Rules & Information

The organisation and management of the Festival is in the hands of the Trustees, whose decision on all matters, except adjudication, is final.  Submission of a completed entry form, online or paper, implies acceptance of the rules.  Special additional rules relating to each section of the Festival are found in the appropriate section of the Syllabus.


  1. Professionals may enter only the Open Classes, which have no age or status restrictions.  All other classes are open to amateur performers only but professional accompanists may be used and choirs and ensembles may have professional conductors.  An amateur is defined as someone who does not derive more than out of pocket expenses for teaching and performing.
  2. Pupils or ex-pupils of an Adjudicator may not compete in classes examined by that Adjudicator.
  3. Competitors may only enter the solo classes in their correct age groups where shown.    Age must be stated as at 1st November 2018. In the case of duets, ensembles and groups the age of the oldest performer determines the class.
  4. Entrants may perform once only in each class, except in duet, trio or ensemble classes where an entrant may perform more than once provided a different part is performed.


  1. The closing date for online entries is 1st October 2018, paper one week before.  Incomplete or late entries, or entries for which the fee is not paid, will not be accepted.
  2. Online entries must be made by 1st October 2018, via the relevant pages on the website Please ensure that all the relevant boxes are completed, and that information on performer name, composer name, and title and duration of the piece(s) to be performed are all provided in addition to ‘buyer’ detailsA contact telephone number must be included.
  3. Postal entry forms may be downloaded from the website and sent together with a stamped, addressed envelope and the appropriate fee. This must be received one week before the deadline to allow data entry i.e. 24th September 2018.
  4. The Entry Fee for each Class is clearly shown in the Syllabus.
  5. Cheques should be made payable to “Marlow Music Festival”
  6. Entry Fees, when received, are non refundable unless the Class is withdrawn.
  7. Conditional Entries cannot be accepted.

Copyright and other legal restrictions

  1. To comply with the Copyright Act, competitors are reminded that it is illegal to photocopy (or copy by any other means) copyright works without the permission of the copyright holder.
  2. When an “Own Choice” piece is selected from a publication containing several different works and is not published separately, one copy may be made for the use of the Adjudicator, which will be destroyed after the event. This permission specifically does not apply to set works.
  3. No authorised photography, audio or video recording is allowed in the performance areas at our Festival.
  4. The Marlow Festival of Music and Drama will hold data submitted on the entry form on a computer, solely for the purpose of running the Festival.  The Festival may share details of individual performers as required by the Local Authority in compliance with Child Performance Legislation.   However, winners’ names and photographs may be published in the local press or on our website.  If any individual wishes to opt out of this, they should inform the committee before the commencement of the Festival.


  1. Performers must be available ten minutes before the class is due to start.
  2. In all “Own Choice” Classes a separate copy of the music must be provided for the Adjudicator.  The entrant may supply a photocopy which will be retained by the Festival organiser and destroyed after the event.
  3. Any piece played by a performer at the Marlow Festival of Music and Drama in previous years may not be played again at the current Festival.
  4. Same piece may not be performed in more than one class in the same year.
  5. Repeats may be played only in own choice or recital classes as long as the time limit (where specified) is not exceeded.
  6. Time limits must be strictly observed.  The Adjudicator may penalise anyone who overruns.
  7. The Committee has the right to alter the order of performers in a Class and amalgamate Classes on the day for the purposes of adjudication, if deemed necessary.
  8. In the case of large numbers of entries in a Class, the Committee reserves the right to divide the Class.  Each part will then be treated as a separate Class for the purposes of Awards
  9. In non-competitive Classes the Adjudicator’s report will be given with constructive criticisms only and no marks or medal. 
  10. Performers are responsible for their own arrangements with Accompanists.  A list of local accompanists is available in this Syllabus and the web site.
  11. Rehearsal is not permitted in the Class venue.  A vocal and instrumental warm-up room, with a keyboard, is provided at Court Garden.


  1. In all sections the Adjudicator's decision is final.   
  2. Candidates must provide a copy of their music for the adjudicator. Failure to do so may result in a lower mark - this will be at the discretion of the adjudicator
  3. Communication with Adjudicators by performers, parents, teachers or other interested parties is forbidden and renders the performer liable to disqualification.   
  4. Every performance will receive a written adjudication sheet and every performer will receive a certificate after each class.  The Festival cannot undertake to forward these by post if unclaimed.
  5. The Adjudicator may decide to withhold an award if the standard is not sufficiently high.
  6. The Festival reserves the right to replace or engage additional Adjudicators, if necessary, and to alter, modify or cancel any arrangements detailed in this Syllabus, if circumstances change.

Marking system

  1. Festival Classes are not examinations and participants come for enjoyment and to learn from their peers and the Adjudicators.  The Festival adopts the marking system developed by the British and International Federation of Festivals:



An exceptional performance, technically and artistically.

87 – 89


An excellent performance, technically and artistically.

84 – 86


A convincing performance, technically and artistically.

81 – 83


A capable performance showing some artistic appreciation and/or technical ability.

78 - 80


A performance showing development of technique and/or communication.

75 - 77


A performance limited in its communication.

  1. Medals may be awarded for first, second and third places, at the discretion of the Adjudicator.  This is dependent on the standard of performances within any class and the number of competitors participating.
  2. Trophies will be awarded at the discretion of the Adjudicator.  All trophies will be awarded at the Festival Concert.
  3. Cups and Trophies are held for one year and remain the property of the Festival.  They must be carefully preserved, cleaned and returned before the festival.
  4. Winners of trophies are responsible for the cost if they wish to have their names inscribed, in similar size and style to existing engraving.  This must be done by a professional engraver.  Damage or loss must be made good by the holder.


  1. Notification of class dates/times will be available on the website to each competitor or teacher.  A confirmation email will be sent when class times are available.  These will no longer be sent via post.
  2. Performers must accept the times and dates allocated to them by the Festival Chairman.

Admission to classes

  1. Performers and performers’ accompanists will be admitted free.  The public will be admitted to all classes and charged but will not be allowed to enter or leave during a performance.

Suggestions and complaints

  1. Any suggestions, comments or complaints about the Festival should be submitted in writing to the Festival Chairman not later than one week after the end of the Festival.


Last updated by Festival Admin on 31st July, 2018