SCMEA Orchestra Division
Rules Governing Concert Performance Assessment
For a downloadable PDF file of the Rules scroll to the bottom of this page.
All sponsoring string teachers will serve as chaperones for their students at all activities: NO EXCEPTIONS. Adequate supervision for non-performing students when directors are working with other groups is imperative.
In the event of a violation of one of the Rules Governing Concert Performance Assessment during the concert portion of the event, the CPA Event Chair, in conference with the Site Host and Event Host, will reach a consensus as to the severity of the violation and determine whether a warning should be given or if the group should be disqualified. In the event of a disqualification, the group’s assessment will convert to a “Comments Only” assessment and will not receive a final rating.
1. All performing groups must submit registration and have paid all fees to the Concert Performance Assessment State Chair by the registration deadline. Information concerning deadlines and registration can be found on the scmea.net website.
2. Directors will be notified of their region’s Concert Performance Assessment itinerary mid-February. Directors will be expected to submit information (Performance Assessment Teacher Form) to the Region Event Chair two weeks prior to the event. This form can be found on the scmea.net website.
3. Concert Performance Assessment performing group shall consist of nine or more performers. Smaller groups should register for Solo and Ensemble.
4. In accordance with the SCMEA Orchestra Bylaws Article VII, Section 1, all students must be enrolled in their school string or orchestra class.
5. The director must indicate performance level at the time of registration. If the director indicates a “split level,” sight reading will be designated by the higher level.
6. Directors must present three original scores for each performance piece at the registration table upon arrival at the orchestra performance assessment site. Scores must have all measures numbered. In the event that the judges receive a score unnumbered, the ensemble will receive comments only. Photocopies will not be accepted unless accompanied by a “permission for use” letter from the publisher.
7. No adults may perform with the group, except for piano or percussion accompaniment.
8. Ensembles shall perform two varied selections, both pieces must be selected from a published graded music list or published within the last 12 months by a nationally recognized publisher. The lists are available at this link. If a selection cannot be found on an approved graded music list, the director must submit an “CPA Application for Music” form found on the website by the application deadline.
9. Performing groups have the option of receiving a rating or registering for comments only. The Concert Performance Assessment Evaluation form can be viewed at http://www.scmea.net/divisions/orchestra-division/. Ratings for Performance Assessment:
I. Superior- Trophy or Plaque with “Superior”
II. Excellent- Trophy or Plaque with “Excellent”
III. Good- Trophy or Plaque with “Good”
IV. Fair- Comments Only
V. Poor- Comments Only
10. Groups will be allowed 20 minutes for warm-up and 20 minutes for performance of the concert portion (entry, performance, and exit). Upon entering the warm-up area, the ensemble’s 20 minutes warm up will begin. The ensemble’s 20 Minutes performance time begins once the announcer completes the concert assessment program.
11. Groups will receive the Performance Assessment Evaluation Form and recorded commentary from each judge within a week.
12. The decisions of the judges are final.
13. Late arrivals will forfeit warm up time. In the event that ensembles arrive after their scheduled performance time, they will not be allowed to perform. If a performance time becomes available, the site host may offer the performance time for the late ensemble.
14. As stated above, in the event of a violation of one of the Standing Rules Governing Concert Performance Assessment during the concert portion of the event the Site Host, in conference with the CPA Event Chair, will reach a consensus as to the severity of the violation and determine whether a warning should be given or if the group should be disqualified. In the event of a disqualification, the group’s assessment will convert to a “Comments Only” assessment and will not receive a final rating. That teacher may then be subject to sanctions per the SCMEA Orchestra Division bylaws, Article VIII.
15. Directors may make an audio recording of the stage performance for review purposes only. A director may only record the stage portion of the assessment, and may not post the recording or share it publicly. No parent is allowed to record the performance. and the director may not post the recording or share publicly. Sight reading recording is prohibited (see #14 in Sight Reading Rules).
Rules Governing CPA Sight Reading
Sight-Reading Music Guidelines for CPA
1. Depending on the venue, some groups will remain in the same hall for sight reading, others will proceed to another location. If a move is required, groups are allowed 7-10 minutes for entry (Site Host’s discretion), seating, and tuning, 10 minutes for score study, and 5 minutes for performance. If remaining in the same hall, groups are allowed 5 minutes for tuning, 10 minutes for score study, and 5 minutes for performance.
2. Middle School groups have two options with sight reading:
Option A : Sight reading for comments only
Option B : Sight reading for rating
3. High School groups are required to sight read for rating.
4. Groups will sight read 2 grade levels below their highest performance level. If a group is registered as a “split level,” they will sight read 2 levels below the highest level.
5. One judge will be provided for the sight reading portion of the assessment.
6. No students will read the same piece more than once. (This pertains to directors bringing more than one group playing at the same sight reading level.)
7. Students from other groups will be prohibited in the sight reading area until their turn.
8. Music will be distributed by room monitors and students will not be allowed to view the music until directed by the room monitor or judge.
9. During the score study and preparation phase, the directors and students are to make no intentional audible instrument sounds (intentional plucking or bowing). The director may use the time as he/she sees fit, including singing phrases, demonstrating rhythmic figures or reviewing elements of the music with singing and/or counting. The conductor may not perform the music on any instrument or allow students to perform any part of the music on their instruments. Students may shadow bow, clap, or sing. The only performance allowed in the sight reading room is that of the sight reading piece. No additional warm-up or scale may be performed before performing the sight reading selection.
10. During the 10 minute sightreading preparation, the director will be given a warning when five minutes and again one minute remains as indicated in the sightreading script. Once the 10 minute preparation has passed, the director will be instructed to begin the performance.
11. Once the performance has begun, the director shall not stop or give any vocal instruction to the group. In the event of a violation, comments only will be given for the entire performance assessment.
12. Sight Reading selections will be approved by the committee appointed by the state sight reading chairperson and supplied to the site chairpersons. Sight Reading difficulty levels will be determined by the criteria contained in the “Orchestra Division Sight Reading Criteria” document.
13. In the event of a violation of one of the Rules Governing CPA Sight Reading during the sight reading assessment, the judge will determine the severity of the violation and determine whether a warning should be given or if the group should be disqualified. In the event of a disqualification, the group’s assessment will convert to a “Comments Only” assessment and will not receive a final rating.
14. No recording equipment, other than that used by the sight reading judge, will be allowed in the sight reading room at any time due to copyright law.
15. Sight reading judges must follow the procedures outlined in the “Sight Reading Procedure for the South Carolina Concert Performance Assessment” during the sight reading portion of the Concert Performance Assessment.
16. The decision of the judge is final.
For a PDF downloadable version of these rules, click the following link: Standing Rules for Concert Performance Assessment