical Theatre. The competition is held every two years, with a first and second prize of $1,000 and $750 (prizes can only be used to further Musical Theatre studies and will be payable to a school/teacher of winner’s choice). The competition is open to non-professional vocalists, between 16 and 28 years of age. Age restrictions are as of December 31 of the year preceding the competition. Only those of talent and industry, who have the necessary potential and desire for a possible career in Musical Theatre, should consider entering the competition, otherwise no scholarship will be awarded.
The next SMFA Musical Theatre Competition will be held February 25 & 26, 2022 at the University of Saskatchewan, Convocation Hall in Saskatoon. Entries close January 15, 2022. Competition is limited to a maximum of 16 competitors. SMFA reserves the right to close the competition once the maximum has been reached. Please be advised that, if an in-person competition cannot be held safely and within Sask Health Authority guidelines, the competition will convert to a virtual event. SMFA is not responsible for expenses incurred due to a change in format.
Shurniak Concerto Competition
The Saskatchewan Music Festival Association’s Concerto Competition is held in conjunction with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras, and sponsored by the late Mr. William Shurniak. Originally an annual event, the competition is now held every two years, alternating between Saskatoon and Regina.
The next Concerto Competition will be held on February 20, 2021. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Shurniak Concerto Competition will be held in virtual format. Entries close February 12, 2021 at midnight. Performances will be posted to an unlisted YouTube Channel and winners will be announced via Zoom. All Saskatchewan Health Authority Guidelines OR provincial health guidelines in effect at the time, and in the location, of your recording must be followed. Please note mask requirements for musicians.
The first place winner receives a $2,000 scholarship and has the opportunity to appear as a guest artist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Second-place and third-place scholarships of $750 and $500 may also be awarded.
The competition is open to non-professional* musicians, between 14 and 30 years of age. Age restrictions are as of December 31 of the year preceding the competition. All solo instrumental categories will be considered. Previous first-place winners of the Concerto Competition are not eligible to enter. Only those of talent and industry, who have the necessary potential for a possible career in music, should consider entering the competition.
*A non-professional musician shall be defined as a person whose principal means of livelihood is not obtained from the performance of music in the particular category in which he or she is competing. This stipulation, however, does not preclude such a person having occasionally received remuneration for musical services rendered, even in the area in which he or she is competing.
- live or study in the Province of Saskatchewan, with the inclusion of Lloydminster, AB,OR if studying outside of the province, have competed in a Saskatchewan Music Festival within the preceding five years
- perform from memory a complete concerto from the standard concerto repertoire
- provide their own collaborative pianist and page turner, and be responsible for their own expenses
- upload their performance to an unlisted YouTube channel and provide the link to the performance on the entry form
- submit the entry form online along with the fee of $75 and a biographical paragraph and photo
For the 2021 Virtual Concerto Competition, competitors will not be required to provide a copy of the score for the judges. The collaborative pianist must perform from an original score; photocopied copyright music will not be accepted; failure to comply will result in disqualification.
Changes to the repertoire will not be permitted after the entry close date. The winners will be announced following the competition. The judge’s decision is final.
Notwithstanding any other provision in these Regulations, the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association Inc.’s Board of Directors shall be the final and binding decision-making authority on all matters pertaining to competitions administered by the SMFA.
Entries close February 12, 2021 at midnight.
Canada West Performing Arts Festival
New in 2022! The provincial performing arts associations of Western Canada (Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia) have partnered to present the Canada West Performing Arts Festival.
Press Releases (to come)
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