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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 Time Limits

Levels are determined by the average age of the ensemble team. Average age will be rounded to the higher whole number. Ensembles with an average age below 7 or over 18 must play in the festival division.

Level 1Age 7-84 minutes
Level 2Age 9-105 minutes
Level 3Age 11-126 minutes
Level 4Age 13-158 minutes
Level 5Age 16-1810 minutes

Repertoire Requirements

Any piano composition written or arranged for not more than two pianos is acceptable. Ensembles may include one piano, four hands; two pianos, four hands; one piano, six hands; or two pianos, eight hands. A movement of a sonatina, suite, etc., counts as one composition. Portions of a piece are not acceptable. For instance, all the variations of a theme and variation should be included. Partners may switch Primo/Secondo positions between compositions. A theme and variations is considered one composition and therefore partners may not switch positions between variations.  Any question regarding repertoire will be decided by the Piano Ensemble chairmen. Memorization is not required.

No more than two pieces of literature may be performed that fit the time limit for the appropriate level. Students may choose longer works, but playing times may not be exceeded. Piano Ensemble Competition registrants are required to play two selections.  Festival participants may play one or two selections.

Here is a list of NVMTA repertoire which you may use for ideas: Repertoire Ideas for Piano Ensemble Festival 

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 themselves or the judges without having provided the Copyright Release Form by this deadline, may play for comments but will not be eligible to compete. Partial photocopies may be used to facilitate page turns.


Ensembles may enter the Competition division or the Festival division, but not both.  Ensembles that play the same composition for more than one year must play a different movement at each year of entry.  Previous first place winner ensembles must enter either the next higher competitive level or the Festival division.  Individual students may participate in any number of ensemble pairs.  Students must be taught lessons in person in Northern Virginia.


All performers receive a certificate of participation and comment sheets.  In competitive divisions, first, second, third, and honorable mention ribbons may be awarded.  Awards will be announced immediately after the completion of each division.

Teacher Guidelines

No requests for special scheduling will be accepted after a date TBD of the event year.

Ensembles must either turn their own pages or provide their own page turners.

Students must bring 2 judging sheets downloaded from mtfest.com which are available after the schedule is published.  Students must provide one published score with all measures numbered, and which must not bear the student’s or teacher’s name.

All participating teachers will be required to judge or provide services based on the number of entrants.

Teachers must agree to abide by the Rules for Competitive Events  as well as the Teacher Responsibilities.