All's Well That Ends Well

If you're reading this, most likely you've just returned home from what we hope was a fun and successful spring music tour with your students. We are grateful that you included a Festivals of Music event as part of that experience, and most importantly THANK YOU for making the effort to go "above and beyond" and create an exciting and memorable opportunity for your students by taking them on the road. This can be a truly life changing experience for a young person, and we appreciate the difference you are making in their lives.

There are a couple of things that you'll want to do to make your Festivals of Music experience complete, and gain the full value of what our programs offer. Start by logging into your Festivals Edge account, where you should see the following page:

First, we're going to ask a small favor. Please click on the "Evaluations" button and give us your feedback. It's really important! This is how we'll continue to improve upon our events from year to year, making the experience better for you and your fellow music educators. Remember, if nothing's ever said...then nothing's ever heard. (Thank you in advance!)

Second, then treat yourself by clicking on "Director's Gifts" and pick out something for you. It's our little token of appreciation for bringing your musicians to our festival...we appreciate your confidence in our event.

Finally, click on "My Results" which will take you to this page:

Here's where you can download your recap sheets, your score sheets, and other items related to the awards. Most importantly, click on the "Audio Notes" for each of the adjudicators and you can listen to their comments from your performance--and use that information right away to help the musical growth of your ensemble continue.

The last thing we would ask you to do--go back to our main web page and sign up to join us next year! We would love to see you perform again and have the opportunity to serve you, your students, and your program.

Until we meet again--very best wishes and musical success to you!

What's the Festival Day Really Like?

Your Festivals of Music event is rapidly approaching…and we’re looking forward to seeing your performances! We can never say it enough—so THANK YOU again for participating in our event.

We want to give a bit of a “walk through” of what your festival day will be like so that you know what to expect. No one likes surprises—ESPECIALLY when you’ve got a performance involved. And while each of our locations will be a bit unique in its own special way, there’s an overall process that will be relatively similar regardless of where you are joining us.

First, an overview of the staff. Since we can’t be everywhere we hire incredible site teams who understand our expectations of hosting a high quality event and the care and courtesy with which we treat our clients. Each site team is led by a Site Host and a Regional Coordinator, who coordinate the workers for the site (or multiple sites) on each performance day. Each team consists of helpful staff who will guide you through the day. If you need assistance at any point, don’t hesitate to ask the staff or the Site Host.

Upon arrival, your Bus Greeter will meet you at your bus and provide directions for the group. Until you have met the Greeter and received instructions, it is best to keep your group on the bus. That person will also provide parking instructions for your drivers. If you have an equipment truck or any additional vehicles, please make the Greeter aware of that as well.

You will be escorted into the building and to the Registration Table, where you will take care of some business items:

  • You will verify and sign off on your total number of participants AND
  •  Pick up your souvenir pins
  • In some locations you may also pick up attraction tickets at this time (if applicable)
  • Be sure to COUNT ALL THESE ITEMS at some point before leaving the festival site in order to double check that you have the correct number needed.

You’ll also at this point deliver your adjudicator packets. (Remember those from a few weeks ago? If not, click here for a quick refresher.) We’ll have you sign in that you have delivered those, and you’ll also sign them out when you pick them up at the end of the day so that we know you left with your adjudicator scores.

Depending upon the site, we always work to have a storage area for instrument cases and belongings. If that is available, please understand:

  • It will most likely be a shared space with another group. Don’t leave valuables there.
  • Please try to keep your group’s items gathered in one portion of the area, allowing room for other groups.
  • We advise having a chaperone supervise the belongings while the group is performing.

Depending on how soon you perform, you’ll either go right into the warm up room OR you’ll have some time to listen to other groups. Please take some time to sit in the audience during your visit—it is a terrific way to help your students develop good musical listening skills, and a tremendous way to build community among the performing ensembles in attendance.

A Group Guide will take you to the warm up room at the appropriate time. Once there, you’ll have about 25 minutes to prepare for your performance. NOTE for instrumental groups: your percussion section will leave for the stage about 5 minutes before the rest of your group to set up their equipment as needed.

About 5 minutes before your performance time, a Group Guide will arrive to take you to the stage. Once there, the Announcer will give you the “go ahead” to enter the stage and begin your set up. When you are ready to begin your performance, simply let the Announcer know. They will introduce you and your group.

You know how to do the next part. It’s what you’re best at.

As soon as your performance is done, one of the clinicians will come up on the stage to spend some time working with your group. They are great people and exceptional teachers, so take advantage of this time with them in whatever way you feel will best benefit the group. Some will get up on the podium and take the group through some spots…some will have you do that…some will use the time to talk with the kids. But all will have something valuable to share.

When the Announcer indicates it’s time to wrap up, they or a Group Guide will direct you to the stage exit, and a Group Guide will walk you back to the main lobby area. If you are an instrumental group, you will continue to where your cases are stored.

If you have additional groups performing, you start the process all over again. If you are at a multiple site festival, that might mean boarding your buses to depart.

If you are done performing for the day, we encourage you to listen to some of your fellow performing ensembles. If you are ready to leave, you need to do the following:

  • Make certain that all of your belongings are gathered up from the site and back on board your bus or equipment vehicle.
  • Stop at the Registration Table to pick up and sign out your Adjudicator Packets, which will contain your adjudicator scores and the written comments they made about your performance. PLEASE be sure to do this, as we don’t want you to lose those valuable conductor scores and they RARELY “turn up later”.
  • Be sure you have all of the information regarding the awards ceremony—where and when and any other questions you may have.
  • When you counted your souvenir pins (or tickets if applicable), if you have extras or are missing some talk with the Registration Table to make corrections.

That’s your day! Again, if there is anything that you need along the way—please ask. That is why our site staff is there. We look forward to your visit!


The Art of Preparing the Adjudicator's Packet

As in a great restaurant, sometimes presentation can be everything.

With your Festivals of Music experience approaching in about six weeks, now is a terrific time to make sure that you have everything that you need ready to present to the adjudicator-clinicians so that they may provide you and your students the best possible feedback on your performance. Key to this is the adjudicator’s packet, which you’ll turn in when you arrive at the check in desk on the day of the festival.

First of all, it should contain the following:

  •  A copy of the conductor’s score for each of your adjudicated selections. Each score should preferably have all of the measures numbered so that your adjudicator can easily refer to particular sections of the music in their commentary. NOTE that you will need three copies total. (We’ll get back to that in a minute.)
  • A copy of the announcer’s form. This has all of the information about your ensemble, any special soloists as applicable, and the titles and composers of your musical selections. You can find that form on our website by clicking here. NOTE that you will need four copies total. (More on that to come as well.)

A key point to remember: the conductor’s score MUST be an original, purchased version of the music, NOT a photocopy. This is necessary in order to be compliant with copyright law, so it protects you from trouble…and preserves the ability for composers to make a living and keep writing the great works that they do. The exceptions to this rule would be:

  • If the piece is permanently out of print, and you have received notification from a music dealer or publisher to make photocopies. (Please include the letter or email you received granting permission.)
  • If the piece is on backorder, and you have confirmation from a music dealer or publisher allowing photocopies. (Include the letter or email as well.)
  • If the piece is an e-print work, and you have printed out a copy of the score. Remember that you do have to actually purchase these scores individually—you are typically allowed one e-print per purchase.

That’s why we’re letting you know about this six weeks before you need it—PLENTY of time to get on the phone or publisher website now to order those scores.

Once you have that assembled, here’s how you put the packets together in a way that will help you present yourself to the registration table and the adjudicators as a first-class, supremely organized, wow-this-director-has-it-together kind of person:

First, gather your scores and complete the performance announcer form. (Make three additional copies of the announcer form, it'll save you time.)

Put the entire set in a manila envelope:

Do that same exact thing two more times.

Take the three manila envelopes with your scores and announcer sheet, and clip them together with the fourth announcer sheet copy on top.

And you're ready for the registration table!

Any more questions about assembling your packets? Email us here. See you soon!

Change: Life's Only Constant

The only thing in life that is constant is change.

By now you’ve hopefully had the opportunity to experience working with our Festivals Edge registration system where you manage the details of your ensemble. If you did the initial registration, you at least know how to get things started. But what you might NOT know is how you can update your reservation to reflect changes to your participant numbers, your types of ensembles or how they are categorized, or numbers of performers. You can even make major alterations like moving to a different date or location.This process is the same for both our Festivals of Music and Music in the Parks events.

It’s easy! Here’s how:

First of course, go to our website ( and click on the “Festivals Edge” button in the upper right.