2020 Syllabus

Rules & Information

    Eligibility for entry

  1. The decision of the committee in all matters of organisation and adjudication will be final.
  2. Amateurs may enter any class, but professionals may enter only those classes marked with a . A professional is defined as a person, more than half of whose income derives from teaching or performing music.
  3. In choir classes and amateur classes in Sections 6a and 10 only one participant may be a professional.
  4. Age limits, where specified, are counted as from 1st January 2020.
  5. Competitors are not permitted to enter more than 3 classes marked with a + on the same instrument in Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 6a. For those whose standard is well in advance of their years, it is hoped that they will select their classes for entry according to standard rather than age.
  6. In Sections 6 & 6a each individual can enter a maximum of 3 classes in each section. (Two entries in one class will count as two of these)
  7. Competitors may enter each class once only, unless they are playing two different instruments. They may enter a duet class twice, but only if they are playing different parts the second time.
  8. Local classes are open only to competitors living or attending school in Oxfordshire.
  9. Copies of all set music will be available from Blackwell’s Music Shop, 48-51 Broad Street, Oxford. OX1 3AX. Tel: (01865) 333582
  10. Entry procedure

  11. Entries must arrive no later than Saturday 19th October 2019. Entry fees will not be refunded once the date for entry has passed.
    Entries for each person and each class must be on a separate form.
    For duet classes, both participants in a duet class should be on the same form and pay only one fee. Please use the official entry form contained in this syllabus (see centre pages). Photocopies will be accepted, and forms can be downloaded from the downloads section.
    Entry forms should be returned to the Entries’ Processor, 26 Fane Road, Marston, Oxford OX3 0SA. Please do not send entries by any method requiring a signature. Items will not be collected from the sorting office.
    Please direct any queries to The Festival Secretary, Anne Baker: anne.baker@lineone.net (01865) 557547.
  12. Teachers who send in multiple entries are requested to write their name and address on every form: this is important, as entries have to be processed in a very short time. (If this is not done, our system of processing may make it difficult to trace details of candidates.) Using the on-line entry process will reduce the need to retype information. Please submit one cheque or Postal Order only for multiple entries. Cheques should be made payable to the Oxford Music Festival.
  13. Please enclose an SAE for each section entered (not necessarily each class, see section headings). Up to 35 entries per section - A5 envelope with letter rate postage. Over 35 entries A4 envelope with Large Letter stamp 100g – 250g.
  14. The timing and title of Own Choice music should be included on your entry form if possible. It is especially important for us to know if your programme is less than the maximum time. Please write to the Secretary, 1 Wellington Place, Oxford OX1 2LD, or email anne.baker@lineone.net or notify the Adjudicator’s Steward just before playing if Own Choice music is changed. The substitute piece should not last longer than the original choice and it will be stopped once the time is up. Competitors who do not adhere to the time limits may be disqualified. A copy of Own Choice music must be given to the Adjudicator’s Steward just before playing.
  15. Competitors requiring the services of the Official Accompanist must request this at time of entry. The fee is £11 for Classes A & B, £6 for Classes G & H, £4 for Classes D & E, and £3 for all other classes. The Official Accompanist cannot undertake rehearsals.
    If the official accompanist has been requested competitors must give notice to the festival secretary if they subsequently decide to withdraw or use another accompanist.
  16. If any class has fewer than 5 entries, the committee reserves the right to combine it with a similar class.
  17. Notifications of time and place of classes will be posted by mid-December 2018. Competitors are requested to contact the Secretary about this matter only if they have not received notification before 14th December 2019.
  18. Copies of Own Choice music needing the official accompanist must be sent by 17th December 2019 to the Official Accompanist, Oxford Music Festival, 40 Broadhurst Gardens, Littlemore, Oxford OX4 4YQ.
    If it has not arrived by then, accompanists may reserve the right to refuse to play.
  19. When sending music please write the name and number of the class on the copy. Please check that postage is adequate for the weight and size of envelope, as the Post Office will refuse to deliver it otherwise and it will not be collected from the sorting office.
  20. All cups are the property of the Festival and must be returned by 11th January 2020 to Marian Creaser, 9 Beech Road, Headington, OX3 7RT, in good condition and polished.
  21. In the event of withdrawals, it would be appreciated if the Secretary were notified as soon as possible, as this would help the smooth running of the festival.
  22. During the festival

  23. During the festival performers will be expected to perform in the order of the programme unless they have negotiated a different arrangement with the secretary, Anne Baker, in advance.
  24. A copy of Own Choice music must be given to the adjudicator’s steward just before playing. Failure to do so may lead to Disqualification.
  25. Competitors are reminded that it is illegal to perform from photocopies of works that are copyright, without the permission of the copyright holder. When an Own Choice work is selected from a publication containing several different works and which is not published separately, one photocopy may be made for the use of an adjudicator, provided that the competitor has already purchased his/her own copy, and that the photocopy is destroyed by the Festival immediately after the event.
  26. In own choice classes, performers will not be permitted to use photocopies on the day, unless it is in order to assist with a page turn. The Official Accompanists may play from a photocopy in both cases, but the performer must be able to produce a publisher’s copy on the day. Competitors may give the adjudicator a photocopy of their own choice which will be destroyed after use.
  27. Performers should remember that they are liable in law for the use of publishers’ copies. The Festival has a legal duty to check that no infringement has taken place. Official photocopies or music purchased on-line must be clearly marked as such. Any letter of proof from a publisher granting permission must also be provided on the day. Those not abiding by this rule will be disqualified.
  28. No repeats should be performed in the set pieces unless specified otherwise.
  29. The same work cannot be presented by the same competitor in consecutive years, neither should the same work be entered in the same year in more than one class.
  30. Candidates will be placed in the categories shown below. In order to award trophies, the winner will, in addition, be awarded marks out of 100.
  31. OUTSTANDING An exceptional performance both technically and artistically.
    DISTINCTION An excellent performance technically and artistically.
    COMMENDED A convincing performance technically and artistically.
    MERIT A capable performance showing some artistic appreciation and/or communication
    MODERATE A performance showing development of technique and/or communication
    FAIR A performance limited in its communication

  32. No cup or prize will be awarded unless the first place winner has a DISTINCTION category mark or more. Cups will be awarded to the highest mark which will not be announced at the festival. If there is a tie, the adjudicator will decide.
  33. In general, only the names of the top 3 competitors will be announced. It is the responsibility of the candidate to collect comment sheets, certificates and own choice music from the certificate table, after the end of each class. Everyone attending should take care of personal property, handbags, musical instruments, etc. For lost property, contact Miss Janet Tinbergen, Tel (01865) 725644. The Festival cannot be responsible for any loss. Any property not claimed by end of February will be given to a charity shop.
  34. All ensembles should bring their own music stands.
  35. Placeholder imageThe use of private photographic, audio or video recording equipment of any kind is not permitted during performance or adjudication.
  1. Classes A, B, C are intended for performers who have at least passed a diploma or have attained a similar standard. A letter of recommendation from a professional musician such as a College Professor, an Associated Board Examiner or a musician of similar standing should be written on the back of the entry form or sent in a separate letter. Competitors who have been accepted in the past need not send a letter of recommendation but should state this on the entry form. The committee reserves the right to refuse entry to Classes A, B, and C.
  2. The competition will consist of a preliminary round and a final. Competitors will be notified of the starting time for each session. They cannot be given individual times.
  3. Competitors entering Classes A B C may only enter other classes marked with and other classes in Section 1, Section 6 and Section 6a.
  4. Choice of programme, presentation and deportment will be taken into account.


Provisional Timetable


25th January 2020

Class B, Choirs, Organ, Senior Piano, Singing & possibly Woodwind



26th January 2020

Class C, Guitar, Woodwind & possibly Chamber Music and Singing



1st February 2020

Class A, Junior and Non-competitive Piano, Strings & possibly Chamber Music



2nd February 2020

Junior and Non-competitive Piano, Strings & possibly Chamber Music



9th February 2020

Festival Concert

A small selection of Festival prize-winners will be invited to perform. The concert will start at 6 pm.

While every effort will be made to adhere to the timetable, the number of entries may not always make this possible. The Secretary will be unable to give more definite information until the entries have been received.

Most classes will be held at Rye St Antony School, Pullen’s Lane, Oxford. Senior Piano Classes will be held in the auditorium of Wolfson College, Oxford. The Class C piano class will be held at the TS Eliot Theatre in Merton College, Oxford. The Organ Classes will be held in St Peter’s Church, Wolvercote. The festival concert will be held in the auditorium of Wolfson College, Oxford.

2020 Trophies & Awards

Linfield Ltd (Property Developers) has again given a substantial donation towards the prizes.

First prize £200 in each of Classes A, B, & C

Class C (only) Second prize £125 & Third prize £75

Cups will be awarded for the highest marks in the categories shown,
provided the winner has a minimum of 87 marks and subject to Rule 29.
In order to award cups the winner will be awarded marks out of 100.
Class AOrchestral Instrument Recital Award
Class BSong Recital Award
Class CPiano Recital Award
Class DHelen Goodworth Memorial Bowl
Class EMaurice Jacobson Memorial Cup
Class GAnn Nutt Memorial Class
Class HAny Instrument or Voice Recital Award
Piano classes: up to 12yrsErnest Pinnell Memorial Cup
Piano classes: 13-18 yrsJack Gibbons Cup
Piano Recital class: 18yrs & underJean Loughman Memorial Award
Chopin Piano class: OpenCreaser Kitching Cup
Piano solo: French music 18yrs & underWinifred Swann Cup
Piano Solo: classes 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23Antony Hopkins Memorial Award
Piano Duet classesOxford Times Cup
Piano Duet & Trio: classes 31 & 32Louise Donaghy Trophy
String Solo classesRohan de Saram Cup
Guitar: 11yrs & underPatrick Gibson Cup
Guitar: 13-15yrsBee & Patrick Gibson Cup
Guitar: 18 years & under and Open classesIan Ellis Segovia Cup
Guitar Recital class: OpenThe Lennox Berkeley Society Award
Woodwind solo classes: Recorder players,15yrs & underSybil Whitman Recorder Cup
Woodwind classes: Recorder players, OpenPraetorius Cup
Woodwind Classes 15 yrs & underCecil Aron Cup
Woodwind Classes 18 yrs and under & OpenLeon Goossens Cup
Brass classesHarry Mortimer Cup
Chamber Ensemble classses: Section 6Gordon Woodward Memorial Trophy
General Ensemble classes: Section 6aO.M.F. Gwen Archer Cup
Junior Vocal classMichael Howard Cup
Vocal classes: OpenIsobel Baillie Cup
Folk Song SoloHeadington Folk Song Cup
Light Opera, Musical Show or Film Score classesHelen Robson Memorial Award
Opera, Oratorio or Sacred Work solo classesRoy Harvey Memorial Cup
Choir classesEdmund Rubbra Choir Cup
Composition: 15yrs & underMike Gotch Young Composer’s Cup
Composition: OpenLennox Berkeley Cup
Organ classes: Section 10Michael Popkin Memorial Award
The British & International Federation of Festivals’ marking categories are as follows:
OutstandingAn exceptional performance both technically and artistically
DistinctionAn excellent performance technically and artistically
CommendedA convincing performance technically and artistically
MeritA capable performance showing some artistic appreciation and/or technical ability
ModerateA performance showing development of technique and/or communication
FairA performance limited in its communication

Example Entry Form

Entry Form Example


Full Printed Syllabus

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This is the latest version of the 2020 Syllabus.