Some outstanding soloists and small ensembles during the performances will be honored with an invitation to play at an Honors Concert for the public on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. Officially, the concert is not a part of the competition, and therefore, non-competing performers may be selected to participate.
The Honors Concert is a recognition of achievement not directly related to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places awarded during performances. Participants are those who, in addition to having great technical proficiency during their performance, set themselves apart in non-musical ways or who excelled musically in more profound ways than other performers. They are those who have the best total performance package in the opinions of the adjudicators. In many ways, the performances and Honors Concert selection process are much like job interviews. Many technically-qualified applicants will apply, but the employer will choose the one who sets himself apart in other important and promising ways.
The adjudicators will create a list of performers they recommend for the Honors Concert. This process is completely subjective. The adjudicators will be instructed to list only those performers they feel are ready to give a solid performance in front of a large audience. The goal of any concert should be to facilitate performances which the audience can respect and appreciate, whether they like the music or not, and the adjudicators will look at the total performance package of each performer when making recommendations. They may consider such things as memorization, stage presence, length of piece, and choice of literature, among other factors, and are not required to explicitly consider Total Score or Superior ranking. Performers who wish to be chosen for the concert should also consider these factors when choosing their performance piece and while practicing their presentation. Their goal should be to create the best total performance package they can, utilizing their strengths and improving in their weaknesses as much as possible. They should think about what draws them in to a performance or what turns them away. Consider these examples of what might go through an adjudicator’s mind when they evaluate performances. Assume that the technical performance of each piece is stellar:
- A pianist who chooses an audience favorite might have a greater chance at a spot in the concert, but if the piece isn’t memorized, or the stage presence is lacking, then they might be less likely to be chosen. On the other hand, a pianist who is in love with their unfamiliar piece, and who shows it, might secure themselves a spot, particularly if the piece is memorized well or they make a great connection with the audience.
- A string player who plays an unfamiliar and perhaps even boring piece with passion and enthusiasm, and who has great poise and audience rapport, might have a better chance of selection than a player who plays a familiar piece with no emotional commitment.
Adjudicators will likely each place different weight on the various performance factors when making recommendations, based on their personal taste and particular professional experience, and the Festival Committee will not micromanage the selection process. Using the recommendations, the Festival Committee will create an Honors Concert Final List, choosing from among different Brackets in every Division. If a Bracket has no participants recommended by the adjudicators, it will not be represented at the Concert.
The Honors Concert Final List will be posted at the registration desk and online around 4:30 p.m. Invitees not present to accept the invitation in person will be contacted using the contact information provided at registration. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the invitees to check the posted lists and accept or decline the invitation. All invitees must accept or decline the invitation by 4:50 p.m. Those who fail to contact the front desk in person or by using the listed phone number or email address will likely be eliminated from the concert. Alternates may be invited to perform in the Honors Concert when original Invitees decline the invitation or cannot be reached to accept the invitation.
Decisions of the Festival Committee regarding concert performers are final. Students or parents exhibiting unsportsmanlike conduct may be disqualified from further participation in Young Musicians Festivals. Festival Committee members with family members who performed solos or small ensembles will not be involved in creating the Honors Concert Final List.
People’s Choice Award
Audience members may vote for the top performance of the Honor’s Concert. All voting will be completed by ballot, on site, directly after the event. The top three winners will be recognized on the Young Musicians Festival website.