All Sections

  1. The competition is for amateurs and students who do not derive the main part of their income from payment of work, in that branch of the art, as defined by the class title in which s/he seeks to enter the Festival.In any Music ensemble, all members must adhere to that principle. This rule does not apply to conductors.
  2. No entry under an assumed name is permissible.
  3. Competitors must comply with the age limit. The competitor’s age at the date of the commencement of the Festival (1 March 2024 for Music and Drama classes, except Cranmer Awards, and 31 August 2023 for Dance classes) will be deemed to be their age for purposes of entry. Please see Drama Classes rules for required age in Cranmer Award classes. For entrants 18 years and under, age on 1 March 2024 (or 31 August 2023 for Dance) must be included on entry forms as requested. In any case of dispute, competitors may be asked to produce their birth certificate.
  4. Alternative or additional adjudicators may be appointed as necessary.
  5. The adjudicator’s decision is final and no discussion or correspondence concerning such decision may ensue. Awards may be withheld if, in the opinion of the adjudicator a) sufficient merit is not shown, or b) competitors infringe the rules.
  6. Communication with the Adjudicators concerning any matters relating to the competition by competitors, teachers or any other interested parties prior or during the competition is strictly prohibited.
  7. The committee may combine sections or classes where entries are small, divide a class where entries are large, and have the power to make any other regulations or interpret or qualify any of these rules as occasion may arise.
  8. Winners of trophies MUST sign a receipt. Winners under the age of 16 must obtain the signature of a legally responsible person on the trophy receipt form. In accepting a trophy the winner undertakes to keep it safely and return it in good, clean condition to the Trophies Secretary by the date requested on the form. Failure to do so may incur a penalty. LOST TROPHIES MUST BE REPLACED AND DAMAGED TROPHIES REPAIRED. A trophy may be engraved with the winner’s name at his, or her, expense.
  9. In all Music, Speech and Drama classes a 1st prize certificates will be awarded in all classes provided the mark obtained is at least 81 in classes for 12 years and under and 84 marks in all other classes. 2nd and 3rd certificates will be awarded in all classes irrespective of marks awarded as long as a 1st certificate has been awarded. If certificates cannot be collected at the close of the Festival, they can be sent if an envelope has been addressed and left in the office with a fee of £2.00 to cover postage.

    If a name is incorrectly spelt in the programme the Festival or the Steward must be notified before the certificate is printed. If this has not been done, and the certificate needs to be reprinted, there will be a charge of £1.00.

  10. In Music, Speech and Drama classes a 1st prize medal will be awarded in all solo, duet and trio classes with specified age limit up to 18 years, provided the mark obtained is at least 81 in classes for 12 years and under and 84 marks in all other classes.
  11. Time limits must not be exceeded. Performances which overrun by more than 15 seconds will receive an adjudication but no mark shall be awarded.
  12. All entries must be made on the official form and forwarded, with fees to the appropriate secretary, NO LATER THAN THE DATE SPECIFIED. Entries sent by e-mail will be processed once payment has been received. All sections to be completed in BLOCK CAPITALS please.
  13. Competitors enter the Festival with the understanding that no guarantee can be given at the time of entry as to which day classes shall be held (Saturday/Sunday.) No refunds of fees shall be made. The Festival also reserves the right to hold classes on either weekend if numbers warrant this. If the Festival is over-subscribed the Festival reserves the right to return entries from the over-subscribed classes.
  14. It is necessary for teachers and parents to be aware of their responsibilities in entering any performers /supporters with limited physical capabilities or special needs given the potential limitations imposed by the stage and surrounding environment. ie. should the disability be considered in determining room allocation.
  15. It is necessary (preferably at the time of entry) for teachers / parents / entrants to inform Festival secretaries of any relevant information regards the entry, that could impact on the adjudicators work, ie any circumstances of which the adjudicator needs to be aware.
  16. Unreasonable/unacceptable behaviour from competitors / supporters will not be tolerated towards stewards and may result in disqualification & future entries refused.

Music Classes

  1. In graded and own choice pieces, it is important to complete the appropriate section on the entry form regarding the time of the piece. This information is required in order for the timetable to be compiled. Failure to provide this information may result in the non-acceptance of the entry.
  2. Title of Own Choice music must be filled in. This must be the actual piece and not the title of the book.
  3. No competitor is allowed to perform the same item in more than one own choice class, except in the case of Choirs, and in Chamber Music classes, providing a different instrument is played. Competitors may act as accompanists.
  4. In all own choice classes a copy of the music must be given to the adjudicator’s steward just before performance. Own choice pieces may only be changed up until the programme goes to print. Contact Music Secretary about this. If there is no music copy for the Adjudicator or the piece has been changed later an adjudication will be given but no marks awarded.
  5. BEGINNERS CLASSES. These classes are for competitors who have been learning their instrument for less than one year and have not reached the standard of the Graded Classes.
  6. GRADED CLASSES. Competitors should enter the class of the Grade they are working at (eg Grade 3). The piece must be chosen from any of standard graded examination syllabus of the relevant grade. For competitors who wish to enter with more than one instrument, this is allowed, but the same rule will apply.
  7. The music chosen for the competition must be used in the edition specified.
  8. Repeats in own choice pieces are optional.
  9. COPYRIGHT. When an own choice work is selected from a volume and it is not published separately, one copy, which must be totally legible, may be made for the use of the Adjudicator, provided that the copy is destroyed after the competition. The copy in vocal classes must have the melody line. This permission does not apply to making copies for the accompanist who must be supplied with the printed copy. Single copies of items selected may not be copied without the prior permission of the copyright holder. Failure to comply with this will result in disqualification. No photocopies to be used by the competitor or members of ensembles / bands unless they have written consent from the copyright holder.
  10. WARM UP ROOMS. For Brass, Woodwind, Recorders, Strings and Guitars, a room will be allocated for the warming up of instruments, so only fine tuning will be allowed in the competition room – no more than one minute per individual, two minutes per ensemble & five minutes for school bands with more than twelve players. A warm up room will also be available for vocalists.
  11. Since part of a performance is the ability to liaise between the performers in Duets /Trios the presence of conductors is not allowed.
  12. For Ensembles (up to 8 players) aged 14 years and over, tuning should be done by the group/ensemble themselves.
  13. PIANO SOLO – 20th CENTURY. The following composers are suggested as a stylistic guideline: Bartok, Copland, Chavez, Dallapiccola, Hindemith, Messiaen, Prokofiev, Schoënberg, Stravinsky, Tippett, Webern. Entries offering alternative choices will be considered, provided the style of music is deemed appropriate.
  14. JAZZ PIANO. A copy of the original music on which the improvisation is based must be provided for the adjudicator on the day of the festival.
  15. RECITAL CLASSES. A good standard of performance is expected, but performance from memory is not obligatory. Competitors should aim to give a balanced programme of 2 or 3 contrasting pieces, wear suitable dress and display a good platform manner. Recital pieces must not be repeated in other classes.

a) All competitors must provide their own keyboard
b) Competitors are entitled to set up their instruments before the session begins. (8.00am- 9-00am)
c) In Classes M30 – M34 the use of musical sequencing and programmed disc drives is NOT permitted. However the use of discs/SD cards for the purpose of setting registrations is permitted.

i. You are required to state whether you are using Single Fingered or Fingered Chords.
ii. Information regarding choice of registration and any changes (Style and Voice) for pieces, must be marked on the adjudicator’s copies.

d) In Class M35 Real time sequencing is permitted subject to the following regulations:

i. MIDI Tracks and Step Record are strictly forbidden. It must be REAL TIME record, actively performed by the participating student and no other person
ii. That it is of a performance standard appropriate to the general musicianship shown by the participant during the performance
iii. That such features enhance the performance in a musical and appropriate way.
iv. That sequencing parts are clearly marked in the music score provided for the adjudicator.
Note: Marks will be deducted for overuse.

e) CDs/ipods may be used to allow for quick registration set-up.
f) If forbidden recording devices are used c) i ) an adjudication but no mark will be given.
g) If information required in c) ii or d) iv is not on the adjudicator’s copy, again an adjudication but no mark will be given.
h) A copy (with required details) must be handed to the Adjudicator prior to performance.

    Competitors requiring the services of the official accompanist must make the request on the entry form.
    A small contribution for this service is required. Accompanist fees £8 where the age limit is 16 years and under and up to and including Grade 5 in Graded Classes; £12.50 for Open Classes, 17 years & above and Grade 6 and above, £15 for Choirs and £17.50 for Recital Classes. This Fee must be included with entry and is non-returnable.
    A copy of the own choice music, clearly labeled with name of competitor and class number, must be sent to the Accompanists’ Secretary: Mr Stephen Read, 190 Pinfold Lane, Penn, Wolverhampton, WV4 4HB NO LATER THAN Friday 19th January 2024.
    Where possible each piece to be placed in a wallet, unless a volume has been sent. The copy must not be stapled / cellotaped together. PLEASE DO NOT FOLD MUSIC AND SEND IN A LARGE ENVELOPE. A further copy will be required for the adjudicator on the day.
    At the discretion of the Accompanist a rehearsal may be arranged prior to the Festival. If this is required the competitor should negotiate with the Accompanist as an extra fee will be charged for this service.
    Note: If music is not provided, or contact made, by Friday 19th January 2024, IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE AND THAT THE SERVICES OF THE OFFICIAL ACCOMPANIST ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED. To avoid disappointment, it is strongly advised that music should be sent by recorded post. Proof of posting will be necessary if music arrives too late for the Accompanist to accept.
  2. VOCALISTS / INSTRUMENTALISTS requiring accompaniment are not permitted to use backing tracks with pre-recorded vocals. Only CD or live accompaniments will be permitted.
  3. VOCAL/SPEECH CLASSES (M130 and M138). The song for this class is to be any English Song from 18thor 19thcentury. Ideally both the spoken and sung elements should be memorized. In these classes the competitor is required to either speak the poem or speak about the song chosen as well as sing it etc. as Speech and Singing are adjudicated EQUALLY.
  4. SONGS FROM THE SHOWS. All performances using shows in current production are subject to copyright law. They may be sung as a concert item, ie. with no costume, without the need for copyright permission.

Drama Classes

  1. In Solo / Duologue classes where the age is 18 years and under competitors may enter a maximum of three classes. Classes for Choral Verse / Group Acted Scenes and Cranmer Awards are exempt from this rule.
  2. No properties will be provided. Costumes, make-up and hand properties are allowed.
  3. The Dudley Festival is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society. This means that entrants do not have to seek copyright permission for any poetry, prose or solo dramatic items performed. DUOLOGUES AND GROUP DRAMATIC ACTIVITY ARE NOT COVERED BY THIS AGREEMENT, and the competitors in classes S29 and S82 (Choral Verse Speaking), S26, S49-50, S75-76, (Acted Scene) and S28, S53-55, S80-81 (Duologue) are responsible for obtaining Performing Rights by application to the publishers and by payment of any stipulated fee, before the date of the competition. If anyone is unsure what they need to do in this respect, they should call 01625 428297, the British & International Federation of Festivals, for advice.
  4. Dance Drama groups are responsible for providing their own music, live or taped.
  5. For classes S24, S56, and S91, copies of own composition poems should be sent with entry.
  6. In own composition and group–devised classes a short introduction of not more than 60 words will be allowed.
  7. In all own choice classes a copy of the piece to be performed must be given to the adjudicator’s steward just before performance. Own choice pieces may only be changed up until the programme goes to print. Contact Drama Secretary about this. If there is no copy for the Adjudicator or the piece has been changed later an adjudication will be given but no marks awarded.
  8. IMPORTANT. Due to the likelihood of young children being present in the Competition Room, if the content of your performance is not suitable for a young audience, the Drama Secretary must be informed at the time of entry.
  9. In classes S12-15, S38-39, S63-64 and S87, the poem should be read from a copy and not recited from memory.
  10. Group Poem Special class is non-competitive class for competitors who have a learning disability.
  11. Cranmer Awards Entries are open to all who are between the ages of 11 and 18 years on 1st February 2024. Rules and conditions are available from the Drama Secretary.
  12. RECITAL CLASSES. Recital pieces must not be repeated in other classes.

Dance Classes

  1. The age of competitors is taken as on 31st Aug 2022. Accuracy in birth dates is essential. Incorrect age may lead to disqualification and, in cases of doubt a birth certificate may have to be produced. No dancer in a solo section may dance in a higher age category.
  2. The Competition does not accept liability for the infringement of copyright, recording or performing rights arising out of any competitor’s accompaniment, choreography or performance. It contributes to a Group Licence to cover payment of fees for the use of recorded music at its events. Teachers and choreographers using music created from commercial recordings are advised that they are responsible for seeking permission to re-record from the recording companies concerned.
  3. The stage and stage wings are out of bounds to all except authorised persons and competitors about to perform.
  4. Competitors must dance in correct programme order, report to the stage 30 minutes before they are due to dance and be ready before their number is announced: absentees risk disqualification.
  5. Music that is uploaded to the teacher portal will be the music that is used for both Regional and National Finals. No CDs will be played, please ensure that a spare digital copy is available.
  6. The age of the eldest competitor in a Duet, Trio/Quartet or Group determines the correct age group. A minimum of 8 and maximum of 24 dancers constitutes a Group.
  7. Solo dancers may not be substituted but in the event of the unavoidable absence of a partner one substitute will be allowed in a duet and trio; three in a group
  8. Time limits for dances must not be exceeded. Times will be checked from the first note or word of the accompaniment, or – if it should occur first – the first movement of the dancer, to the dancer’s last movement at the completion of the dance. Overtime dances will be ineligible for AED entry. A musical exit may be included on the recording, provided it falls within the time limit.
  9. Scenery, sets and staging are not allowed. Props are allowed but any prop that needs assembling side of stage, and any glass or breakable props will not be permitted. The weight limit is 10kg. All props to be brought at the start of the session for which they are required and removed at the end of the same session. We have no facilities for storage. The stage management will be responsible for setting and striking the stage – the time allowed is 20 seconds and this will be rigorously enforced.
  10. When requested in advance, the steward will announce the title of the dance and a short synopsis not exceeding 30 words is permitted. Words over that amount may be edited. Spoken or recorded narratives after the steward’s announcement will be included within the time limit for the dance.
  11. The Adjudicator takes into account the whole performance including the choice and interpretation of the accompaniment, the quality of recordings and suitability of recorded vocals.
  12. Pre-recorded music used in ANY Song & Dance performance must NOT include any singing or chanting. Pre-recorded music used in ANY tap sections must not include any recorded tap or similar sound effect.
  13. Pointe work is not allowed for any competitor under 13 years old. Fixed tap (single sound) only may be used for tap dancing.
  14. Acrobatic dance should be limited to classes D296, D297, D298, D299 and D300.
  15. Competitors placed 1st will receive a 1st prize medal and certificate. 2nd and 3rd certificates and medals will also be awarded. If certificates cannot be collected at the close of the Festival, they can be sent if an envelope has been addressed and left in the office with a fee of £2.00 to cover postage.
  16. Winners of Overall Dance Trophies will be notified at the conclusion of the Festival so that they can be collected.