Small 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 Solo-Small Ensemble Regional MPA.


      1. Purpose
        • To give students and selected small ensembles an opportunity to perform individually for experience and personal evaluation.
        • To give the better singers the opportunity to work at a higher level.
      2. Eligibility
        • All choral directors having entries must be current members of NCMEA.
        • Students must be currently enrolled at a school in a 6/7/8 choral music program
      3. Policy and Procedures
        • Schools are not limited as to the number of contestants entering.
        • A student entered in the Solo-Ensemble contest will be limited to one prepared selection in the solo contest, and to participate in two ensembles of unlike nature.
        • 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. The request must be approved by the Student Activities Coordinator, and then by the chairperson to whom they wish to apply. In no case will a group be permitted to enter more than one Solo-Ensemble Regional Performance Adjudication per school year.
        • A registration form for each school must be completed and mailed to the region chairperson on or before the designated deadline. Region Chairpersons will set deadlines (and enforce penalties) for submission of all required MPA forms, titles of selections, etc. See district list by counties.
        • For solos, duets, trios and quartets, there will be no repetition of repertory by individual students within a three year period. For ensembles, there will be no repetition of repertory by a single director from a single school within a two year period; therefore, directors may not choose the same music for Solo-Small Ensemble and/or Regional Choral MPA within a two year period.
        • No refunds will be given for cancellations at Small Ensemble or Solo MPA.
        • Students or ensembles 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 adjudicators comments.
        • Deadline for application is February 1.
        • Qualified adjudicators will be appointed by the Middle School Choral Student Activities Coordinator to judge in a particular region.
        • The district chairperson will be required to complete all reports and forward correct copies to the student 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.
        • Adjudicators will not discuss ratings at the MPA site. All inquiries should be addressed to the MPA Coordinator in writing.
      4. Fees – Current fees can be found on the website.
      5. Time Limit – Soloists and ensembles are limited to a six (6) minutes performance. If a selection runs longer than six minutes, cuts must be made and marked by the director.
      6. Performance:
        1. Soloist
          • Confined to soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, and boys unchanged voices.
          • Choice material, at the discretion of the director.
          • 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. There will be no observers for solo performances.
          • A copy of music must be presented to the judge before performing. All cuts must be clearly indicated and measures numbered.
          • Duplicated music will not be accepted. Judges will be instructed not to adjudicate soloists using illegally duplicated music.
        2. Performances: Ensembles
          • May be of three types: male, female and mixed voices.
          • May include duets, trios, quartets, etc., and any larger group to 20.
          • Duets, trios, and quartets up to double quartets will perform from memory, one selection. Any ensemble of a double quartet or larger will perform from memory, two selections. Any group participating must perform music particularly suited and/or written for 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, selections of the genres included on the Music Performance Adjudication music list. Broadway and pop settings are not appropriate. There will be no observers for ensemble performances.
          • Copies of scores must be presented to the judge with cuts clearly indicated and measures numbered.
          • Duplicated music is a violation of the copyright laws and will not be accepted.
        3. Adjudicators
          • Adjudicators (who must be members of NCMEA) will be assigned to each Solo-Small Ensemble Regional Performance Adjudication based on number of students/groups participating. This number will be determined by the Site Chairperson.
          • 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.
          • Adjudicators will be paid $250/day honorarium, plus allowable expenses.
          • Adjudicators are selected based on their education, experience, and qualifications at the discretion of the Student Activities Coordinator.
          • Solo-Small Ensemble MPA Coordinators will be paid $350 per day. Maximum amount should not exceed 700 for the event.
          • Regions: See page MSC 1 and 2.