1.  All entries for the 2021 festival will be by video submission.  Participants submitting videos must observe the distancing requirements recommended or mandated within the province of Ontario as of the date on which they record their video.

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

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

4.  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.

5.  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.

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

7.  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 (on Zoom) at their scheduled time, and no changes will be made once the program has been set.


8.  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.

9.  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.

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

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

12.  Vocal, strings and woodwinds participants must provide their own accompaniment.  Accompaniment may be live, provided social distancing rules are observed; pre-recorded; or by backtrack.

13.  You are not required to submit scores of your pieces for the 2021 virtual festival unless you are performing an unpublished work or a little-known work.  In these cases, please upload the scores to Google Drive and email to


14.  All entries must be received by March 1 and accompanied by the correct fee stated for each class.  Late entries will not be accepted.

15.  All entries must include the YouTube URL link for your video submission.

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

17.  Entry fees will not be refunded.

18.  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

25.  Participants' schedules showing dates of competition will be forwarded to the student, teacher and accompanist via email.  Classes for 2021 will be conducted via Zoom, and links will be provided ahead of time.  Videos will be played for all participants in each class, then the adjudicator will make their comments.


26.  Adjudicators' decisions are final.

27.  Adjudicators may not evaluate their own students.

28.  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.

29.  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.

30.  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.

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

32.  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 which will be held virtually in 2021.  Duets are also eligible for provincial recommendation.  Musical Theatre participants can be recommended from ages 6 to 28.

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

Video Submissions Requirements:

33.  To protect the privacy of participants, all videos submitted to the festival must be unlisted videos.  Such videos do not appear on browser or YouTube search results and may only be viewed by persons possessing a direct link to them.

34.  Participants submitting videos must observe the distancing requirements recommended or mandated within the province of Ontario as of the date on which they record their video.

35.  By submitting a video recording, each participant confirms that they, their accompanists, and all members of their ensemble understand and consent that their performance will be made available as an unlisted video on YouTube.  In addition, each participant confirms that they have permission to use any pre-recorded accompaniment.

36.  The 2021 provincial festival will also be undertaken by means of video submission.  Please consult the OMFA website: for up-to-date information on their video submission requirements.

37.  You may record your video in any location with suitable lighting.

38.  Professional recordings are not required.  While good audio and visual quality is important, video recording equipment made for personal use, even cell phone cameras, are capable of producing video at a satisfactory level of quality.  The adjudicators will not be judging the quality of the videos.

39.  The recording must offer a clear picture of the performer, showing face or profile, and in the case of instrumentalist, hands and instrument (keyboard only in the case of piano).  For singers in both classical voice and musical theatre, a full body shot is preferred.

40.  The recording need not offer a clear picture of any professional accompanist during the performance.

41.  The camera must remain stationery to the greatest extent possible.  For performances with stage movement or choreography, the zoom settings must be set such that the camera requires as little movement as possible to track the performer, while still offering a clear picture of the performer's face as described above.

42.  When performing in a piano class, you may perform with any piano or keyboard instrument capable of reproducing piano tones.  A digital piano is permissable, while, for instance, a harpsichord is not.

43.  If your performance is accompanied, you must observe physical distancing measures in effect as described above in order for your accompanist to be present.  Your accompaniment may be live or pre-recorded by your accompanist or by a backtrack.

44.  You must prepare one video for each class you are entering.  If a class requires performance of multiple repertoire selections, then they must all be in a single video.

45.  At the start of the video, the following information must be displayed in the order specified, on a sign held up by either the performer or an assistant:  Discipline and class (eg Voice:  VC-02-03); Name of performer; Name of repertoire selection(s) and composer(s) (eg An die Laute ~ F. Schubert).

46.  Please undertake the performance for your recording as if at a live festival, with appropriate comportment and dress.

47.  You are not required to submit scores of your repertoire unless you are performing an unpublished or little-known work.

48.  To submit materials to the festival upload the video(s) to YouTube.  The privacy settings of any video(s) you upload must be unlisted.  Please see YouTube Support on how to make a video unlisted.  Please take off the YouTube "kid" settings.  If you wish to submit any scores, upload them to Google Drive and submit.  Enter the hyperlink(s) to your video(s) on the registration form.

49.  When uploading a video to YouTube, name the video using the following convention:  HMF 2021 Discipline:  Class Number;  Competitor Name.  (eg HMF 2021 Voice:  VC-02-03; Tom Smith)

Our Sponsors