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POSTPONED for Fall-Date October 17th

Application Requirements

  1. Please register at mtfest.com
  2. Pay fee online through mtfest.com.  Click on Billing, then click on the $ next to the event.  Pay with Visa or Mastercard.  After payment is made, you may print a copy of the invoice for your records.  You do not need to mail anything to the Chair.  No late applications will be accepted.  All fees are non-refundable.

Levels and Times

The competition has two divisions: Violin and Lower Strings (Viola, Violoncello, String Bass, Guitar & Harp)

LevelGradeTime Limit
ElementaryGrades 6 & Under6 Minutes
IntermediateGrades 7-98 Minutes
SeniorGrades 10-1212 Minutes

Repertoire Requirements

Two works of appropriate difficulty representing different periods of music and contrasting in style and/or tempo. Music must be performed from memory.  Applicants may make their own cuts to fit the time limit.  Students will be stopped at the end of the time limit and should plan their cuts so that a substantial portion of each piece is heard by the judges.

Here is a list of repertoire used in 2014 which you may  download  as a spreadsheet for your reference:  Repertoire for Strings Achievement Awards 2014

NVMTA supports the use of published musical scores. If a photocopy must be used, the NVMTA Copyright Release Form, signed by a parent or teacher, must be submitted to the chairman by email or postmarked at least one week prior to the event. Please submit this form also for music purchased or downloaded from the internet. Students using photocopies (or anything resembling a photocopy) either for accompanists or judges, without having provided the Copyright Release Form by this deadline, may play for comments but will not be eligible to compete.


Open to violin, viola, violoncello, string bass, guitar, and harp students.  Previous first-place winners may not compete again in the same level, but may compete in a higher level.   Students must be taught lessons in person in Northern Virginia.

Teacher Guidelines

If there are any time restrictions that need to be considered in scheduling, indicate this on the application.

The student must provide an accompanist if needed.

Please provide one published score with all measures numbered, and which must not bear the student’s or teacher’s name.

Participating teachers are expected to assist the chair as needed based on the number of students enrolled, regardless of subsequent student withdrawals.  Teachers must agree to abide by the Rules for Competitive Events as well as the Teacher Responsibilities.

Any teacher who fails to carry out the assigned duties and who has not provided a substitute approved by the chairman may not enter students in that event in the following year. All parent or student questions about an event should be handled by the teacher. Teachers should never give parents or students the phone numbers or e-mail addresses of chairmen. Chairmen have no obligation to respond to parent or student inquiries.

The final decision on scheduling and related aspects of each event rests with the chairman.


In each division (Violin & Lower Strings):


Note: This competition is named in memory of Caurine Colburn Easterling (1904-1989) who was a cellist with the Arlington Symphony, a devoted teacher and cherished friend, and founding chairman of this competition.