General Regulations

All performers are urged to read the regulations carefully.

Any queries should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Entries can be made by parents/carers, individuals, teachers, or schools.  The official Entry Form should be completed, and submitted online or returned to:  Bethan Chambers, Entries Secretary, Grovehill, Old Edinburgh Rd, Minnigaff, DG8 6PL, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The closing date for entries is 26 January 2024.  Please contact the Entries Secretary if you have any problems (07734 445650)


    Performers in the Solo or Duet Classes may enter only one class in any section.   Any performer winning a GRADED class must move to a higher class the following year (this includes classes where there was only one performer).  Performers in the Beginners class may be any age, and should be at pre-Grade 1 level.  If they have previously performed in a Beginners class they may not enter the same class again.  They may, however, enter a Beginners class in any other category.

    Schools may enter more than one group in the same class, except in choir classes.  Due to space limitations in the venue, choir entries should  be restricted to 32 performers per school for each Festival class (Classes 52-55). We are very aware of the practical and financial problems of transporting school classes to venues.  Classes with a large number of entries may be split between Newton Stewart and Stranraer according to the location of participating schools.  Each year we aim to reimburse at least part of the travel costs to schools attending the Festival.  Schools wishing to be considered for financial assistance should send copies of paid invoices to the Treasurer (01671 402221) by 30 April 2024.  See Regulation 3, Entry Fees.

    Entry Fees should be remitted with Entry Form as follows. 


    Solo and Duet Classes £5.00
    Group Entries - 5-12 performers.  £10.00
    Group Entries - 13+ performers.  £20.00
    Schools - Individuals. £3.00
    Schools - Groups. £5.00

  4. MUSIC
    The prescribed edition of music, where specified, must be used by all performers, and where two test pieces are indicated, both must be prepared and performed.  No performer may present the same piece in the same class in successive years, or the same piece in more than one class in the same year.  Performers who have difficulty in obtaining any test pieces should contact the Entries Secretary without delay.  Performers using music should play from original scores.  However, photocopies are acceptable for the adjudicators.
    In Vocal Classes the songs may be sung in any key to suit the performer`s voice, but where the key differs from that in the syllabus, a copy of the transposed version must be provided by 26 January 2024 if an official accompanist is required.
    Omit repeats except for da capo.

    The Grades in this syllabus refer to those set by the ABRSM and Trinity College London examination boards.  Graded and Advanced classes are for any school age; adults have their own section.

    Where mentioned in this syllabus, in certain classes a backing track or any form of live accompaniment is acceptable.  Performers must ensure that the correct equipment is available. Where this is not mentioned, the use of piano accompaniment is assumed but other forms of live accompaniment may be acceptable if they are suitable for the style of music.  An official accompanist will be available but performers are encouraged to bring their own. Performers should arrange rehearsals with the official accompanist themselves if required. Contact Entries Secretary for details.  Original copies of music are required for the accompanist by 26 January 2024.

    The Adjudicators may stop any performance when their judgement has been formed.  Their decision is final.  Neither performers nor members of the audience are allowed to communicate with the Adjudicator.  The Adjudicator’s comment sheets will be presented at the end of each class. Where several grades/school years are grouped together for trophy allocation purposes, each grade/school year will be adjudicated separately with each first place announced, and the performer with the overall highest grade will be awarded the trophy.

    Gradings will be awarded to performers as follows:

    90+   Outstanding ‘An exceptional performance, both technically and artistically’
    87-89  Distinction ‘An excellent performance technically and artistically’
    84-86  Commended ‘A convincing performance technically and artistically’
    81-83  Merit ‘A capable performance showing some artistic appreciation and/or technical ability’
    78-80  Moderate ‘A performance showing development of technique and/or communication
    75-77  Fair ‘A performance limited in its communication’

    Trophies will be awarded if the winning grade is Commended or above.

    All trophies awarded in 2023 (see list on pp. 39-41) should be returned, suitably cleaned and inscribed, by 1 February 2024. 
    Trophies awarded in 2024 should be returned by 1 February 2025.
    Certificates for performers will be sent to schools or music teachers after completion of the Festival.

  10. STATUS
    The classes are open only to bona-fide amateurs. An amateur is defined as “any person whose whole or partial income is not derived from following the profession in the class for which an entry is submitted.”  Professional musicians may take part as conductors or in the family class.

    Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your session starts.  Every attempt will be made to adhere to the timetable, but please allow for unavoidable delays.

    Conductors should not sing with their choirs or groups

    Teachers should not play as part of their instrumental groups.

    The Festival Committee reserves the right to appoint replacement or additional adjudicators, and to alter, modify or cancel any of the arrangements detailed in the Syllabus.

    Primary School children should always be accompanied by an adult.  No Primary School children are to leave any venue by themselves.  A contact list for all schools taking part will be available at all venues. 

    It is important that everyone entering a child reads our safeguarding policy, which can be found on the website. Please download and complete the appropriate form for your entry and return with your official entry form.