1.  The festival reserves the right to refuse any entry or cancel any class.  For any other reason, entry fees will not be refunded.

2.  The festival reserves the right to divide or combine classes.

3.  Where age limits are specified, participants must be of the prescribed age on December 31st of the year prior to the festival to be entered.

4.  All competitors must be amateurs.  For the purpose of these competitions, an amateur shall be defined as:  a music student or any person whose principal means of livelihood is not obtained from performance in the particular discipline in which he/she is competing.  The competitor may from time to time receive remuneration for musical or acting services rendered, but not on a full time basis.  Competitors who are full or junior members of either ACTRA or EQUITY are considered professional and are ineligible for recommendation to the Provincial Competition, unless they are competing in a different discipline that is not in line with the reason for their ACTRA or EQUITY membership.

5.  Conductors may be either professional or amateur.  Conductors may not play with their orchestra or ensemble.

6.  Please note that the festival may run on weekdays and Saturdays, from 8:30am until 9:00pm, and classes may be scheduled at any time during that period.  Participants are expected to be present at their scheduled time, and no changes will be made once the program has been set.


7.  RCM stands for the Royal Conservatory of Music and CC stands for Conservatory Canada.  The most recent Conservatory Syllabus edition must be used.  Crossover times in the event of a new syllabus will be observed as in the Conservatory.

8.  All pieces must be performed from memory.  The use of music will result in adjudication only, with no mark given.  Exceptions are noted in individual classes.

9.  Unless otherwise specified, all instrumental pieces must be played without repeats.  Da Capos and Dal Segnos must be observed.

10.  Time limits, where specified, will be strictly enforced.

11.  Vocal, strings and woodwinds participants must provide their own live accompaniment.  FOR THIS YEAR ONLY (2022):  Live OR pre-recorded piano accompaniments will be accepted for those requiring an accompaniment.

12.  All participants must supply an original copy of their music for the adjudicator.  Accompanists must have original music with them at the piano, however may use photocopies from which to play.


13.  All entries must be received by February 26 and accompanied by the correct fee stated for each class.  Late entries will not be accepted.

14.  It is the responsibility of teachers to ensure that students have registered with the correct repertoire in the appropriate classes.

15.  Entry fees will not be refunded.

16.  Online registrations are payable by credit card.  Paper entries will still be accepted with cheques made payable to Hamilton Music Festival and mailed to:  611 Holly Hill Crescent, Burlington, Ontario L7L 3Z8, Attention:  Festival Coordinator.

17.  An NSF fee of $35.00 will be charged when applicable.  Any subsequent payments will then be made in cash or by money order.

18.  A selection may not be used in more than one class.  Repertoire previously performed in the Hamilton Music Festival may not be repeated.

19.  Participants are limited to one entry per class unless otherwise noted.

20.  For grade/level classes, participants must enter at their current level of study, however they may enter one class at one level higher.

21.  Participants entering graded classes must not have completed a conservatory exam at that grade level prior to the winter session of previous calendar year.

22.  For all duet, trio and ensemble classes, only one participant must register and pay the class fee.  Please remember to list all partners.

23.  Participants' schedules showing dates of competition will be forwarded to the student, teacher and accompanist via email.  


24.  Adjudicators' decisions are final.

25.  Adjudicators may not evaluate their own students.

26.  Participants may be required to certify that the festival rules have been followed.  If an infringement occurs, adjudication may be given, but no mark awarded.

27.  The adjudicator will discuss the performance of each participant, but only the marks of the top three performers may be publicly announced.  All participants will receive the adjudicator's written comments.

28.  To be considered for a scholarship, a student must enter and participate in two or more classes in the same discipline.  All scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the adjudicators.

29.  Questions should be directed to the festival coordinator, not the adjudicator.

30.  Our adjudicators may recommend participants from the festival to compete in the Ontario Music Festival.  To be eligible for recommendation to proceed to the provincials, a participant must enter and perform in a minimum of either one concert class or two solo classes.  Students from level one to associate are eligible to be recommended to the OMFA provincial festival.  Duets are also eligible for provincial recommendation.  Musical Theatre participants can be recommended from ages 6 and up.  New for 2022, adults may proceed to the provincials.  Also new for 2022, there are pop classes in piano and voice at the provincial level.  

** Those hoping to receive a recommendation to advance to the provincials, please visit: for the requirements.

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