Large Ensemble MPA Policies & Procedures

All information regarding policies and procedures for events can be found in the organization’s by-laws. Please see the section below regarding Large Ensemble Regional MPA.



  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
    2. To provide students and teachers with an opportunity to hear other choral groups from their region.
  1. Eligibility
    1. All choral directors having entries must be current members of NCMEA.
    2. Students must be currently enrolled at a school in a 6/7/8 choral music program.
  1. Policy and Procedures
    1. Schools are expected to register and participate within their own region unless there are legitimate conflicts in MPA dates. If directors believe they have valid reasons to participate outside their region, they must submit their request in writing to the Student Activities Coordinator by December 15; otherwise the request will not be considered. Said requests must be signed by the school principal or an email will be accepted from the principal. Said request must be signed by the school principal or an email will be accepted from the principal. The request must be approved by the Student Activities Coordinator, and then by the Chairperson to whom they wish to apply.
    2. Registration forms and fees from each school participating must be completed and mailed to the regional chairperson on or before the designated deadline.
    3. No refunds will be given for cancelling a group at Large MPA.
    4. Each choral group will be permitted to participate in any Regional Choral MPA 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. Each choral group in grade II of higher wishing criticism and rating will determine the classification by selecting music from the official NCMEA graded music list. Each choral group will be required to perform a least one selection from the list. If neither of the two selections performed is from the MPA list, the group will be classified at Grade 1.
    6. There will be no maximum limitation 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. 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 January 15 of each year.
    8. There will be a minimum number of twenty-one student participants in each group eligible to perform at a Regional Choral MPA (criticism and/or rating).
    9. There will be no repetition of repertory by a single director from a single school with any ensemble or chorus within a two-year period; therefore, directors may not choose the same music for Small Ensemble and/or Regional Choral MPA within a two-year period.
    10. The regional chairperson will be required to complete all reports and forward correct copies to the Middle School Junior High 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 chairperson’s honorarium.

All performance ratings will be listed on the web site, as well as the sight-reading superior ratings.

4. Performance

    1. Each group will prepare from memory two selections of equal difficulty. For those groups wishing to receive leveled ratings, selections must be from the official current NCMEA Music List. Groups may perform pieces off the required list and enter at Grade Level I.
    2. All choral directors must deposit their prepared compositions (three copies) with cuts clearly indicated and measurers numbered to the regional chairperson prior to performance.
    3. Duplicated music will not be accepted.
    4. Ratings will not be posted or announced in the performance area.
    5. Time Limit: not to exceed ten minutes per entry.
    6. Failure to observe the policy and procedures of the Middle School Choral Section for any event will 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.
  1. 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.
    2. The state coordinator of choral activities shall be responsible for appointing a member of the executive board to secure the writing of the sight-reading exercises for Large MPA. Upon completion, the SAC will be responsible for distributing sight-reading material appropriate for all voice classifications. There will be NO OBSERVERS for sight-reading. The procedure will take place in a room close to the performance area. A separate adjudicator will be secured for sight-reading.
    3. Students will enter sight-reading room quietly. Sight-reading materials will be face down in the chairs. Students pick up materials and, once seated, will turn them face up. The director will choose a rhythm pattern for the class. The director can ask the students to identify the time signature. Student-generated questions may be asked and answered by another student or the teacher; however, students may NOT ask specific questions about rhythm pattern itself. Students will be given UP TO 30 seconds to look over the rhythm pattern. At the end of that time, the sight-reading judge will let the group know it is time to begin and the teacher will set the tempo. The teacher may not direct or assist students during the performance of the rhythm pattern. Once the rhythm pattern has been performed, the teacher will choose a melody for the students to sight-sing. The director can ask the students to identify key signature, time signature, and beginning pitch, and can establish the key before the students look over the melody. Again, student-generated questions may be asked and answered by another student or by the teacher; however, students may NOT ask specific questions about the melody itself. Students will be given UP TO 2 minutes to look over the melody. At the end of the time, the sight-reading judge will let the group know it is time to begin. The teacher can again establish the key and have the students sing the beginning pitch. The director may direct the students with a conducting pattern through the piece, but the teacher CAN NOT sing or otherwise assist students in the melodic performance. Once the melody has been performed, students will leave the sight-reading room quietly, putting the sight-reading materials face down on the chairs.
      1. At the conclusion of the sight-reading, members of the group should remain seated until all the music has been handed in and accounted for. The director should caution students to look under chairs and not to forget any personal belongings. 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.
      2. Groups awarded a superior rating will be given a certificate.
  1. Fees – Current fees will be published on the website.
  2. Adjudicators
    1. Three or four adjudicators (who must be members of NCMEA) will be assigned to each Regional Choral MPA.
    2. Adjudicators will be asked to be specific in their comments and to give positive, constructive criticism that reflects an understanding of the middle school singer in terminology that the middle school singer can easily understand.
    3. Adjudicators will be paid $250.00 honorarium plus allowable expenses.
    4. Adjudicators are selected based on their education, experience and qualifications at the discretion of the Student Activities Coordinator.
    5. Large MPA Coordinators will be paid $350 per day. Maximum amount should not exceed 700 for the event.