SCHOLASTIC SOLO (NEW: grades 9-12 at the time of registration)
  • Preliminary round (audio only): 5 minutes max. (NEW: complete solo or an excerpt of a longer piece by a living composer)
  • Semi-final round (NEW: video recording): 5 minutes max. (can be the same as the audio round)
  • Final round (NEW: video recording): 10 minutes max. (free recital; must include a piece or excerpt that hasn’t been played in previous rounds)
OPEN DUO (all ages)
  • Preliminary round (audio only): 10 minutes max. (NEW: complete duet(s) or an excerpt of a longer piece by a living composer)
  • Semi-final round (NEW: video recording): 10 minutes max. (can be the same as the audio round)
  • Final round (NEW: video recording): 15 minutes max. (free recital; must include a piece or excerpt that hasn’t been played in previous rounds)
COLLEGIATE SOLO (ages 18-30 at the time of application)
  • Preliminary round (audio only): must submit 2 recordings (for a total of 15 minutes max.)
    • NEW: A work or movement(s) by a living composer
    • NEW: A contrasting work or movement(s) by any other composer of your choice
  • Semi-final round (NEW: video recording): 10 minutes max. (can repeat piece(s) from the audio round)
  • Final round (NEW: video recording): 15 minutes max. (free recital; must include a piece or excerpt that hasn’t been played in previous rounds)

Competition Deadlines

  • Application + audio submitted  –  January 24, 2021
  • Semi-finalists announcement  –  March 1, 2021
  • Semi-final + final recordings submitted – May 1, 2021
  • Finalists announcement – June 20, 2021
  • Awards ceremony – June 27, 2021

UPDATED 2/26/21: Recording instructions for the live rounds

In order to assist those with limited recording experience and to help promote fairness and equity among all of our participants, our Audio and Video Engineers have provided the following instructions:

  • Please use ONE front camera angle only (1080p + 30fps) and bright lighting to show the entire keyboard and performer
  • Please use ONE external mic (mono) and record from ~6 feet away from the instrument(s) and ~4 feet up from the ground
  • Please review your video and listen to your audio with headphones/speakers before submitting to make sure that YOU are happy with the results!
  • Please submit RAW audio (.mp3 or .wav) and video (.mp4 or .mov) files separately, but your audio and video must be from the same take! Our hired A/V engineers will edit them together to ensure that the final products are at the highest quality possible across all participants
  • All music in each round must be recorded live in one take as if the performance is happening in real-time. Audio and visual edits of the performances are not allowed

Some notes and advice as you prepare for the competition:

  • NEW: you may visit our Database of Marimba Works by BIPOC Composers for repertoire suggestions!
  • You are also welcome to perform transcriptions, adaptations, or arrangements for any round.
  • We recommend selecting works that best represent your strengths and personality. Ask yourself what kind of music you would want to program in your own recital and if the audience will understand your musical intention.
  • All soloists must be unaccompanied. Concertos with accompaniment or tape accompaniment is not allowed.
  • Any chamber group with more than 2 people do not qualify for the open duo category.
  • We suggest performing your pieces in front of many different audiences before recording. They can give you useful feedback and help you deal with performance nerves.

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