Five Towns
Music and Arts Foundation

 
 

Some thoughts to help you prepare:

 

 
 

WHAT TO WEAR

Men. - a suit is always appropriate, but (especially for musical theater singers) slacks/turtleneck/sports-coat combo is just fine.

Women - this is a daytime event. A nice dress, suit or pants ensemble is fine. Be aware that you will be on stage, feet and knees are clearly visible. You may feel uncomfortable in something that is very short. An evening gown (with or without gloves) is a more formal look than you need.

YOUR MUSIC

You should prepare a repertoire of four (4) pieces. Piano and strings contestants must know complete sonata. You must provide a list of your four choices to each judge. So bring at least four (4) copies of your list with you, to give to the judges, the day of the competition. Please remember to put your name at the top of your list.

It is not necessary to provide copies of the actual music to the judges. However, if you are using the services of the competition's accompanist, you must provide him/her with a copy of your music. The actual store-bought sheet music, score or songbook (broken in well enough to stay open) is always fine or you can tape loose sheets together accordion-style (NO STAPLES!). Those plastic pockets may seem like a great idea but can reflect light and make it difficult for your accompanist to see the music (sit at the piano under different kinds of lighting and you’ll see what we mean) and are not recommended. LOOSE PHOTOCOPIED SHEETS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE! If you’re not sure why ask a pianist...

Please be sure that cuts are clearly marked and repeats and dal segnos, etc. are easy to find (this is particularly important in musical theater pieces). Lead sheets (which provide only a vocal line and chord symbols) are risky unless you have consulted in advance with your pianist.

Likewise, do not assume your accompanist will welcome being asked to transpose at sight.

WHAT TO EXPECT PRIOR TO THE DAY OF THE COMPETITION

About a month before the day of the competition, you will receive a letter informing you of your start time slot. This time slot will be listed in one hour increments (e.g. 10.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m., etc.). Please note that your start time is an approximate estimate and is not a precise schedule start time since may factors can affect your actual start time.

This time slot assignment is important because you must be at the library 45 minutes before your scheduled start time slot to allow for check-in and other last minute changes. So, for example, if you have am 11.00 a.m. time slot, you are expected to have checked in by 10.15 a.m.

However, we recommend that you plan on being at the library 60 minutes before your time slot to allow for traffic problems, give yourself a chance to warm up, and otherwise compose yourself. Remember, warm-up space in the library is limited, and demand for it will be high.

WHAT TO EXPECT THE DAY OF THE COMPETITION

Your actual start (performance) time will depend on the order in which you and your fellow contestants actually checked in, the speed in which the contestants in front of you finish and other possible, unforeseen factors, such as a no-shows.

When you begin, you will select your first piece.The judges will then probably ask for a second selection of their choosing, and occasionally part of a third. It is unlikely that they will need to hear more.

Remember that each selection you play or sing gives them information about you as an artist. Once they have gotten the information they need (2 contrasting pieces will usually do the trick) they do not need to hear every selection that you have prepared.

And Finally, GOOD LUCK!