Winterfest Guidelines





After consultation between chair and assistant chairs, contact and secure two judges according the budget constraints ($350 each for a full day usually). The judges should ideally have experience to judge both strings and piano. Provide judges with details about the time, date and venue. To be confirmed and updated about two weeks before the event.


Verify with branch president that the venue is booked and that our MTAC Certificate of Liability is on file with the venue site. Be sure to obtain early morning contact numbers in case nobody is around to open the facilities.

After all the applications have been received:

Review the program budget.  Work within the budget constraints at all times. Chairs are encouraged to secure a $200 surplus.

  • Collate all the information from the application forms in one combined spreadsheet to start developing the programs.
  • Start with the teachers’ special requests. Try to distribute each teacher’s students among neighboring programs. Avoid scheduling a large number of students from the same teacher in one program – preferably a maximum of 5 students.
  • Programs should be about 45- 50 minutes each.  Pay close attention to the performance times listed for each student. Allow for transition time between student performances and for judges to finish writing comments. Plan on a 15 to 20 minute break between recitals. Allow a 45 minute of set-up time before the start of the first program. It serves as a safety period in case of a delay in opening of venue and allows time to receive and instruct the judges..
  • Divide the day into programs and shuffle the performers to achieve the best program order – mainly from young to older and/or from easy to advanced.  Difficulty of repertoire overrides the age but exceptions may be valid.  Try to start the program with a fairly secure beginner and end the program with a fairly virtuosic piece.
  • Make sure that teachers have submitted the correct application fees. Fees have to be paid before students perform.

⦁ Notify each teacher of their student’s performance time and include a link for a map, details about the venue and parking and include a reminder for students to bring their music books with measure numbers marked.
⦁ Contact judges to confirm the length of the recital day, the venue, their arrival time and parking arrangements
⦁ Type the programs and the cover page. The cover page could be repeated for each program and the individual programs (Program 1,2,3 etc), inserted on the inside. This is more cost effective than printing all the program pages in one booklet.
⦁ Programs are usually printed one week in advance. Prepare the programs and box them according to programs 1,2,3 etc

  • New since COVID: Programs should be forwarded electronically to each teacher for distribution to the participant families to allow them to print the programs themselves. This is a safer, more hygienic practice and is cost effective.

⦁ Make signs to direct the audience to the recital hall.
⦁ Write a few words to use as an introduction and explanation of the Sonata Sonatina program and an introduction of the judges
⦁ Request a check for each judge from Treasurer
⦁ Plan food for judges and chairs who are there all day – coffee, tea, water, breakfast items, lunch items
⦁ Prepare a folder for each judge containing:

1. Competition guidelines and age categories
2. The program without student names
3. A comment sheet with student number and repertoire at the top
4. A judging sheet for deliberations and personal comments
5. Include a personal thank you note with their check

Reconfirm arrangements with judges
⦁ Make final contact to be sure the hall will be open and ready in the morning.
⦁ Be sure to have to helping hands to get you started in setting up and receiving the judges

The Day of the Competition:

  • Prepare the front rows for student performers; stickers (easily removable type) with performance numbers and student names. These stickers are updated for each performance as new students arrive. Students are seated in the front rows according to their performance number. Have a helper teacher take care of seating the students as they arrive. Seat the students to allow for supervision of the younger, and sometimes restless, little students if possible.
  • Collect all music from students as they arrive and adhere stickers (easily removable type) with performance number and name to each book. Place the books in a stack according to performance order and hand to judges.
  • Judges are asked to convene in the judges refreshments room after each program.  Make an announcement to allow them to exit first before the audience. It allows for privacy of student teacher associations and encourages impartial judging.
  • The announcer should be able to project their voice and be comfortable in front of an audience.
  • At each program –
    • welcome the audience
    • introduce yourself and co-chairs
    • say a few words to explain the program
    • introduce the judges
    • ask the audience to turn of all electronic devices
    • mention no videos or photos of unrelated  students and no flash photography
    • no exit or entry during a performance
    • ask audience to allow judges to exit before anyone else at end of program
    • recognize participating teachers – ask them to stand

Scoring and calculating the winners and HM:

50% of the participants within each age category will be selected as winners. The goal of this competition is to allow all age levels equal opportunity to be a winner. One Honorable Mention recipient is chosen from each age category.

After the competition:

  • One day after the competition, do a group email to all participating teachers announcing the winners and honorable mention recipients (listing the teachers represented by these students, separately at the end) and include information on when trophies will be available and where to pick up judges’ comments.
  • One day after the competition, order the number of trophies needed and include the list of names for name plates. Ribbons or certificates (depending on budget contraints), can be presented to the Honorable Mention recipients.
  • One day after the competition, send the winners and honorable mention list to Website coordinator for publication
  • Write a thank you note to the judges.
  • Within one week after the competition, do a Financial Summary and send this, together with the teachers’ checks, to the Treasurer.
  • Within one week after the competition, send a list of participants to the President and the Achievement Awards Recital Chair . Please indicate any registered students who were not able to participate.

This job can be split between four people to make it easier to handle:

  • One person to do the scheduling, make the students seating name tags and student music books name tags
  • One person to plan, type and print the program, do the signs and do the financial report and run the program on the recital day
  • One person to plan and supervise the judges’ (and working teachers’) food and drinks.
  • One person to handle all the trophies and plaques and name plate orders as well as pick up the trophies.
2021/22 2020- 2021 2020-2021 2019-2020 2019-2020  2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017
Budget Actual Budget Actual Budget Actual Actual Actual
Number of Participants: 57 107 100 95
Income –
Registration:  $                2,000.00  $       1,137.00 $2,300.00  $      2,301.00  $       2,300  $       1,977  $         1,835  $       2,019
Total Income:  $                2,000.00  $      1,137.00 $2,300.00  $      2,301.00  $       2,300  $       1,977  $         1,835  $       2,019
Hall rental  $                   500.00  $                   –   $530.00  $         530.00  $           575  $            440  $          200
Office Expenses (printing)  $                     50.00  $                   –   $200.00  $         209.32  $           223  $            139  $          201
Judges  $                   700.00  $          700.00 $712.00  $         712.00  $           700  $            600  $          600
Food  $                     45.00  $                   –   $45.00  $           27.95  $             39  $              60  $            77
Trophies   $                   400.00  $          169.62 $430.00  $         429.50  $           371  $            344  $350* 
Hall Cleaning Fee  $                   –  
Other: Monetary Awards  $                   200.00  $          210.00
Total Expenses:  $                1,895.00  $      1,079.62 $1,917.00  $      1,908.77  $       2,000  $       1,908  $         1,583  $1,428* 
Profit/Loss:  $                   105.00  $            57.38 $383.00  $         392.23  $          300  $             69  $            252  $591*