Policies and Procedures

Choral Activities Policies and Procedures

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The following includes all revisions and additions as voted upon by the Choral Section of NCMEA through November 7, 2016

A ninth (9th) grade student shall participate in Jr. High/Middle School activities if that school’s configuration includes ninth (9th). The student shall participate in Sr. High activities if that school’s configuration is ninth through twelfth grades.

  • The Honors Chorus
    1. Purpose
      1. To honor outstanding singers from high school choral music programs in our state by giving them the opportunity to perform at the highest level of achievement.
      2. To provide an outstanding educational experience for both the students and the teachers of choral programs across the state.
    2. Eligibility
      1. The Choral Director of each student participating in Senior High Choral Section activities must be a current member, in good standing, of the North Carolina Music Educators Association
      2. The choral member must be enrolled in a scheduled choral class which receives one unit of credit in the current school year.
    3. Quota and General Information
      1. The group should consist of only the most outstanding voices which will be selected by objective auditions
      2. There will be a chorus of mixed voices with approximately 176 students (11-12-01) drawn from students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.
      3. The Honors Chorus will perform at the NCMEA Fall In-Service conference
      4. Selection of the conductor will be accomplished by the same process used to select the All-State conductor.
      5. The Honors Chorus will rehearse for two days prior to performance.
      6. The selection of judges for auditions will be based on the same criteria as Music Performance Adjudication judges.
      7. All students auditioning for a particular voice part shall be heard by the same judge.
      8. Results of the auditions will be sent the following week.
      9. Judges will be paid $275.00 per day plus expenses as outlined in the contract.
      10. The number of auditionees from a school should not exceed ten percent (10%) of that school’s choral enrollment
      11. The coordinator will be paid at the same daily rate as adjudicators.
    4. Fees
      1. Audition fee – $20.00 per student
      2. Registration fee – $20.00 per student
      3. Fees for auditions will be mailed to the Honors Chorus Coordinator, postmarked by September 10th.
      4. Honors Chorus registration fees must be mailed by the honors chorus coordinator’s designated postmark deadline. Failure to adhere to the postmark deadline will result in doubling of student registration fee(s), which must be received within one week. Failure to meet the second deadline with doubled fee(s) will result in forfeiture of participation.
    5. Regulations
      1. Auditions for the Honors Chorus will be the last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in September in Central, Eastern, and Western locations.
      2. Notification of withdrawal must be in to the Honors Chorus coordinator no later than five days prior to the opening rehearsal of the Honors Chorus. A letter will be sent informing the school’s principal of the director’s non-compliance, except in the case of extenuating circumstances excused at the discretion of the event coordinator.
      3. Registered students are expected to attend all rehearsals, the final concert, and any other activities planned by the Choral Section officers or Honors Chorus coordinator during the event.
      4. Each student must know the music thoroughly although not necessarily from memory. There will be a screening of students prior to the first rehearsal. Students who are not adequately prepared will be sent home with no refund. A letter will be sent informing the school’s principal of the student’s elimination from the event.
      5. Students will sing his/her voice part from the designated audition selection. The honors coordinator will announce the selection at the previous meeting. Students will be required to display abilities in sight reading and/or vocalizations at the discretion of the judges.
      6. A simple rating form used by the adjudicators will be returned to teachers for each participating student.
      7. Each director is responsible for the conduct of his/her students at all times. The director should remain on the premises for the duration of the festival and attend rehearsals, business meetings, etc…, as well as be with his/her students from his/her school at night. If the director cannot attend because of an emergency, he/she must notify the Honors Chorus coordinator and send another faculty member designated by the administration of the school to come in the director’s place. This faculty member must also follow the same rules and regulations of the director for whom he/she is replacing. This includes staying on the premises at all times.
  • SOLO-SMALL ENSEMBLE DISTRICT NCMEA MUSIC PERFORMANCE ADJUDICATION
    1. Purpose
      1. To give students and select small ensembles a chance to perform individually for experience and evaluation.
      2. To give our better singers an opportunity to work at a higher level than is possible in the large school group.
    2. Eligibility
      1. The choral director of each student participating in Sr. High Choral Section activities must be a current member in good standing of the North Carolina Music Educators Association
      2. The choral member must be enrolled in a scheduled choral class which receives one unit credit in the current school year.
    3. Regulations
      1. Schools are not limited as to the number of contestants entering.
      2. A student entered in the Solo-Ensemble Music Performance Adjudication will be limited to one prepared selection in the solo contest and to participation in two ensembles of unlike nature.
      3. Schools will be expected to register and participate in their own regions except where travel will be shorter to another region or when conflicts in dates might be avoided. Where groups have reason to participate outside their own region, the regional chairperson to whom they are applying will rule on their acceptance, dependent on time and space available. In no case will a group be permitted to enter more than one Regional Choral Music Performance Adjudication per year.
      4. Registration blanks and fees from each school participating must be completed and mailed to the district chairperson on or before February 1st. (Choral directors will not receive any information from the district chairperson prior to February 1st.) District chairpersons will set deadlines (and enforce penalty) for submission of all required Music Performance Adjudication forms, titles of selections, etc. See district list by counties.
      5. There will be no repetition of repertory by a single director from a single school with any ensemble or chorus within a two (2) year period; therefore, director’s may not choose the same music for Solo-Ensemble and/or Regional Choral Music Performance Adjudication within a two year period
      6. Notification of withdrawal must be made to the district chairperson no later than three weeks prior to the Music Performance Adjudication date; otherwise entry fees will not be refunded.
      7. Student or ensemble may participate either for rating and/or criticism. Each entrant or group entering for rating will be assigned an honor rating of Superior, Excellent, Average, Below Average, or Poor, to accompany the adjudicator’s comments.
      8. Deadline for application is February 1st.
      9. Qualified adjudicators will be appointed to judge in a particular region. If any choral director is dissatisfied with the rating or comments given he/she should not confront the adjudicator but take this matter up at a business meeting of the choral section.
      10. The district chairperson will be required to complete all reports and forward correct copies to the choral activities coordinator and the NCMEA Executive Director within forty-five (45) days after the event. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the District Chairperson’s honorarium.
      11. The Chairperson will be paid at the same daily rate as adjudicators.
    4. Fees
      1. Soloist: $15.00
      2. Ensembles of 2-4: $20.00
      3. Ensembles of 5-24: $50.00
    5. Timing
      1. Soloists and ensembles; six minutes. If a selection runs longer, cuts must be made and marked by director.
    6. Performance: Soloists
      1. Confined to soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, and boys unchanged voices
      2. Choice of material, at the discretion of director.
      3. Each soloist is expected to sing from memory. Two selections may be performed if together they do not exceed the time limit. A good performance of one number is preferred.
      4. A copy of music must be presented to the judge before performing. All cuts must be clearly indicated and measures numbered.
      5. Music duplicated mechanically or by hand is a violation of the copyright laws and will not be accepted. Judges will be instructed not to adjudicate groups using illegally duplicated music. Music from legal public choral domain websites may be adjudicated as long as the music includes proper citations.
    7. Performance: Ensembles
        May be of three types: male, female, and mixed voices

      1. May include duets, trios, quartets, etc., and any larger group to 24.
      2. Duets, trios, and quartets will perform one selection from memory. Ensembles of 5-24 will perform two selections from memory. Any group participating must perform music particularly suited and/or written form the voicing of the group and of sufficient quality as to demonstrate clearly the vocal skills of the performers. Appropriate classifications include, but are not limited to madrigals, vocal chamber music, selections of the type included on the large Music Performance Adjudication list which are suitable for a small group, and barbershop selections. The use of Broadway, gospel, and pop settings is not appropriate for this activity.
      3. Copies of scores must be presented to the judge with cuts clearly indicated and measures numbered.
      4. Music duplicated mechanically or by hand is a violation of the copyright laws and will not be accepted. Music from legal public choral domain websites may be adjudicated as long as the music includes proper citations.
    8. Districts: See page 4
    9. Adjudicators
      1. Adjudicators will be assigned to each Solo Small Ensemble Music Performance Adjudication as needed to provide one adjudicator per ensemble and one adjudicator per soloist. Adjudicators must have taught in the state of North Carolina for two (2) years
      2. Solo adjudicators must be voice majors or collegiate instructors
      3. When adjudicators assign honor ratings lower than the top rating of superior, they will be asked to be specific in their comments.
      4. Adjudicators will be paid $275.00 per day and per diem. Adjudicators will be paid $137.50 per half day (three hours or less) and NCMEA per diem.
  • REGIONAL CHORAL NCMEA MUSIC PERFORMANCE ADJUDICATION
    1. Purpose
      1. To provide each performing group with an opportunity to improve and to evaluate its performance by comparison with a set standard of excellence, and by comparison with the performance of other groups
    2. Eligibility
      1. The Choral Director of each student participating in Senior High Choral Section activities must be a current member, in good standing, of the North Carolina Music Educators Association.
      2. The choral member must be enrolled in a scheduled choral class which receives one unit of credit in the current school year.
    3. Regulations
      1. Schools will be expected to register and participate in their own regions except where travel will be shorter to another region or when conflicts in dates might be avoided. Where groups have reason to participate outside their own region, the regional chairperson to whom they are applying will rule on their acceptance, dependent on time and space available. In no case will a group be permitted to enter more than one Regional Choral Music Performance Adjudication per year.
      2. Registration blanks and fees from each school participating must be completed and mailed to the district chairperson on or before February 1st. (Choral directors will not receive any information from the district chairperson prior to February 1st.) District chairpersons will set deadlines (and enforce penalty) for submission of all required Music Performance Adjudication forms, titles of selections, etc. See district list by counties.
      3. Notification of withdrawal must be made to the regional chairman no later than three weeks before the Music Performance Adjudication date; otherwise entry fees will not be refunded.
      4. Each choral group will be permitted to participate in any Regional Choral Music Performance Adjudication for criticism only, or for criticism and a rating. Each group requesting criticism and rating will be awarded one of the following ratings: Superior, Excellent, Average, Below Average, or Poor.
      5. There will be six graded classifications of choral literature. For MPA evaluation, ensembles will be required to perform 2 selections of comparable difficulty and contrasting style. For ensembles entering in Grade II-VI, at least 1 selection must be on the approved list. If neither of the selections is on the list, the ensemble will be entered in Grade I. There are no repertoire requirements for groups entering in Grade I. Selection of music at this level is left to the discretion of the choral director. Groups entering Grade I may still receive ratings. Choral ensembles wishing only criticism are not bound to the official NCMEA classification list.
      6. There will be no maximum limitations concerning the size of the choral groups. If a school has more than one choral group of like nature, each will be permitted to enter, provided there is no duplication of personnel within like groups unless director provides verification (signed by principal) of dual enrollment to site chairperson with Music Performance Adjudication application. Such groups need not enter the same classification. A student may participate in two groups of unlike nature (for example: male chorus and mixed chorus.)
      7. Deadline for application is February 1st of each year
      8. There is no size limitation for any chorus
      9. If neither of the two selections performed is from the Music Performance Adjudication list, the group will be allowed to sing for a rating as Grade I.
      10. If a chorus director chooses to sing two selections from the approved MPA repertoire list that are of unequal difficulty they must enter in the LOWER grade. Care must be exercised in the director’s choice of music that is not on the list to insure its comparable difficulty.
      11. Regional chairpersons will set deadlines (and enforce penalty) for submission of all required Music Performance Adjudication forms (except registration statewide deadline, February 1st) i.e., judges information, titles of selections, etc.
      12. There will be no repetition of repertoire by a single director from a single school with any ensemble or chorus within a two (2) year period; therefore, directors may not choose the same music for Small Ensemble and/or Regional Choral Music Performance Adjudication within a two-year period.
      13. The regional chairperson will be required to complete all reports and forward correct copies to the activities coordinator and the NCMEA Executive Director within forty-five (45) days after the event. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the regional chairman’s honorarium
      14. Use of recording devices: one adjudicator of the three will be asked to make his comments using a recording device. The adjudicator making comments by recording will use the standard printed form for recording his rating of the performance.
      15. Special recognition of superior ratings – a plaque will be made available for purchase from the Executive Director to all groups with superior ratings at the participant’s expense
    4. Performance
      1. Each group will prepare from memory two selections of equal difficulty. For those groups wishing to receive ratings, one of the two selections MUST be from the official current NCMEA music lists.
      2. All choral directors must deposit their prepared compositions (three copies) with cuts clearly indicated and measures numbered to the regional chairman prior to performance.
      3. Music duplicated mechanically or by hand is a violation of the copyright laws and will not be accepted. Judges will be instructed not to adjudicate groups using illegally duplicated music. Music from legal public choral domain websites may be adjudicated as long as the music includes proper citations.
      4. Ratings will not be posted in the performance area.
      5. Timing; not to exceed ten minutes per entry.
      6. Failure to observe the policies and procedures of the Choral Section for any event may cause the school to forfeit participation in the event the following year. A letter will be written to the school principal and to the choral director/teacher.
    5. Sight-Reading
      1. Sight-reading will be optional. Directors may select which voicing their groups will sight-sing. Sight-reading will be graded separately from performance and not included as part of the cumulative grade. The choral activities chairperson shall be responsible for securing and distributing sight-reading material appropriate for all voice classifications. There will be no observers, other than assigned student teachers. The procedure will take place in a room close to the performance area. The site coordinator will secure an accomplished accompanist for sight-reading. A separate adjudicator will be employed for the sight-reading when necessary.
      2. Each chorus should be met at the door by an attendant and told to file in and take seats quietly and quickly, rearranging to the accustomed seating arrangements. Attendants can assist in rearranging seats. If one group arrives before another has finished its performance, it should be detained at a point far enough away so that the members will be unable to hear the music distinctly.
      3. The attendants may pass out the music after the chorus members take their seated positions. The music is not seen until instructions have been given.
      4. The judge shall go to the conductor’s stand and read the rules of the Music Performance Adjudication and/or deliver such other instructions as he feels will assist the organization in doing the best possible job of sight-reading.
        1. Each group shall perform one (1) rhythmic exercise of the director’s choosing. The group will have one (1) minute to examine the exercise. The director may not actualize any rhythm. The method of execution of the rhythmic exercise shall be at the discretion of the director. i.e., clapping or any rhythm syllables.
        2. Each group shall also perform one (1) singing exercise in the voicing selected by the director. The director may not actualize any rhythm, harmonies or voice leadings. The director shall not sing any part of the selection (rhythmic or melodic) or play it on the piano.
        3. Students are each given a copy of the music and key is established. They and the director are given four (4) minutes to study and discuss the music. The students may ask questions but may not discuss or rehearse the music in any way. After the four minutes are over, the key may be established by students singing the scale and/or tonic triad at the direction of their director. The pitches are given at the piano; the group may hum or sing their starting pitches and sing through using solfege syllables, scale degree numbers, or lyrics, the piece one time with piano accompaniment. After that, they may have one (1) minute to discuss the piece, then the pitches are given again and the piece is sung a capella, using solfege syllables, scale degree numbers, or lyrics. The final performance will then be sung a cappella (lyrics optional). During all readings, the director may only conduct. He/She may make no audible contribution to the group’s performance.
        4. The sight-reading demonstration should be treated as performance, not as a rehearsal. While it is not against the rules to call out numbers to the singers while they are performing or to stop and begin again, the director is admitting a sight-reading weakness which must be taken into consideration by the judge.
        5. At the conclusion of the audition, members of the group should remain seated until all music has been returned and counted. The director should caution students to gather their belongings before exiting the room. The director should be given a few seconds for any instructions he/she wishes to give, and the singers should then be asked to leave quietly and quickly to make room for the next group.
    6. Fees:
      1. $125.00 per chorus
    7. Adjudicators
      1. Three adjudicators (who must be members of NCMEA) will be assigned to each Regional Choral Music Performance Adjudication. Adjudicators must have taught in the state of North Carolina for two (2) years.
      2. When adjudicators assign honor ratings lower than the top rating, Superior, they will be asked to be specific in their comments.
      3. Adjudicators will be paid $275.00 per day and per diem
      4. Adjudicators will be paid $137.50 per half day (three hours or less) and NCMEA per diem.
    8. Regions: See page C-2
  • REGIONAL WORKSHOPS
    1. Purpose
      1. To provide more students in each region an opportunity to participate in a large choral group similar to All-State Choral Festival directed by an outstanding choral director from within the state
      2. To create more interest and encourage participation from smaller school units who hesitate to perform for criticism and/or rating
    2. Regulations
      1. Schools will be expected to register and participate in their own regions except where travel will be shorter to another region or when conflicts in dates might be avoided. Where groups have reason to participate outside their own region, the regional chairperson to whom they are applying will rule on their acceptance, dependent on time and space available.
      2. Regions should decide prior to the Fall In-Service Conference the type of activities to be held in each region. Activities may include the choral Music Performance Adjudication only, the choral workshop only, or a combination of Music Performance Adjudication and workshop. It is the duty of each regional chairperson to contact the members of his region. If there is no reply the decision will be made by the regional chairperson.
      3. Registration blanks and entry fees must be completed and mailed to the regional chairperson on or before the designated deadline.
      4. Notification of withdrawal must be made to the regional chairperson postmarked no later than three weeks before the workshop date; otherwise entry fees will not be refunded.
      5. Deadline for entering is September 10th for fall events and January 15th for spring events.
    3. Quota
      1. There will be no maximum limitations concerning size of group provided registration does not exceed available facility space.
      2. If registration is too large, the regional chairperson must determine the quota for each school participating.
    4. Fees
      1. $125.00 per group
      2. The clinician will be paid $275.00 per day and per diem
    5. Performance
      1. All participating groups will prepare, before the workshop date, numbers selected by the guest conductor. Music need not be memorized
      2. Directors should bring a balanced group to the workshop
      3. Music duplicated mechanically or by hand is a violation of the copyright laws and will not be accepted
  • ALL-STATE CHORAL FESTIVAL
    1. Purpose
      1. To give outstanding students from high school choral music programs a chance to participate with other students of like ability in a highly selected group
      2. To give these students an opportunity to work with outstanding choral directors
    2. Eligibility
      1. The Choral Director of each student participating in Senior High Choral Section activities must be a current member, in good standing, of the North Carolina Music Educators Association and the school must have participated in an NCMEA HS Choral MPA event at least once in two years prior to the All-State event with the exception of a new director or a new school.
      2. The choral member must be enrolled in a scheduled choral class which receives one unit of credit in the current school year
      3. Students, accompanied by their director or principal’s designee, must attend a district rehearsal to participate in the NC All-State Choral Festival
    3. Quota
      1. There shall be one SATB choir for students in grades nine and ten and one SATB choir for students in grades eleven and twelve, each with the maximum number of participants allowed by local fire codes. The repertory of each choir will include one selection for women only and one selection for men only.
      2. The quota for each school will be determined by the All-State coordinator. Allotment is based on the number of 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students in the choral program in your school with no student being counted twice if registered for more than one class.
    4. Fees
      1. $30.00 per student participant
    5. Regulations
      1. Each director must indicate to the All-State Coordinator by mail or official registration blank or facsimile a desire to enter the event by September 10th.
      2. The official registration blank, signed by the school principal, along with necessary fees must be paid by the All-State Coordinator’s designated postmark deadline. Failure to do so will result in a school losing its allotment for that year.
      3. Notification of withdrawal must be to the All-State coordinator, postmarked no later than two weeks before the festival date. A letter will be sent informing the school’s principal of the director’s non-compliance, except in the case of extenuating circumstances excused at the discretion of the event coordinator.
      4. Registered students are expected to attend all rehearsals, the final concert, and any other activities planned by the choral section officers during this event.
      5. Each student must know the music thoroughly although not necessarily from memory. There will be a screening of students prior to the first rehearsal. Students who are not adequately prepared will become audits. Students who have not prepared the full All-State Festival repertoire as given by the All-State Coordinator and/or the Choral Section Chairperson must secure the missing selections and will be screened again at a time designated by the All-State Coordinator and Section Chair during day 1 of the All-State Festival. Students who do not pass this second screening will become audits
      6. Directors are responsible for the conduct of their students at all times. Directors must attend the zone-rehearsal with their students and remain on the premises for the duration of the festival and attend rehearsals, business meetings, etc. If the director cannot attend (either the festival or zone rehearsal) because of an emergency, notification must be made to the All-State coordinator and a principal’s designee must come in the director’s place. This designee must follow the same rules and regulations as the director. This includes staying on the premises at all times.
    6. Guest Conductor
      1. Recommendations for guest conductors can be made at bi-annual meetings
      2. The selected conductor and the repertoire for the All-State event is to be announced no later than the following fall conference.
    7. The Choral Section Chairperson shall be notified by the All-State coordinator immediately in the event of any emergency situation concerning changes.
  • Hall of Fame
    1. Purpose To recognize deceased or retired members of the NCMEA High School Choral Section who have:
      1. Served as an active director of high school choral music education in North Carolina public or private schools for a period of ten years or more.
      2. Demonstrated excellence in the teaching of choral music on the high school level. Evidences would include consistent high ratings at adjudicated choral festivals; participation in diverse choral experiences (All-County, All-State, Honors Chorus, performances in U.S. cities or abroad, etc.)
      3. Made significant contributions to the improvement of choral music education and the betterment of the profession, including holding positions of leadership and/or service in professional organizations.
      4. Demonstrated high ideals and professional integrity during the time of service.
    2. Process of nomination and selection.
      1. The Past Chair of the Choral Section will serve as chair of the “Hall of Fame” award, with an appointed committee
      2. No more than three honorees will be selected per year
      3. The nomination form will be made available online.
      4. Nomination forms are due to the Committee Chair by September 10th of the year before possible selection and will remain under consideration for a period of five years.
      5. The Hall of Fame Committee will review the nominations and select Hall of Fame winners based on the information provided
      6. Induction to the Hall of Fame will occur during the All-State weekend with recognitions included during the All-State Concert
      7. Information about each recipient will be sent to the NC Music Educators Journal and the NCMEA website for publication
      8. Recipients’ information and pictures (if available) will be archived online on the NCMEA website.
      9. A plaque will be presented to each recipient and the name of each recipient will be included on the Hall of Fame plaque to be displayed at NC High School Choral Section events.
  • Teacher of the Year
    1. Purpose
      1. To honor one outstanding music educator
    2. Criteria
      1. Must be an active member of NCMEA, currently teaching high school choral music
      2. Must have taught in North Carolina for at least 5 years
      3. Must be nominated by a member of NCMEA through a letter of recommendation citing the merits of the nominee
      4. Letter of recommendation may include personal experience, nominee’s professional memberships, educational background, past teaching experience, church job (if applicable), etc…
      5. Nominees will be asked to send an updated resume
  • Young Composer Showcase
    1. Purpose
      1. To acknowledge and to reward outstanding high school student composers by presenting the selected piece(s) at the NCMEA conference.
    2. Details
      1. The piece will be performed by one of the high school groups who are selected to perform at conference.
      2. Following the performance, the student composer will be formally recognized and congratulated on stage.
      3. Submission deadline will be May 15th to the NCMEA Choral Section Chairperson. Submissions should be made in PDF format.
      4. The selection committee will be appointed by the high school choral section chair and will include NCMEA members who are composers and teachers in North Carolina. The selection committee will review each submitted work to determine if the composition is deserving of the honor, is accessible yet challenging for a high school level choir and is representative of works performed by high schools in North Carolina.
      5. The committee may choose more than one submission for the showcase
      6. Choirs who are selected to perform at conference will be offered the opportunity to perform the student composition selected for the showcase. If the choirs chooses to perform the piece as part of their selected repertoire, the NCMEA choral section chair will make available additional performance time for the group to compensate for the time it takes to perform the piece and recognize the student composer.
      7. Notification of selection will be by August 15th.