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Sponsored by the Secondary General Music Committee

Information and Entry Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Guitar and Ukulele Ensemble Festival!  Continue reading for the “Who, what, when, where and why” for this year’s festival.

Purposes: to provide Florida guitar and ukulele ensemble students and teachers with a positive performance outlet; to share ensemble literature ideas among guitar teachers; to provide an event that allows teachers to become more knowledgeable in their craft through clinician comments and contact time…all to ultimately advance the classroom experience of guitar and ukulele students throughout the State of Florida.

Date: Saturday February 29, 2020 

Location: Blake High School   1701 North Blvd.   Tampa, Florida

Application deadline: on-line application submission is due midnight, February 14th, 2020

Highlights for 2020: 

#1- Continuation of the overall organization of the event into competitive and non-competitive entry categories.  NOTE: elementary and middle schools are only eligible for non-competitive entries leaving the competitive aspects of the festival for only the high school entries. High school entries have the option to “compete” or enter “for comments only”.  Competitive high school entries will be organized into two divisions: arts schools and traditional public schools.  The clinician, Dr. Olga Amelkina-Vera, will evaluate the competitive entries using a scoring rubric and then determine a “winner” in each division (one winner among arts schools and one among traditional public schools).  “Best in Division” plaques will be given to one fine arts school and one traditional public school as the reward for highest quality performance of the festival.

#2- Dr. Olga Amelkina-Vera will present a formal classical guitar concert at 11:30am followed by a unified lunch period from 12-12:30pm. 

#3- 25 minute “private lesson” opportunities are available for students considering serious university study.  The teacher/evaluator is John Demas and the cost is $30 per student.  Lesson times are available from 9-11am and 12:30-3pm.  Directors are asked to enroll a maximum of four students per school.  The Solo Application will be found under the on-line registration process.  Information on the on-line registration process is found below.

Teacher Qualifications:  Each director must be a Florida public or private school employee and a certified member of FMEA by February 14th 2020.

Student Qualifications:

  • Guitar and/or Ukulele ensembles composed of 4-30 members each
  • Open to elementary, middle and high school levels
  • All students are enrolled in a Florida DOE assigned guitar class (or private school equivalent) or officially sponsored guitar/uke “club” at their school.
    • Middle School courses:
      • M/J Guitar 1 1301060
      • M/J Guitar 2 1301070
      • M/J Guitar 3 1301080
      • M/J Instrumental Techniques 1 1302110 (or Inst. Tech. II, III)
      • M/J Instrumental Ensemble 1 1302110 (or Inst. Ens. II, III)
    • High School courses:
      • Guitar I 1301320
      • Guitar II 1301330
      • Guitar III 1301340
      • Guitar IV 1301350
      • Instrumental Ensemble I 1302460 (or Inst. Ens. II, III, IV)
      • Instrumental Techniques 1302420 (or Inst. Tech. II, III, IV)

Entries per school:  Up to four (4) different groups can be entered from a single school.

Performance Time:  Elementary and middle school entries will perform for up to 5 minutes (1-3 pieces) followed by 10 minutes of adjudicator contact time.  Each high school entry will have up to 10 minutes of performance time (again, 1-3 pieces) followed by 20 minutes of adjudicator contact time.

Competitive Entries:  High school groups will enter for “comments-only” or in the “competitive” division.  High schools can enter different groups in both divisions…perhaps the younger group as “comments-only” and the advanced group in the “competitive” division.

Music selection criteria:  Due to the variance in curriculum and class structure, directors are to select music that is appropriate and challenging to the students in their classroom.  All students are required to perform from original parts or scores; no photocopies.

Dress Requirements:  Each director will determine the appropriate performance attire for his or her group.  Directors are encouraged to consider formal concert attire when making dress decisions.

Equipment Provided:  Chairs and music stands will be provided for each performing group.  Both performance rooms will NOT require the amplification of acoustic guitars used in performance.

Equipment to bring:  All instruments used in performance, all footrests or footstools, all amplification supplies for electric instruments, and all necessary cables, including power. 

Instrumentation requirements:  As this is designed to be a guitar and ukulele ensemble festival, only classical (nylon string), acoustic (steel string), ukuleles, and bass guitars should be used in performance.  Other instruments such as keyboards, drums and horns should not be utilized.  Special exception is granted to auxiliary percussion instruments that are specifically scored or provide stylistic realism.

Entry Fee:  $75 per elementary ensemble, $125 per middle school group and $200 per high school entry.  Solo lessons are $30 per lesson.

For additional information, please contact Ed Prasse, FMEA Coordinator of Guitar Activities, at


On-Line Registration information

For each entry from your school, you will be entering the following information:

  • School Name and other basic information (make sure contact information in your FMEA Account Info is correct)
  • Ensemble Name
  • Individual Student Names
  • Title & Composer of each piece (must be entered now, changes accepted through February 1st)
  • A PDF File of the entire score of each piece
  • Level and Division – HS only chooses between Competitive or Comments-only division
  • Scoring Rubric acknowledgement of approval
  • Preference on Scheduling 
  • Solo lesson/evaluation registration

Entry Fees

  • High School: $200 per ensemble
  • Middle School:  $125 per ensemble
  • Elementary: $75 per ensemble
  • Solo Lessons: $30 each

An invoice and application will be generated after entering online, and those should be signed and sent to the FMEA office along with a check postmarked no later than February 14th.

Pre-Festival Video

For all high school entries, a performance video of each piece must be uploaded by February 14th.  This video will be viewed by the scoring judges in advance of the February 29th festival.

Videos should be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or TeacherTube or a file sharing service such as DropBox or Google Drive.  Visibility can be set to "Unlisted" or "Anyone with the link can view."  Paste the link to those videos into your online application no later than February 14th. 

This pre-festival video upload serves two main purposes: 1) to sharpen the rehearsal and preparation process prior to the festival, and 2) the clinician will be better prepared to comment on each group after having reviewed the musical scores and watched the videos.

Guitar Festival Online Application