All entry and queries regarding entry must be addressed to the appropriate Competitor’s Secretary, as set out at the front of this syllabus. Please do not telephone after 8pm.  If you need to telephone after that time, please leave a message and somebody will get back to you the following day.

Choirs and instrumentalists who require a ‘warm–up’ room should notify the appropriate Competitors’ Secretary, who will endeavour to obtain one, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Competitors may use any available edition of the set pieces listed. The appropriate Competitors’ Secretary will be pleased to assist any competitor having difficulty in obtaining a set piece.

  1. Entries
    1. Entries must be made via the official web site. The entry must be fully complete and the correct entry fee paid, on or before 29th February 2020.
    2. Late entries will be accepted, at the discretion of the Competitor’s Secretary, on payment of a 10% administrative charge, to be paid with the entry fee. Incomplete entries will not be accepted.
    3. No entry shall be valid unless accompanied by the appropriate entry fee paid on-line or, at the discretion of the Executive Committee by cheque payable to ‘Buxton MSD Festival’.
    4. In all classes where an age limit is stipulated, each competitor must be within the age specified on the date when the relevant class takes place.
    5. The Executive Committee reserves the right to refuse any entry, without giving a reason.
    6. No solo competitor shall be allowed to take part more than once in any one class.
    7. The Executive Committee reserves the right to cancel any class, if they deem insufficient entries have been received. Should this be the case, the appropriate entry fees will be refunded.
    8. Competitors who drop out before the performance or fail to turn up on the day, in time for their class, will not be entitled to a refund of their entry fee.
    9. Every effort will be made to timetable the classes so that competitors can move between venues. In the exceptional cases where this is not possible, competitors will be notified as far in advance as possible and the appropriate entry fees will be refunded.
    10. NC Classes are NOT competitive; feedback will be given but no marks or grades will be awarded.
    11. Whilst certificates will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, trophies and/or medals may be withheld if, in the opinion of the adjudicator, the standard of performance does not merit presentation. The adjudicator’s decision shall be final.
    12. The Executive Committee reserves the right to appoint additional or alternative adjudicators in any class without prior notice.
    13. Competitor’s tickets will only admit them to the competition(s) in which they are taking part, and to those parts of the venue reserved for the competition. They must be produced when demanded and are not transferable.
    14. Teachers with school choirs, and competitors’ own accompanists, will be admitted free. Parents and chaperones must pay for admission. Children and students are admitted free.
    15. The use of any photographic, video or sound recording equipment during performances is strictly prohibited, as part of our child protection policy. This includes recording on mobile phones and Dictaphones.
    16. Completing the entry form will be taken to signify that adult competitors, parents/guardians and/or teachers (as appropriate)
      1. have read these Rules, including the Child Protection Policy and agree to abide by the terms stated therein, and
      2. will ensure that anybody accompanying them on the day has been informed of the “no-recording” policy.
  1. Own Choice Classes
    1. Own Choice Class entries will not be accepted without a declaration of the own choice piece, made on the entry form.
    2. Own Choice Class (including Recital Classes) competitors shall not choose test pieces given in the syllabus for other classes and must abide by their choice, as stated in the Festival programme. Should competitors present with a different piece to that on the entry form, the adjudicator will have the discretion either not to hear the piece, or to award feedback but no competition marks or grades.
    3. Competitors shall not use the same own choice piece in more than one class.
    4. If an official accompanist is required, one copy of the music must be received by Kathryn Howson by the date in Rule 1.1.
    5. No entries will be accepted without details of the pieces to be performed.
    6. One original copy of each piece (except for set pieces) must be provided to the adjudicator on the day of the class. A complete photocopy of a musical piece to be performed may be sent for the use of the official accompanist, in accordance with Rule 2.
    7. Own choice pieces shall not exceed five minutes duration per piece, except where otherwise permitted for that class.
  2. Recital Classes – 308 316 500
    1. There must be a minimum number of 3 entrants for the classes to proceed.
    2. Each entrant will be required to sing/play a varied programme, not exceeding 15 minutes duration.
    3. This class will be limited to 8 entrants. All performances will be adjudicated.
    4. The Executive Committee reserves the right to cancel any recital Class if insufficient entries are received. Should a class be cancelled, competitors will be notified as far in advance as possible and the appropriate entry fee will be refunded.
    5. The Executive Committee shall decide the order of performances where several classes are run together.
  3. Musical theatre.
    1. Class 234 is for musical theatre, up to age 14 years.
    2. Costume and music will be acceptable in this class only.
    3. Changing facilities for musical theatre competitors are limited. It is the responsibility of parents/teachers/carers to ensure that children changing are adequately supervised.
  4. Own Choice Music
    1. To all teachers and entrants requiring an official accompanist. To assist our excellent accompanists in their preparation and in giving their best support to all performers, we ask you to co-operate with the following:
      1. The accompanist’s copy of your music must arrive as soon as possible or at the latest by 14th March 2020. Please send your music to Kathryn Howson, address at the front of the syllabus.
      2. If the music for your accompanist arrives after this date, it will be sent to the accompanist but the accompanist may refuse to play for you. The accompanist’s decision on this matter will be final.
    2. Please do not send the music direct to the official accompanist. We schedule their availability based on the music that is sent to us. If we do not receive your music, we will assume that you will not require the official accompanist and you may find they are not available to play for you.
    3. You should send a photocopy, rather than the original, to ensure it is not lost in the post but:
      1. one original copy must be available for the adjudicator on the day of the Festival and,
      2. the print must be clear and fully show both ends of the stave including all time signatures, key signatures etc.
      3. the pages must be sellotaped together, edge on, in page order. No staples, please. Scotch/magic/invisible tape is best. Use 3 pieces on the back, at the top, middle and bottom (like hinges), rather than all the way down the back, which makes it unwieldy.
      4. please put your name, and class number clearly on the front of the music, and title/composer, if it not immediately obvious (eg if you are doing the middle movement).
      5. please ensure that the correct tempo is shown, if it is not immediately obvious from the music.
  1. Electronic equipment, backing tracks and setting up
    1. If you are bringing your own electronic equipment, and/or need time to set up your instruments/choir/ensemble, please let us know in advance, indicating how much time you need. This will enable us to factor your requirements into our programme schedule.
    2. Please note that although our venues do have sound systems we do need to know in advance if you need to use them as they take some organisation.  If you require amplification, electronic leads etc, it is often safer to bring your own. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet your requirements on the day if we have not been warned of what you need (eg CD player, USB connector or suitable connector to your system).
  2. Copyright, Photocopies & Downloading

Music: Copies of own choice works for the adjudicator

  1. Published music is subject to Copyright law.
  2. In the Music Publishers Association Code Of Fair Practice Agreed Between Composers, Publishers And Users Of Printed Music, (revised edition April 2016),

Adjudicator or Examiner Copy: A person performing a work in front of an examiner or adjudicator may make one copy per examiner/adjudicator provided that the participant or candidate has already purchased his/her own copy and that the copy/copies made is/are retained and destroyed by the adjudicator(s) or examiner(s) immediately after the event. Each copy must be marked with the following: ‘Adjudicator/examiner copy. Destroy after use’.’

We recommend that the photocopy be sent to Kathryn Howson, for onward transmission to the official accompanist (this must include the whole of the music including time signatures and key signatures and must be in a playable condition) and the original; given to the adjudicator on the day.

  1. Competitors are advised that the above permission applies only to copyright holders who are members of The Music Publishers Association (the Code of Fair Practice leaflet is obtainable from the Association at 8th Floor, Two Pancras Square, London N1C 4AG) or online at:


  1. It is the competitor’s own responsibility to ensure that they seek permission to copy direct from any copyright holder whose name does not appear in the MPA list.
  2. Downloaded music may be used only in the following circumstances – most official sources will have a note that the use of music downloaded from their site is permitted. If such permission appears, the competitor should also print off and submit with their entry the permission statement that accompanies the music.
  3. All performers using music from shows in current production are subject to copyright law. Songs from shows in current production may be sung as a concert item, i.e. with no costume or movement, without need for copyright permission. Where movement or costume is included in a performance copyright permission is required and the Festival Committee accepts these entries on the basis that the appropriate copyright permission has been sought.
  4. Performers or teachers with queries on how to obtain copyright permission for performance items should contact Festivals House on:

01625 428297/611578, or


before making their entries.

  1. Speech and Drama: Copyright Rules.
    1. Buxton Festival is covered for copyright of ‘Own Choice’ poetry, prose or dramatic monologues under the terms of the paragraph below, and entrants need not contact publishers for permission to perform any item that falls within in these categories.

Having entered into an agreement with the Authors’ Licensing and Collection Society to cover copyright on all works performed, we have included 5p in the entry fee charged for speech and drama classes to cover this. Competitors and teachers will wish to know that this 5p fee is being levied at all Speech and Drama Festivals affiliated to the British Federation of Festivals across the UK, and that our living authors will be directly reimbursed for the performance of their works as a result of this.”

  1. Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy

The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech works for amateur festivals everywhere to help create thousands of educational performance opportunities for children and young people each year.

The Federation, and our member Festivals, are committed to ensuring safe environments for children, young people and vulnerable adults. We believe that it is always unacceptable for a child, young person or vulnerable adult to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults, by a commitment to recommend best practice which protects them.

This policy applies to our Board of Trustees, paid staff, adjudicator members, volunteers, students or anyone working on behalf of the Federation and our member Festivals.

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child/young person/vulnerable adult is paramount;
  • everybody, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, has the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • working in partnership with children, young people, vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting their welfare.

The purpose of the policy is:

  • to provide protection for the children, young people and vulnerable adults, who participate in our festivals, including those associated with festival members
  • to provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child, young person or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm

We will seek to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • adopting appropriate protection guidelines through procedures and safe working practice for staff and volunteers
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • sharing information about protection and safe working practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents, carers, and children appropriately
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training

The Federation will review this policy each year in November in line with Safe Network guidance or sooner in light of any changes in legislation or guidance. All changes will be communicated to our member Festivals in time for the start of the new Festival year.

    1. Creating Safer Festivals For Everyone

The Federation and its member Festivals use the following policies and procedures to create Safer Festivals for Everyone:

    1. A single, definitive Child Protection Policy adopted by all Federation Festivals.
    2. One or more designated Festival Safeguarding Officers (FSO) appointed for each Federation Festival. Name: Elizabeth Haggis Phone: 07776 254013
    3. Best practice advice in the form of Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection leaflets, with support and training for all Festival staff and volunteers, including clear reporting procedures for anyone with a concern about a child.
    4. Appropriate recruitment and induction procedures for all new Festival staff and volunteers responsible for providing safe environments for everyone attending/performing at a Federation Festival.
    5. All Festival personnel wear an official Festival badge, and those in overall charge of performance areas will bear a large, clearly identifiable badge.
    6. All teachers/parents/guardians /carers are asked to report all incidents of any nature to anyone wearing a badge. All reported incidents will be handled in accordance with the Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection best practice advice. In addition, we will ensure the availability of a quiet area/room where concerns can be expressed in private.
    7. For the duration of a Festival all teachers/parents/guardians/carers are responsible for the continuous care and supervision of their own children/pupils. If they are unable to attend personally, they must delegate their responsibilities to an identified adult and ensure that their children/pupils are aware of the identity and name of the person responsible for their care.
    8. This includes supervision throughout all Festival venues, practice and changing areas that may be provided. The Festival Committee and volunteers cannot act in loco parentis.
    9. The Festival cannot take responsibility for any property left unattended.
    10. No unauthorised photography, audio or video recording of children and young people is allowed in the performance areas at our Festivals. Where parents/guardians/carers do not wish photos to be taken at all, then the responsible adult attending should ensure that their child is not included in official photos.
    11. Some children and vulnerable adults may have specific needs in order to take part. If this is the case, we ask the responsible teachers/parents/guardians/carers to contact the Festival Secretary prior to arrival. The Festival actively seeks wherever possible to meet these needs, but must know beforehand in order to prepare support – or to advise that help cannot be provided on this occasion.
    12. The Festival’s Child Protection Policy and approach to Creating Safer Festivals for Everyone is published explicitly in our Syllabus and Programme. By completing and the on-line entry form all parents/guardians/carers and teachers of entrants under 18 (or vulnerable adults of any age) confirm that they give (or have obtained) the necessary consents for the entrants to take part in the Festival.
    13. Without consent the entry to the Festival cannot be accepted.