Hello! I am Susan Townsend, the Student Activities Coordinator for the NCMEA Middle School Choral section. I’m “in charge” of coordinating/supervising all of the Music Performance Adjudication events in the state – but each site has its own wonderfully capable chairperson.
First, let me encourage ALL of you Middle School Choral directors to bring one or more groups to your district MPA. It is a fabulous experience for your students and for you! We have well-qualified adjudicators who understand the particular “world” of our dear middle-school students, and who give wonderful comments, compliments, suggestions, and insight about each individual group. You can perform for comments and a rating, or for comments only if you are not sure you’re ready to be “rated”!
Sight-reading is a separate opportunity for comments and a rating or comments only, but it is NOT required–although I STRONGLY encourage you to take advantage of it! In addition, you and your students can hear other middle school groups from around your district – what a great chance for you to have your students listen critically and assess what they hear from other groups – it is an invaluable learning tool!
Let me next remind you of just a few things about participating in your district MPA:
- Deadline for sending your application(s) and fee(s) to your district site chair is January 15. Any application not sent by then will not be accepted. Please be sure the fee ($125 for the first group, $100 for each group registered after the first group) is included. Most site chairs make up the schedule, in part, based on order of applications received – so if you want a particular day or time, get your application in early! The application form is on the website – you need one form per GROUP. Make sure you are aware that there will be NO refunds given once the fee has been received. This policy was approved by the general membership of the Middle School Choral Section and has been in place since November of 2011.
- If, for a truly valid reason, you want to participate in an MPA that is NOT in your district, YOU MUST SEEK PERMISSION, IN WRITING, FROM THE STUDENT ACTIVITIES CHAIRPERSON (that’s me!). This request MUST be received by e-mail or snail mail NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 15. Be sure to include the reason for the request – and again, please remember that the reason must be a true necessity. I will review the request and, if you are given permission to switch, you MUST then contact the chairperson of the site you want to attend to see if they have room for you to attend. ANY REQUEST MADE AFTER DECEMBER 15 WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED, EVEN IF THE REASON IS VERY VALID!!!
- If, after registering for your MPA, you find you are unable to attend, PLEASE let your site chair know. Even if you find that you are unable to come the DAY of your MPA event, PLEASE let your site chair know. There is a policy in place which if a director fails to show and does NOT notify the site chair, that director will not be allowed to participate in ANY MPA the next year.
- Feel free to contact your site chair with any questions you might have about anything else pertaining to the MPA. We are here to help you! You can find your district, site and date, and site chair contact information on the website. I hope you wíll take advantage of this fantastic opportunity this year!!
- Each group will prepare two pieces to perform for the three judges. If you want to go in anything other than grade 1, one of your pieces needs to be on the festival list, which should be on the website. Because there is so much good music out there (usually fairly new pieces) that is not on the list, quite a few of us (including me) choose pieces based on suitability for our groups, and just go in Grade 1 if neither piece we want to do is on the list. I also adjudicate MPAs, and, as a judge, a group performing in grade 1 does not make me automatically think they are beginners–rather, I let the performance speak for itself
- If you have repertoire not included on the MPA list and would like the Music Committee to review your selections and assign an MPA Grade Level to them (so that it is not Grade 1), use the submission form linked here.
Audit means you’re bringing students to listen to other groups, but not to perform. Occasionally, a teacher will ask to do this–there is no fee involved with that. I’m not really sure why audit is on the registration form.
- Once you send in your application and fee, the site chair will send you a form (probably in late Jan. or early Feb.) asking you for your specific song titles. The grade of music asked for on the application is nothing that’s going to be set in stone–so you can go in a different grade than you indicated on the original application and it won’t be a problem. You will indicate the grade of any piece you choose to do from the festival list on the form that asks you for the titles.