In order to assist those with limited recording experience and to prevent an unfair advantage, all participants must follow these instructions:

Preliminary round (audio only):

  • Please submit raw and unedited audio (.mp3 or .wav) files in your application form
  • Each piece may be recorded separately
  • Editing wrong notes or altering volume for better musical phrasing is strictly prohibited

Semi-final round:

  • IMPORTANT: All music 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
  • Please use one front camera angle (1080p + 30fps) and bright lighting to show the entire keyboard and performer
  • We recommend using at least one or several external microphones for better audio quality. Editing wrong notes or altering volume for better musical phrasing is strictly prohibited
  • Please submit raw and unedited video (.mp4 or .mov) and audio (.mp3 or .wav) files separately. Your audio and video must be from the same performance! Our hired audio/video engineers will edit them to ensure the final videos are high quality for all participants.

Final round:

  • NEW: Finalists are allowed to submit a professionally edited video that represents their artistry. The video cannot feature anyone else performing other than the competitor!
  • There must be adequate lighting for the judges to see the keyboard and performer
  • You may submit one complete video or separate video (.mp4 or .mov) and audio (.mp3 or .wav) files similar to the semi-final round. Your audio and video must be from the same performance! Our hired audio/video engineers will edit them to ensure the final videos are high quality for all participants.
SCHOLASTIC SOLO (NEW: not yet graduated from high school OR age 17 and under by January 1st, 2023)
  • Preliminary round (audio only): 5 minutes max. (complete solo or an excerpt of a longer piece by a living composer)
  • Semi-final round (video recording): 5 minutes max. (can be the same as the audio round)
  • Final round (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; marimba + any other instrument)
  • Preliminary round (audio only): 10 minutes max. (complete duet(s) or an excerpt of a longer piece by a living composer)
  • Semi-final round (video recording): 10 minutes max. (can be the same as the audio round)
  • Final round (video recording): 15 minutes max. (free recital; must include a piece or excerpt that hasn’t been played in previous rounds)
OPEN SOLO (NEW: already graduated from high school by January 1st, 2023; no age limit)
  • Preliminary round (audio only): must submit 2 recordings (for a total of 15 minutes max.)
    • A work or movement(s) by a living composer
    • A contrasting work or movement(s) by any other composer of your choice
  • Semi-final round (video recording): 10 minutes max. (can repeat piece(s) from the audio round)
  • Final round (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 22, 2023
  • Semi-finalists announcement  –  March 1, 2023
  • Semi-final recordings submitted – May 1, 2023 (11:59pm PDT)
  • Final recordings submitted – May 15, 2021 (11:59pm PDT)
  • Finalists announcement – June 24, 2023
  • Awards ceremony – June 25, 2023

Helpful tips for all competitors:

  • Although this is not required, you are welcome to 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 highlighting your strengths and personality when selecting works to perform for this competition.
  • All soloists must be unaccompanied. 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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