Students of member teachers have the opportunity to participate in the following:
The Composition Contest inspires students and member teachers to write music. Both student and teacher compositions are critiqued by a music professional and awards are given for the first and second place in each of the four student categories: Primary (Grades 1-3), Elementary (Grades 4-6), Junior (Grades 7-9), Senior (Grades 10-12). The minimum measure length is 8 measures for primary, 16 measures for elementary and junior, and 32 measures for senior (repeats do not count as measures). Teacher compositions have a one movement maximum. Further guidelines are available on the entry form.
Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival (DSPF): Begun in 1980 by Dorothy Sutton, the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival is an opportunity for the talented music student to participate in a State Festival. To assure high standards at the state Showcase Recitals, the student must first qualify in Local Preliminary Auditions, and must also demonstrate a minimal knowledge of music theory by passing a written exam. Local auditions are held at Seton Hill University. Each student will perform two pieces for a judge, and take the written theory test. Click here for local entry form. Click here for rating sheet.
This monetary award honors and recognizes those students who have studied music through their senior year in high school and have been active participants in PMTA-WC and MTNA events. In order for the student to be eligible for this award, certain criteria for the student and teacher must be met.
The teacher of the student(s) must be a paid member of MTNA and PMTA-WC and must demonstrate involvement in the chapter by one of the following:
The graduating senior must:
Click for MAAGS application.
The Westmoreland Chapter sponsors recitals throughout the year for students of our member teachers. Students of all members are encouraged to participate.
Guidelines for Formal Recitals: Solo pianists and vocalists must perform from memory; instrumentalists may use music. Repertoire is to be in its original form, except for duets, folk songs, vocalists and instrumentalists. While vocalists and instrumentalists may of necessity need to use arrangements, teachers are asked to use discretion to eliminate anything less than high quality. Each piece must be played in its entirety, unless the piece has more than one movement. In this case, it is permissible to play one or more movements. No pop music is permitted on Formal Recital programs.
Photocopies may only be used where permissible by law. (for instance, to facilitate a page turn)
Each teacher may only enter 10 minutes of performance time per recital. Teachers will submit their entries by the stated deadline for each recital. Entries will include: performer’s name and age/level, title of the piece(s), composer, and performance time of the piece. Teachers are also responsible for enforcing the memorization rule with their own students. Teachers are encouraged to attend the recitals.
Guidelines for Informal Recitals: Arrangements and pop music are permitted for these recitals, and music does NOT have to be memorized. Again, photocopies are NOT permitted! At some informal recitals each teacher will schedule his/her own studio’s performance time and must organize (and attend) his/her own programs. In this case, teachers are reminded to include a “sponsored by PMTA-WC” note on the programs.
Guidelines for Ensemble Music Concert: This event is an informal recital with all-inclusive repertoire consisting of classical, jazz, folk songs and Broadway show tunes. Arrangements are permitted and teachers and parents may perform with the students. Duos, trios and larger groups will be featured in the concert and up to six digital keyboards will be available.
Consult the calendar of events and newsletter for more details.
Questions about recitals should be directed to the President or Recital Chair
The annual Sonatina Competition rewards excellence in performance of Sonatina/Sonata literature. There are 12 levels of Sonatinas/Sonatas for this annual competition, chosen and distributed in the spring prior to the fall competition. Each year there is a new goal for which students may strive. We encourage and reward all participants at all levels with a participation ribbon.
Special recognition is given to outstanding students through 1st and 2nd prizes at the Honor’s Recital. Both 1st and 2nd place awardees receive ribbons and cash prizes. All students who have earned “Honorable Mention” also receive ribbons.
We strive to select the most qualified judges possible. Judges are given general guidelines for choosing the A and B performers for the Honors Recital and awarding Honorable Mentions. They hold the ultimate responsibility for determining these places.
All judging decisions are final. Any student, parent, or teacher confronting or arguing with a judge, Sonatina Chairperson or Committee Member regarding the judges’ decision will result in the student’s ineligibility to participate in the contest the following year.
The true value of this competition is in the preparation of the music and in the performance experience, rather than in the goal of winning an award.
Reading these guidelines will familiarize you with how the competition runs. If you enter students, you must be available to work the event. Teacher help is needed from approximately 11:15-3:30 for judging, with the recital beginning at 4 pm. The Sonatina Competition is held on a Sunday in October. As soon as we know the exact date, you will be sent an email. We generally do not know the exact date until late summer, when we get confirmation from Seton Hill University.
THE ENROLLMENT FORM MUST BE POSTMARKED by the due date listed in the calendar of events. NO ENTRIES will be accepted after this date and there are NO REFUNDS after this date.
A student may enter in any level and is not required to advance from last year. They may even play in a lower level than last year. Choose the sonatina that best suits the capabilities of the student. Students may enter ONLY ONE level of competition. A teacher may enter as many students as they wish in any particular level.
In each level the judge may decide 2 students to play in the Honors Recital to be held later in the day. However, the judge does have the option to choose no “A or B” performer, or only one performer, depending upon the standard of playing within the level. Additional students may be chosen to receive Honorable Mentions awards. The name of the students chosen to play in the Honors Recital will be announced and posted. There are NO first and second place winners in the preliminary judging in the competition, only a classification of A or B.
Students chosen to appear in the Honor’s Recital (Performer A and Performer B) are REQUIRED TO PERFORM. It is recommended that teachers enter only students (and parents) who agree to honor this commitment. The Honors Recital is a Competition from which first and second place winners will be chosen.
ALL MUSIC is to be performed from MEMORY. Failure to memorize will disqualify a student. Students are to bring their music to the competition for the judges and will be judged on the edition from which they learned. The use of photocopied material is prohibited and the contestant will automatically be eliminated. Students may use their teacher’s books so they have a “clean” copy but must bring that original music to the competition.
There is no warming up in the judging room.
All contestants participating must be students of PMTA-WC members.
The Spotlight Series offers students the opportunity to understand the integration of music, art, literature and history of a particular musical style period or composer. Each year a different style or composer will be chosen and students are encouraged to prepare a representative piece to share at an informal recital. For more specific information refer to the Calendar of Events. Click for spotlight entry form.