Rules & Guidelines


Please review carefully.  The Rules & Guidelines have been edited for 2020.  New rules are shown in red.

1.  The Festival is open for all students preschool through high school age.  College students may NOT perform with an ensemble.  However, college students are permitted to perform as a piano accompanist.

2.  Students must perform two pieces, preferably of contrasting style, or one concerto movement.  The concerto must be a fairly major piece of work. Level 5 & 6 of all instruments may perform one concerto movement.  Or Level 4 Violin if their concerto is significant.

2a. Students may not perform the same piece two years in a row.

2b.  Students can play a different movement of a previously performed piece, but may not play the same piece or the same movement of a piece more than one year.

Specific instrument questions may be directed to:

3.  Solos must be played from memory since this is a solo event.  Ensembles are not required to memorize their music.  Additionally, sonatas are not required to be from memory due to the nature of the composition, it being considered 'chamber music'.

3a.  If sheet music is used for the solo event (besides a sonata), then judges will take this under consideration when scoring.

3b.  Ensembles may perform two selections, but are not required to perform two pieces.

4.  Time limits are as follows (please make cuts so the monitor will not have to cut off your student):

Levels 1 & 2:  5 minutes
Levels 3 & 4:  8 minutes
Levels 5 & 6:  10 minutes

5.  Students should be entered in the correct level, according to the ASTA String Syllabus vol. 1 (2009 edition) - a great resource to have as a teacher.  (Or to purchase, call ASTA 703.279.2113.  About $25 if ASTA member, if non-ASTA about $33.)  If you do not have one immediately available you may contact to see what pieces are at which level.

If you are using Suzuki Books, Suzuki books numbers and ASTA levels are not the same.

Specific instrument/piece questions may be directed to:

6.  Although enjoyable, fiddle music is not an appropriate selection for this festival.

7.  Students should supply the judges with a copy of the solo part and/or piano part.  Please number the measures.  Please refrain from using photocopies.  Sheet music should be purchased and owned by either the student or teacher. Also, be sure to print out your judging sheets from your student login and bring them with you!

8.  Sessions will last 50 minutes.  Students MUST stay for the entire session, as a courtesy to all performers.  Best dress should be worn.  Do not announce your name, as your name is kept anonymous from the judges.  A bow is an appropriate response to applause.  Participation certificates will be available for download in your student login.  Judging forms will be available from the teachers after the festival.

8a.  Due to the increased participation of the festival (350+ solos), the myriad of requests, including trying to schedule families together, and arranging accompanists schedules to make the sessions they were hired to play in, we now will have ALL sessions pre-created.

8b.  It will be the responsibility of the students (parents) to coordinate with their accompanists as to when BOTH of them can do which session. This will make it convenient for the parents, and the accompanists will feel like they have control over their schedule. The accompanist can say if they can make that session or not.

8c.  You will have options to select your own session.

8d.  All sessions will start on the hour 8-8:50, 9-9:50, etc. Click here to see and sort the sessions according to your instrument/level/accompanist. Or you can also see what is available to you when you login to your student account and select your instrument and level.

8e.  The student can have the option of a Festival provided accompanist for an extra $5 for a few Level 1 & 2 rooms. At these beginner levels, solo pieces are simple enough for the accompanist that she/he can easily follow the student. Parents will be able to contact the accompanist if you have any questions, or want to have a run-through with her/him. Keep in mind that any time outside of the Festival Session will be the responsibility of the parent to pay the accompanist for their time. However, if your student is comfortable with their solo and the accompaniment before Festival, then a change of accompanist personnel on Festival day should be easy. The accompanist will have the list of repertoire from their login. Be sure you input exactly what your piece is (Composer: Title) so it is very clear. It is suggested to also put what book it can be found in the notes section of your registration. If the accompanist does not have the music, she/he will contact you to get it before the Festival.

8f.  The ensemble sessions will be hand-created after the deadline because there are so few entries compared to the 350+ solo entries from past years.

9.  FEES:  Festival fees will not be refunded for any reason.  Students/Parents, it is your responsibility to schedule your own session, thus you won't have any conflicts.   Solo fees are paid through PayPal directly from the student (parent). Ensembles will still be paid by the teacher. Teachers that have festival fees built into their monthly studio fees, may pay for their students through their login via PayPal, or check. Please inform the Festival Chairs if this is the case for your studio so we may credit the payment correctly.

9a.  Student fees are $20.00, per solo student, $30.00 per ensemble, $45.00 teacher participation fee.  The teacher participation fee is waved for teachers who donate 2 hours of time in helping the festival (scheduling judges, judging, room preparation, awards, etc.).

9b.  A STRICT $5.00 late fee PER entry WILL be enforced if an entry is past the registration date. 

9c.  A student may perform a solo on another instrument, but the student WILL be assessed an additional participation fee (one fee per solo entry).  This is so we can sufficiently cover costs and pay the judges.  Students may participate in more than one ensemble.  A $30.00 fee is assessed for each ensemble group.

9d. Family Discount - Pay for the first 3 children and additional children are free.  Login to your account to activate your additional children. Send a message to Stacey Page so fees can be credited for those additional children.    

9e.  Teachers may postmark a lump sum check made out to "Utah Valley String Festival" for assessed ensemble (or participation) fees on the festival deadline (2020-02-26).  Or you can pay through PayPal or mail checks to:

Utah Valley String Festival
729 W. Jordan Oaks Drive
Sandy, UT 84070

10.  In the spirit of helping young musicians in their education and training, we request the judges to 'rank' the performers in each festival session.  This list will be sent to the various local string camp administrators for them to decide on recruitment and scholarships.  Any other summer music camp and/or orchestra program may or may not request this same list.  It will be available to them, but it is their prerogative whether or not to employ this list for recruitment and scholarships.  If you or your students desire to attend a certain camp, please follow the camp's guidelines as listed on the camp's website.

11.  Everyone EXCEPT the ensembles will be included in the gold cup program.

12.  GOLD CUP PROGRAM:  Students earn points each year based on the quality of their performance:  Superior=5 points, Excellent=4 points, Very Good=3 points.  These points are carried forward from year to year.  When students have earned 15 points, they receive a gold cup.  In the same way, when they reach 30, 45, 60 points they will receive another gold cup.  (So, if a student receives a Superior rating for three years in a row, the student will receive a gold cup.)

Because we are independent of any other festival, we do not transfer points to or from other festivals.  If we were with ASTA or Suzuki or Federation, it would be reasonable as those organizations are run and funded through annual dues.  We are not.  The Utah Valley String Festival is an independent pay-per-play program.

13.  Even students who are well-prepared have occasional memory slips.  But minor memory slips shouldn't prevent them from receiving a Superior rating (5 points).  The experience gained from the festival should remain at all times encouraging.  Judges will confer with each other and together give the participant one of the following ratings.

Superior (5 points)  - Well prepared, good-high musicianship, minor mistakes.
Excellent (4 points)  - Somewhat well prepared, good musicianship, some mistakes.
Very Good (3 points)  - Good job, but needs more preparation.

(We understand that this is still somewhat subjective.)

14.  Judging discrepancies:  Whenever 2 judges cannot agree on a rating for a performer, the final score will always give the performer the benefit and the higher score will be entered into the system.  This is a practice that is even done at the college level in juries.

15.  Every attempt has been made to make the festival a positive experience for every student.  However, there may be judges comments you do not agree with.  Complaints or suggestions may be sent to:

16.  Students will need to specify their accompanist when they register for a solo.  They must contact and confirm with their accompanist BEFORE they begin the registration process.  If an accompanist is already playing for several students (ie. Jayne Galloway) then please find a different accompanist.  Click here to Find an Accompanist who has pre-registered with the festival.