What is the philosophy of how groups are judged and rated?

An important aspect of Long Island Music Festivals is our philosophy about what the adjudication component should provide for music students. In both the judge’s comments and in their clinic sessions, their feedback is geared to provide a positive educational experience with constructive criticism presented in a positive, encouraging way.

How do you compare with NYSSMA?

The Long Island Music Festival is similar to NYSSMA in that there is an adjudication component, with several musical selections performed before judges who provide written and oral comments about the performance, along with a final ensemble rating. It differs from NYSSMA in the several ways: a clinic session follows each performance, with one of the judges working with a group to focus and expand on a particular aspect of the ensemble’s presentation; festival trophies and rating ribbons are awarded; and finally a recreational activity follows the adjudication component.

What is your evaluation process?

The judges score each selection performed on the basis of several categories: technique, musicality, intonation and rhythm, and overall tone quality. The scores are combined to calculate a total score that corresponds to one of the final ratings: very good, excellent, or superior.

What are the qualifications of the staff who present the Long Island Music Festivals?

The director of Long Island Music Festival LLC is a Long Island middle and high school orchestra teacher, who has been active as an orchestra chair for the Suffolk County Music Educators Association (SCMEA) and vice-president of the Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA). In addition, he served for 13 years as general manager for Colden Center for the Performing Arts at Queens College, presenting and running a variety of student and professional musical and theatrical productions. Additional staff has six years of experience planning and running arts-in-education programs at the elementary level. Information about judges can be found on the Judges page of our website.

What are the qualifications of your judges?

Please visit the website Judges page for more information about our festival judges.

Do you take into account the calendars of other musical organizations on Long Island?

Our festivals take place after the NYSSMA, NMEA, SCMEA, and LISFA festivals.

Do you take into account NY state testing schedules?

We do our best to keep testing in mind, but due to the increasing number of NY state assessments, it is not always possible to find dates without conflicts that will still work with performance venue schedules and recreational activities that take place outdoors.

What happens if testing or district schedules change – can we change our festival date or get a refund?

We understand that there are sometimes schedule changes beyond your control. If this occurs, we will try to accommodate your group with another festival date. If that is not possible, ensembles can cancel before the 90 day, 50% deposit has been paid.

What grade levels can attend the festivals?

Elementary, middle school, and high school ensembles are all welcome.

Is there a minimum number of students needed to register an ensemble?

The minimum number is 25.

If some students belong to more than one participating ensemble, can they perform in more than one ensemble on our festival day?

As long as your performance schedule permits, and provided that doubling up of students doesn’t drop an ensemble’s numbers below our minimum of twenty five. Please let us know at registration time if your school is registering multiple ensembles and you anticipate this situation arising.

What pieces should be prepared?

Two selections should be prepared for the festival  – pieces are the director’s choice and need not be listed in the NYSSMA manual.

Are risers and piano provided for choral groups?

Yes, those items will be provided at the performance venue.

Where is the performance venue?

Performance venues will be announced later in the year. They will be within reasonable driving distance of your recreational activity. Our venues are chosen to provide safe and attractive performance facilities that are conducive to musical presentations. As an example, our recent festivals were held in the Van Nostrand Theater on Suffolk Community College’s Grant campus.

What large instruments will be provided for instrumental groups?

Large percussion instruments like timpani, xylophone, concert bells and bass drum will be provided. Contact us if you have additional instruments that are required, as others may be available at your performance venue.

Should I arrange school-wide participation?

That is not necessary, but certainly will be welcome as the festival schedule permits! Planning and arrangements may be easier if multiple groups attend from your school.

How are trips to the Long Island Music Festival funded?

Although some school districts are able to cover the costs of an ensemble’s attendance, in most districts the fees are paid directly by parents, or in combination with fund raising activities. Teachers should keep in mind transportation costs to the performance and recreational venues. A transportation alternative that some groups have utilized is to carpool with the help of parents, rather than booking school bus service, which can provide a reduction in costs.

What is the festival fee payment schedule?

25% of the total due for an ensemble should be paid 90 days before the festival date, based on the estimated number of students attending. Upon receipt of the 50% payment, your performance time will be scheduled. The remaining 50% is due 30 days before the festival date. Adjustments can be made any time up to the festival date when students are added.

When are exact performance times scheduled?

Performance times are scheduled when we get confirmation of your attendance, in the form of your festival payment deposit.

What forms of payment are acceptable?

Payment may be in the form of a check or via PayPal. Please note that PayPal payments will require the addition of PayPal’s 3% processing fee.