2016 USA International Harp Competition Rules, Procedures and Regulations
The 10th USA International Harp Competition (USAIHC) will take place June 8-18, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana. It is open to harpists of all nationalities between the ages of 18 and 32. The age qualifying date is the first day of the month of the Competition, 2016. Acceptance will be based upon submitted application materials which will be reviewed by a selection committee.
The USAIHC offers automatic acceptance to the First Prize Winners in the highest division of other International Harp Competitions held since July 21, 2013, providing that the winner meets the 10th Competition's age requirement. The automatically accepted contestant will not be required to submit a DVD of the individual performing Stage I repertoire. However, the automatically accepted First Prize winner must furnish all other listed materials in the Application Procedures, including the application fee, and remains responsible for his or her transportation and other expenses.
- All works performed at the competition must be performed by memory, except for the required new solo work in Stage 3. There are no numerical score benefits accorded to a contestant who memorizes the new composition.
- Contestants draw lots to determine the order in which they will perform, presuming there is no need to adjust the sequence owing to contestant selection of their desired performance harp. Adjustments should be minimal. The order of performance will be used throughout all stages of the competition. At time of acceptance, all contestants will be notified of the date and time of the drawing, which is generally scheduled to occur during the Opening Ceremony.
- For Stages 1, 2, and 3, each contestant may choose the sequence of works to be performed.
- In Stage 3, the total performance time of each contestant's recital should not exceed 40 minutes and may be stopped by the Jury President if it does. One additional minute will be permitted for tuning the harp between pieces. If a string breaks, the Jury President will determine where the work should be restarted after string replacement.
- For stages 1, 2, and 3 audience applause will be permitted as a contestant comes on/off stage at the completion of their performance. There will be no applause between pieces.
- Harps and individual practice-room times are provided to active contestants. Participants may use their personal instruments at their own liability and cost.
- Venues will be consistently set-up for each day of a stage. This includes placement of acoustical curtains as well as placement of reserved seats for Jury members.
- Harp movers will place the performance harp on stage, so that jurors are able to see both hands of the harpist. The placement will be the same for all contestants.
- After 10 p.m. of the day of the Opening Ceremony, jurors may not have contact with an active contestant. This precludes attendance at practice sessions, email, text messages, a Facebook comment, phone conversations and any piano or orchestral rehearsal for the final stage.
- The results of the first three stages will be posted on the wall near the Competition Office, on the USAIHC website and on Facebook.
- The announcement of all performance prize winners will take place during the Closing ceremony immediately following Jury deliberations after the final stage performances.
- Applicable deductions shall be withheld from the gross amount of prize payments as required by law. If a deduction or withholding is required, the amount shall be remitted to the appropriate governmental authority within the required time and documentation shall be furnished to the prize winner to support a claim for any entitled tax credit. Import taxes may be applicable for the winner of the Lyon & Healy harp.
General Jury Rules and Procedures
The Jury will consist of internationally recognized harpists, teachers and musicians. All decisions of the Jury are final. The Jury is chaired by a President whose role is to direct the overall conduct and operation of the Jury and to assure that the Jury adheres to all Competition rules and procedures.
- All stages of the competition are open to the public and take place on an open stage without a screen.
- All members of the Jury must be present for all stages and deliberations during the competition.
- Prior to Stage 1, jurors must submit a Conflict Of Interest Disclosure Form identifying contestants whom they have taught at any time during the three years before the Competition start date.
- Jurors may not vote for or take part in any discussion about a contestant who is currently studying with them or who has studied with them in the past 3 years.. In the case of master classes, jurors must recuse themselves if they believe a student/teacher relationship was/has been established.
- Jurors are to avoid contact with active contestants during the Competition, as the impression could be given that a contestant is receiving special treatment or advice. The only exception to the contact restriction is a health emergency requiring assistance from a medical professional.
- There is to be no conversation between jurors, including positive or negative comments, in the performance venue during a stage.
- Jurors are required to avoid talking about active contestants and discussing their performances among themselves at all times.
- Specific time during the Competition will be set aside for the Jury to meet with contestants who are no longer active to share performance insights and to answer questions.
- Questions from an active contestant to the Jury should be directed to the Executive Director, who will then speak to the Jury on the contestant's behalf.
- All contestants shall be regarded as young artists of concert standard capable of attaining international stature.
- Contestants' performances are to be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Artistic presentation
- In Stages 1, 2 each juror will award each contestant a single numerical score using the following scale:
- Excellent 21-25
- Very Good 16-20
- Good 11-15
- Poor 0-10
- In Stage 3 each juror will award a contestant a single numerical score using the following scale:
- Excellent 21-25
- Very Good 16-20
- In Stage 4 each juror will award a contestant a single numerical score using the following scale:
- Excellent 21-25
- Performances in Stage 2 and Stage 3 are evaluated independently.
- Jurors are to write a short interpretation of the point score on their evaluation form.
- Scoring by the jury will be confidential at all times. Except in extreme cases, there will be no discussion by the Jury of points awarded to active contestants. Results relative to contestants moving forward to the next stage will be conveyed to all based on anticipated playing sequence in the next stage and not on performance score ranking.
- After each stage, jurors must submit their completed evaluation forms to the Jury Assistant. Jurors will abstain from judging participants who are or have been their students at any time during the three years immediately prior to the Competition. Jurors are to turn in blank evaluation forms for contestants whom they have taught.
- Jurors may adjust their scores at any time during a given stage. Points may not be changed once the stage's evaluation scores have been tabulated.
- The average score of each contestant will be calculated by the Executive Director and a non-harpist member of the USAIHC Board of Directors. Only the Executive Director, non-harpist member of the USAIHC Board of Directors assisting with tallying results and the Jury President are permitted to view the evaluation forms and summary point totals of the jurors.
- For Stage 1, 2 and 3, the contestants with the highest average scores will advance.
- No more than 50% of Stage 1 contestants may advance to the second stage.
- No more than eight contestants may advance from Stage 2, to the semi-finals, Stage 3.
- The three contestants with the highest average scores in the third stage will advance to the fourth and final stage.
- Any of the three finalists may be eliminated from the final stage if they have not adequately prepared the required repertoire, which includes memorization of the Stage 4 required repertoire. In such a case, the contestant with the next highest score in the third stage will advance to the fourth stage. Piano rehearsal with the conductor will be monitored by an harpist-member of the USAIHC Board of Directors to determine if such a situation exists.
- In the final stage, the Competition winner is determined based on overall performance of the four stages. In the final stage, each juror awards a single numerical score between 21 and 25 (inclusive) to a contestant. Stage 4 Jury scores are totaled and averaged, as in Stages 1, 2 and 3. The average scores from the four stages are then summed for each contestant resulting in an overall Competition value. The First Prize goes to the contestant who has the largest summed total. Second Prize goes to the next highest summed score. In the event of a tie, the Jury President will cast the deciding vote.
- Prizes will be awarded for first through eighth place. The order of finish for fourth through eighth place will be determined by the average scores from Stage 3.
- Special prizes awarded for the best performance of particular works will be determined by majority vote of the jurors. Majority means more than half (e.g., greater than 50.0%). Voting will occur during the applicable performance stage after placement votes have been processed. All contestants who performed the particular work will be eligible for consideration. Each juror indicates the name of his/her candidate as the winner on the ballot. The Program Director and a non-harpist member of the USAIHC Board of Directors collect and tabulate the ballots. The prize goes to the contestants with the highest votes that when combined represent a majority of the votes are placed in "nomination" for the second round of voting. If there are only two contestants being considered and the vote results in a tie, the Jury President will cast the deciding vote.
- The Jury will award all prizes and there will be no ties. Note: If the order of finish for fourth through eighth has a tie situation, Jury members will vote by name for the highest prize for the tied contestants. Majority vote will determine prize position.
- No jurors will be allowed to see the evaluation forms of other jurors.
- Jury deliberations are to be regarded as confidential during and after the Competition.
- The decisions of the Jury are final.