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ACT Music Competition Rules – 2024



  • In addition to reading these general rules and conditions of entry, entrants should also read any special notices relating to their particular sections.

  • Failure to comply with any of the rules and conditions may result in disqualification and/or withholding of awards.

  • The decision of the coordinators in all questions or disputes about these rules, or about matters not provided for in these rules, will be final.

  • These rules are regularly revised and updated, so we request competitors to review the rules immediately prior to participation.

  • All entries are received on this condition, and in the spirit of friendly competition upon which the competition is based, and no dispute shall become the subject of any appeal at law.



Who Can Enter:

1. The competition is open to all amateurs to enter.

2. An entrant’s age is taken to be the age they were on the 1st of the month in which the competition is held.

3. The Coordinators have the right to require proof of age of any entrant in an age section.

4. Age limits do not apply to accompanists.

Who Cannot Enter:

5. Teachers are not allowed to compete. Student teachers (who are studying and have not yet completed an undergraduate degree) can complete in open sections but cannot compete against their own students.

6. People who have been taught, coached or advised by the Adjudicator within the 6 months prior to the competition cannot enter. (Students who have been examined by the adjudicator, or who have previously been adjudicated by them, are allowed to enter).

Out of District Entrants:

7.  Entrants from outside the ACT and surrounds are most welcome to compete, as long as they meet the criteria.

Entering More Than One Section:

8. An entrant can compete in one or more sections, as long as they meet the criteria. For example, an entrant can compete in a graded section, and a section for their age group.

Entering a Section More Than Once:

9. An entrant may compete in an instrumental section twice (2) provided a different instrument is played for each performance (e.g. trumpet, then trombone).

Entering a Graded Section:

10. Entrants must select a piece from the current (2023) AMEB Syllabus for their instrument. Entrants may not participate in a grade section below their current level. Example: an entrant that has already passed 4th grade may only participate in a 5th grade or higher grade section.  

11. Entrants must provide details of their most recent exam (AMEB or any other instrumental exam) on the entry form.

Use of Official Form / On-line Entry

12. All entries must be made online at

13. Entries and payment must be submitted on or before closing and due dates specified.

14. All entries must comply with the general competition rules at the time of entry.

15. Responsibility for correct entry rests with the entrant.

16. If any changes to the entry are needed, a written request must be sent to the coordinators. No changes can be made after the competition program is released.

17. Fees must be paid by the due date to confirm entry. 

18. No person may enter under a name other than their own.

19. Entries are not transferable from one person to another.

20. All special requests must be made at the time of entry.

21. The coordinators reserve the right to refuse an entry.

Late Entries:

22. Late entries may be accepted up to a week (7 calendar days) after the closing date if places are available but will be charged an extra $10 per section. Only under special circumstances, and at the discretion of the coordinators, will any late entries be accepted after that time.


23. Competitors unable to attend as entered must advise the coordinators at least one week prior to the Competition, or as soon as they are aware they will not be able to attend.

24. A refund of the entry fee will only be made if a section has been cancelled by the officials.

Use of Personal Information:

25. Personal information collected from entrants is kept on a secure database for administrative purposes. All personal details are for the coordinator’s use only.

Providing Copies of Music:

26. Entrants must provide a printed copy of their piece for the adjudicator on the day of the performance.

27. The music you submit must clearly state the following:

a. entrant’s name;

b. section number;

c. competitor number (within that section)

Example: John Smith - Section A03 - Competitor no. 5


28. All competitors in the ACT Music Competition must ensure compliance with copyright regulations. There are several resources available to help you understand your obligations and comply with the law. The Australian Copyright Council website has information sheets available to help you understand copyright regulations. (The Music: Concerts, Musicals & Plays information sheet is a good document to read.) The APRA AMCOS website also provides information regarding music and performance requirements. They have a helpful Eisteddfods guide available.


Choosing Appropriate Material:

29. Unless stated otherwise the entrant should select the pieces they perform.

30. An entrant can only perform a piece once in the competition.

31. No offensive or obscene language or swear words are to be used in performances. The Adjudicator has the authority of the Committee to terminate a performance if it is considered offensive in any way.

Duration of Piece:

32. Time limits apply in all sections and must be strictly observed. Please time your piece carefully to ensure you can comfortably complete within the time allowed.

33. When the maximum time allowed has been reached, a warning bell will sound, and the entrant must immediately leave the stage. If the entrant ignores the bell and does not leave the stage within 10 seconds, they will be disqualified by the Adjudicator.

34. It is not necessary to reach the maximum time.

35. Where there is no stated time limit, the Adjudicator reserves the right to stop an entrant’s performance at any stage. This does not mean disqualification or disapproval.

When to Arrive:

36. Entrants are to report to the Registration Desk and submit their sheet music at least 10 minutes before the start of the section in which they are to perform.

37. Please note that a number of factors (such as unexpected withdrawals on the day) may shorten the length of some sections unexpectedly – so entrants must be ready.

Rehearsal at the Competition Venue:

38. No rehearsal or practice is permitted on the stage after the start of the competition. Any entrant not observing this condition will be disqualified. A space is provided for unpacking and tuning for a short time before each section begins, no other time or space for practice or rehearsal is allowed.


39. Each entrant must arrange any accompaniment they need. It is the entrant’s responsibility to organise their own accompaniment. Any piece that comes with an accompaniment must be performed with the accompaniment. We will provide the contact details for the recommended accompanists.

40. A piano will be provided for accompaniment for the performance.

Standard of Dress:

41. While the Adjudicator will be paying most attention to the standard of the performance, musicianship and the general performance skills being displayed - the entrant’s dress, general appearance and how they conduct themselves - will also be taken into account.

Who is Allowed on Stage with the Entrant:

42. Only an entrant, competition official, accompanist, adjudicator, or page turner are allowed on the stage. A teacher is not allowed on the stage except in the capacity of an official, accompanist or page turner.

Page Turning:

43. A page turner is allowed on stage to assist the entrant and/or the accompanist as required.

Prompting and Assistance During a Performance:

44. No prompting or assistance of any kind is allowed, except by the Adjudicator.

Re-starting a Performance:

45. Entrants aged 12 years and under will be allowed to re-start if they have trouble at the beginning of their performance. It is at the Adjudicator's discretion as to whether or not points will be deducted in this circumstance.

46. Entrants over 12 years of age who commence performing, but stop and leave the stage before they are finished, will not be able to re-start. A re-start may be allowed if they do not leave the stage, but points will be deducted by the Adjudicator.​

Safety, Loss and Damage

47. Each entrant at the competition or related function takes part at their own risk. The competition does not accept responsibility for any accident or personal loss or injury, however caused.

48. The Competition expects entrants to carry adequate personal insurance, as well as any insurance for their instruments and equipment.

49. Each entrant is responsible for their own possessions at the competition venue. Bags, and other belongings should not be left unattended.

50. The competition officials take care, but the competition and any officials are not responsible for the loss or damage of any item (e.g. books, papers, instruments or personal belongings of entrants).​

Competition Program

51. Programs will be made available in PDF format and are ordered when entering the competition. It will be emailed to each competitor using the address provided on the entry form. It will not be available online. Printed programs will be available at the event. Both electronic and printed version will cost $5.

52. There may be some changes to the competitions and sections run each year. Some sections may be removed and others added.

53. The order of section, and the order of entrants within a section, may be changed at the discretion of the coordinators at any time.

54. The Coordinators have the right to change the program at any time to accommodate unforeseen circumstances – and where possible, will provide the entrants and others affected advanced notice.

55. If there are not enough entrants for a section (usually fewer than three), the coordinator can either:

a. cancel that section;

b. combine it with another section; or

c. move those entrants to a higher age group.

56. A section may be split into divisions if entries exceed 20.

57. Entrants are expected to perform the piece(s) listed on their entry form.

58. Entrants must appear in the order they are named in the program or as requested by the coordinators. If they are not ready when called, they might have points deducted from their score or be disqualified.​


59. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Adjudicator is unable to perform their duties, the coordinators will arrange a substitute. Notice to entrants might not be possible.

60. Only the coordinators and authorised people may approach the Adjudicator during the competition.

61. Communication with the Adjudicator by anyone else on the day of competition is absolutely forbidden. All enquiries must be made in writing and handed to the coordinators.

What Will Result in a Disqualification:

62. The following things might result in an entrant being disqualified:

a. not answering to their name when called for their turn to perform;

b. talking to the Adjudicator;

c. being under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

d. being prompted by anyone during their performance;

e. using offensive material.

Results and Awards:

63. The Adjudicator’s decision is final.

64. A copy of the Adjudicator's report will be made available to the entrant, free of charge, at the end of each section.

Whether to Give an Award:

65. A “First Place” will only be awarded for a section if the Adjudicator thinks the performance is of a sufficiently high standard. A “Second Place” and “Third Place” may be awarded, provided there are at least 5 entrants in the section. 

66. The Adjudicator may award a “Highly Commended” in any section at their discretion.

67. In exceptional circumstances, the Adjudicator may make a joint award. In the case of a tie, the awards will be equally shared by the entrants.

68. The Adjudicator has the power to withhold or divide prizes according to merit. If this happens, they will announce this decision when making the adjudication and note it on the adjudication sheet.

69. The Coordinator is able to change the available awards at any stage.

Collection of Awards:

70. Awards, adjudication reports, and original material should be collected from the Registration Table before the entrant leaves. This is usually at the back of the room or in the foyer.

71. All materials not collected by the end of the competition will be disposed of.​

Audience and Attendance at the Competition

72. The competition is open to the general public and all are welcome.

73. A high standard of decorum is expected from all entrants and audience members.

a. Unseemly or unpleasant behaviour, which is contrary to the spirit of the event, will result in the offender being asked to leave.

b. Offending entrants will be disqualified.

74. Mobile phones must be switched off or completely silenced during the competition.

Photographing and Recording Performances:

75. All recording devices, such as tape recorders, video cameras, cameras or mobile phone cameras, are strictly prohibited and must not be used by anyone during the competition. Such use is illegal and strictly prohibited.

76. The coordinators have the right to record, film, broadcast, telecast, videotape or photograph any entrant, item or event in the competition without notification.

77. By submitting an entry, the entrant automatically grants permission for the coordinators to use their image for publicity or promotional purposes.

78. The use of an entrant's image in promotional material does not mean the Competition endorses them, and no money or compensation can be claimed by the entrant.

79. The use of cameras/camera phones with flash is not allowed, including by competition officials.



a person whose main source of income is not, and has not been mainly derived from the exercise of, or teaching of, music in the discipline for which they have entered in the competition in question.


a person or group of people who have officially and correctly registered to compete in the competition.


the authorised persons appointed to set up and run a particular section of the competition.

open section:

a section open to persons of any age.


means a particular and separate group into which a competition is divided (e.g. Section A03 - Instrumental Solo – 10 years & under).

competition official:

an authorised person assigned to represent the competition and charged with making decisions in managing the competition.

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