Federated Rules and Procedures


Federated Festival Registration & Fees

Firm Deadline: January 27, 2024 (postmarked February 3, 2024)

Student Fees: $28 1st event + $15 each additional event

  1. Registration will be done through the NFMC website “Vivace” (festivals.nfmc-music.org).
  2. Special requests should be simple notes such as AM, PM, 9:00.  No sentences or extra information required, except “sharing book”, etc.
  3. No printed applications will be accepted.
  4. Mail or hand deliver to the GCMTA Treasurer (see previous page under NFMC Membership) your entrance fee of $28.00 per student, $15.00 each additional event, payable in a SINGLE CHECK to GCMTA. No late registrations accepted. Checks should be postmarked by February 3. Cash or individual checks will not be accepted.
  5. Notify your chairman of any transfer students.
  6. Provide chairman with completed form for Specially Capable Jr Musicians (Jr 3-13) at time of registration.
  7. Schedules and information will come from your GCMTA Festival Chair via email.
  8. The NFMC website is www.nfmc-music.org. Various forms are available for download. Please check for updates to the bulletin in American Patriotic Folk Song, LFO Piano Solo, Musical Theater, Organ, Piano Duet, Piano Solo, Piano Concerto, Piano Duo, Piano Hymn and Vocal Solo Art Song and possibly more.

Geographic Division of Festivals

GCMTA is divided now into separate and independent Federated Districts. New teachers, entering students for the first time, should consider joining Central Gwinnett district.

North Gwinnett –This district consists of Duluth, Norcross, Sugar Hill, Buford, and Alpharetta.

Central Gwinnett –This district consists of Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Grayson, and Dacula.

West Gwinnett –This district consists of Lilburn, Stone Mountain, Snellville, and Centerville.

Participant Rating Sheet

The rating sheets are to be printed by the teacher from the Vivace website.

Festival Rules and Procedures


  1. Applicants must be Junior members under the age of 19 as of March 1st of the festival year with all dues paid to NFMC.
  2. Adult applicants must be Senior members with all dues paid to the NFMC. See NFMC Bulletin for special categories.

Teacher requirements

  1. All NFMC, GFMC and senior club dues must be confirmed as paid for the membership year.  
  2. Teachers are responsible for correctly selecting classifications, music and for meeting all deadlines.
  3. Teachers should refer to the 2020-2024 NFMC Bulletin. Be aware of literature updates as posted on the NFMC website.
  4. All participating teachers will be REQUIRED to work on festival day on the following basis: 7 or less students entered will work one half day and will assist with setting up or clean up; more than 8 students entered will work the FULL DAY. Teaching or judging for another festival does not exempt a teacher from this requirement.
  5. Each teacher entering students must accept a responsibility. You may volunteer for the job you would like by notifying your district chairman.
  6. No teacher may enter a student of a non-GCMTA member as his/her own student.
  7. Teachers may not enter students in more than one district festival. For example, a teacher may not have some students play in a Gwinnett district festival and other students play in the North Fulton district festival (or any other district’s festival) except as provided under “Scheduling”.

General Information

Entrants earn points toward a Gold Cup according to these NFMC guidelines:

Superior: 5 points
Excellent: 4 points
Satisfactory: 3 points
Fair: 2 point
Needs Improvement: 1 point

  • Entrants who have accumulated 15 points are awarded the Gold Cup. Gradually, larger cups are also awarded at 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 points.
  • Entrants who miss festival participation may retain previously earned points.
  • Entrants receiving a Superior rating MUST progress to a higher class the next year unless otherwise noted in the Festival Bulletin. Entrants receiving a rating lower than Superior, MAY progress higher or REPEAT the current class one time with different required and choice pieces.
  • All rules for the festival are listed in the NFMC Junior Festivals Bulletin for 2020 – 2024. Check the requirements in each category (age, length of study, etc.) carefully. Go to the NFMC website for all the bulletin changes that may affect you or your students.
  • For eligible students, Teachers may complete the Application for 12+ Years Consecutive Superiors Certificate (Jr 3-16). District Chairs can email a copy.
  • Individual studios may apply for an achievement award. (Jr-1-1)

NFMC Festival Ratings

SUPERIOR (compares with 91% – 100%):

An outstanding performance which is consistently musical, stylistically correct, and accurate. Attention is given to dynamics, phrasing, and musical expression. Memorization is secure with rapid recovery from minor slips. Errors do not detract from the participant’s interpretation: A complete performance.

EXCELLENT (compares with 81% – 90%):

A strong performance that is musical and stylistically correct. The performance shows accomplishment and very good potential, but there are discrepancies in rhythm, dynamics, phrasing, and/or interpretation. Hesitation and/or memory slips detract from the participant’s presentation: A promising performance.

SATISFACTORY (compares with 71% – 80%):

Shows accomplishment; however, numerous errors occur. Additional work in one or more areas is needed in order to achieve a convincing presentation.

FAIR (compares with 61% – 70%):

Some commendable aspects in performance and preparation are present, but severe deficiencies in fundamentals (for example, rhythm, notes, memory, etc.) are also apparent. Not fully ready for performance.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT (compares with 60% or less):

The participant is obviously poorly prepared and appears unconcerned with the performance.

Note: Percentages will appear only on instructions to judges, not on the rating sheet itself.


In the Central district, a $100 scholarship may be awarded to the most outstanding string/guitar student.  In the West district, $100 scholarships may be awarded to the most outstanding voice student and the most outstanding wind student. The minimum level for non-piano students to be eligible for a scholarship is as follows:

Vocal:  Junior Class or higher

Strings:  Medium Class or higher

Guitar:  Intermediate/Medium Class or higher

Wind/Brass:  Medium Class or higher.

These scholarships will be awarded at the discretion of the judge.  There is no minimum number of entrants, and there is no age restriction for junior students.  Adult students are ineligible to receive scholarships.  The scholarships will be made payable to the student.  A student may receive a maximum of two scholarships, but not in consecutive years, and will thereafter be ineligible to win again.

High School Scholarships (PIANO SOLO)

  1. A first, second and third place scholarship of $500, $300, $200, respectively, will be awarded to high school students participating in the Piano Solo event only in each district. Increased scholarship amounts and/or additional scholarships may be awarded, provided funds are available.  The number of entrants may be limited at the discretion of the chairman.
  2. Checks will be made payable to the student.
  3. Ninth graders through graduating seniors are eligible. Students playing outside their districts are ineligible, as well as students who are previous winners in other districts. Students should play Medium Class or higher, or level at the discretion of the chairman.
  4. Students who receive the second and third place scholarships are eligible to win again, but may win a maximum of two times.
  5. Teachers should advise their area chairman if they do not wish for a high school student grade 9-12 to participate in the scholarship competition.

Literature Requirements


  1. Entrants must perform one of the required compositions listed in the NFMC Bulletin plus one choice composition. Choice pieces must be a standard edition of an original piece. No arrangements or simplifications.
  2. Pre-Primary and Primary I choice compositions must be at least 12 measures long. Beginning with Primary II, all choice compositions must be at least 16 measures in length.
  3. Folk songs and/or hymns are not acceptable choice pieces for Primary classes.
  4. Both pieces must represent the same level of difficulty. Specific rules regarding literature are listed in the NFMC Bulletin.
  5. Soloists must perform from memory (other than adults).
  6. Entrants MUST provide the judge with one copy of the music with the measures numbered. Failure to comply results in a mandatory markdown of the judge’s rating, i.e., a Superior will be lowered to an Excellent. Names of teachers should be deleted from the score.


  1. Festival chairmen cannot guarantee special requests for judges or scheduling. Entrants with major scheduling conflicts may request a morning or afternoon time. Special requests must be kept to a minimum. Teachers who enter more than 8 students may not request that all of the students play in the morning or afternoon.
  2. The district festivals are scheduled on different Saturdays. This is solely for the convenience of entrants who may have a legitimate conflict for the entire day of their assigned festival. AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION, the teacher may enter the student on the alternate date. Large numbers of changes from one festival to another CANNOT be accommodated.
  3. Any teacher entering three or more students in another festival district is required to work at that festival as well. Failure to fulfill this responsibility will result in the teacher being prohibited from entering students in the festival the following year.
  4. If a student must play on a different Saturday, the teacher may arrange for the student to play in the alternate festival or a district other than Gwinnett. All applications are still due by the deadline date. Additional fees may be due.
  5. High school students participating out of their normal district are NOT eligible to receive a scholarship award.
  6. The fee for non-GCMTA teachers entering an out-of-district student in a GCMTA festival is $10 per student per event. Non-GCMTA teachers should notify their own district chair as well as obtain written confirmation from the appropriate GCMTA chair that their student is being accepted and scheduled. Out-of-district students may not enter GCMTA sponsored competitions or be eligible to win cash prizes. If an individual, non-GCMTA teacher enters more than 5 students, that teacher will be asked to work a half day in the GCMTA festival or send an appropriate substitute; if entering more than 10 students, the non-GCMTA teacher will be asked to work a full day. It is the responsibility of the out-of-district teacher to notify his/her own district chair of the student results; it is not the responsibility of the GCMTA chair.

Rescheduling Procedures

When an illness or unavoidable conflict makes it impossible for a student to participate on the festival day provided, the teacher may secure permission for the student to play in another district’s festival. Students should not reschedule because they are not prepared on the date of their home festival.

  1. If playing in another district in OR out of Gwinnett, obtain permission from other district chairman and send a separate list with only the rescheduled student’s information to said chairman.
  2. The student’s name must be included on the teacher’s Jr Club Roster AND along with the registration fee, will be turned in to the teacher’s District chairman, NOT where rescheduled student is playing.  
  3. The teacher is still responsible for the student taking a completed rating sheet to the festival in which he/she is playing. Be prepared to pay additional local fees if the festival is outside Gwinnett.
  4. After the festival, but no later than 30 days, report the student’s rating to your Gwinnett district chairman.

Festival Day Procedures

  1. Entrants should arrive 15 minutes prior to scheduled time and report to registration desk.
  2. Judging is closed; parents remain in waiting area.
  3. The student will receive a rating to be recorded for national credit.
  4. The vocal or instrumental performer must provide his/her own accompanist, or a taped accompaniment as needed. Electronic equipment must be supplied by the performer.
  5. The performer must provide a keyboard for the second part when participating in the piano concerto event, if one is not available.