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CalASTA Bowed Strings Competition - Los Angeles Section

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The Cal-ASTA Bowed Strings Competition stimulates and encourages young people at all levels of development to study stringed instruments by providing performance, evaluation, and recognition opportunities for students of ASTA members. The three-tiered competition is open to applicants of violin, viola, cello and double bass. The Preliminary Round is held via video submission. Up to five (5) participants from each instrument/age category will advance to a live Finals Round. Winners of the Finals Round are advanced to the Bi-Annual California State Finals.

DATES, DEADLINES and FEES
LA Section Preliminary Round (Video)
  • Application and Video Submission Window: March 1, 2024 to March 31, 2024. Submission window will close at 11:59 p.m. on March 31.
  • Fee: $100.00
  • Finalist Results Announced: April 22, 2024.
LA Section Finals (Live)
  • Date: Saturday, May 25, 2024 (Reserve the entire day as there will be no schedule changes.)
  • Fee: $100
  • Location: Recital Hall, Cal State University - Fullerton
  • Commitment to Participate in the Finals must be received by April 26, 2024. Students should plan to keep the whole day open or be prepared to forfeit their participation in the finals.
  • Finals Schedule Posting: by May 5th, 2024
California State Finals
  • Date: Sunday, August 25, 2024
  • Location: La Sierra University, Riverside, CA
  • Eligibility: Entrants must have participated in their ASTA Section Competition in either 2023 or 2024 and have been declared eligible by the judges to advance to the State Competition.
  • For more detailed information about State Finals, visit https://www.calasta.org/

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE LA SECTION COMPETITION

  1. Participation is open to students of teachers who are active members of ASTA and CalASTA-Los Angeles Section.
  2. Participants’ applications must include their private teacher’s current ASTA membership email and membership expiration date to establish eligibility.
  3. Contestants may enter in one of the following Age Categories for the Los Angeles Preliminary and Finals Rounds (age as of June 1, 2024). All students MUST compete within their respective age categories: Novice: age 12 and under -- Junior I: ages 13 through 15 --  Junior II: ages 16 through 18 -- Senior: ages 19 through 25.
  4. Proof of age must be uploaded with the application. Acceptable documents include a scan of a birth certificate (certified copy or original), passport, or driver’s license.
  5. Code of Conduct agreement is required to participate in the Los Angeles Competitions. This includes Judges, Chairpersons, teachers, participants over 18, and parents or guardians of participants under 18. A .pdf copy of the CalASTA-LA Code of Conduct is available in the Resources section of this web page. Please make sure you have reviewed this document before starting your application process.
  6. Repertoire: One selection must be chosen from the standard literature and should demonstrate musicianship, tone, and technique. Repertoire must be performed from memory.
  7. Performance time limit: Eight (8) minutes for both Preliminary and Los Angeles Final Competitions. Cuts in accompaniments are allowed for the time limit but must be a part of the recorded performance as edited videos will be disqualified. If the video goes over 8 minutes, the judges will stop the video at that point without penalty. Pieces with variations may choose which variations to include.
  8. Accompaniment is required when applicable. Teachers may not perform as a participant’s accompanist, as it may compromise the competitor’s anonymity.
  9. Judges’ decisions are final.

PRELIMINARY ROUND – Los Angeles (Video)
  • Applicants will submit a video recording via Acceptd.
  • Video submissions must be filmed as one continuous recording on a single camera placed on a tripod or other steady surface.
    • Today’s phone camera videos are of a caliber that is sufficient for these recordings. It is not necessary to submit professionally engineered recordings.
    • 75% of the camera shot should be the performer from head to knees, positioned to see both hands clearly and the complete bow stroke for the entire piece.
    • No editing of video or audio is allowed. Submissions that are edited will be disqualified and no refunds given.
    • Make sure “mirror” setting is turned off.
  • Label the video submission to calastala.getacceptd.com with [Composer], [Work], [Movement].
    • Example: Haydn: Concerto in C Major, Allegro
    • DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME OR YOUR TEACHER’S NAME in the video label.
  • Instrumental Music Score Upload
    • Solo part or piano score. Orchestra scores will not be accepted.
    • Make sure your music has measure numbers at the beginning of every line. This assists the judges in being able to make specific comments if necessary. Music submitted without measure numbers may affect the critique the judges can provide.
    • Only upload the segment of music that you are performing. For example, if you are playing the third movement, only upload the music for the third movement.
  • As a part of the application, students and parents must agree to allow CalASTA-LA to share their video submission on its Facebook page as part of a presentation of winners.
  • Up to five (5) finalists will be selected per instrument division in each age category to advance to the Los Angeles Finals Round.
  • Placement awards will not be given in the Preliminary Round.
  • Judges’ comments from the Preliminary Round will be posted on Accept’d. It is the teacher’s responsibility to ask their students to share them.
  • Certificates will be awarded to each participant.
FINALS ROUND – Los Angeles (Live)
  • The Final Round of the CalASTA-LA Bowed Strings Competition will be performed live.
  • Finals participants must perform the same piece they entered in the Preliminary Round.
  • Judges will determine 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and Honorable Mention Awards.
  • First Place Winners in the Los Angeles Finals Competition in each instrument division and the appropriate age categories, will advance to the California State Competition.
  • First Place winners of the Los Angeles Finals Competition are eligible to compete in the bi-annual California State Competition (2024)
  • The judges may recommend additional highly qualified Second Place winners to advance to the California State Competition. No Third-Place awardees may be recommended for the State Finals.
  • Awards for the Los Angeles Finals Competition will be as follows: Senior—$400; Junior I—$300; Junior II—$300; Novice—$200.
  • A Special Award of a solo performance with the Cal State LA Symphony Orchestra/Olympia Youth Orchestra may be presented to a participant in the 2024 Los Angeles Finals Competition, as well as a cash prize to be determined. Performance repertoire is subject to the approval of Conductor Fung Ho.
  • The comments, certificates, and award checks from the LA Finals will be sent to teachers. It is the teacher’s responsibility to forward all comments, certificates, and award checks to their students in a timely manner!
JUDGING
  1. Two judges will be engaged for the Preliminary Rounds and three for the Los Angeles Finals Competition. 
  2. Chairpersons and participating teachers in any part of the competition may not adjudicate in any part of the competition for that year.
  3. Prior to and during the competition, each student shall be identified to the judges by number only.
  4. Judges may not see any printed recital program until after all awards have been presented.
  5. Judges are required to consider only the performance given by a competitor on that particular day. No other prior experiences, whether positive or negative, are relevant to the competition.
  6. Judges are not to write contact information, addresses, or affiliations on the Evaluation Forms.
  7. Judges will make every effort to present their evaluations in a positive and constructive manner.
  8. While the Competition Chairs will need to work with judges to help with paperwork and to answer questions about procedures, a Chair may not sit with the judges during deliberations.
  9. Questions by the judges to the Competition Chair should be of a procedural nature only. All efforts shall be made to avoid even the appearance of any inappropriate influence on the results.
  10. Contact between judges and parents/teachers/students regarding competition participation is not allowed.
  11. All judges' decisions are final.
FUTURE BOWED STRINGS COMPETITION ELIGIBILITY
  • Any winner of the Los Angeles Finals Competition who is NOT chosen to advance to the State Competition is eligible to compete the following year.
  • LA Section Finals winners who advance to the Bi-Annual State Finals may not compete in the Los Angeles Section Preliminaries again until the year following the State Finals competition. For example, the 2023 Finals winners will advance to the 2024 State Finals and will next be eligible to compete in the Los Angeles Preliminaries in 2025.
  • California State Finals First-Place winners may not compete again in the same age category they won the prize in. Since the CalASTA State Finals combines both Junior age categories into one, winners of the State Finals Junior Category may next participate in the Preliminary Round at the SENIOR level.
  • State Finals participants not winning First Place may participate again in the Los Angeles Preliminaries the year following their State Finals competition in any category for which they qualify.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Submit all inquiries directly to the LA Bowed Strings Competition Chair (bscchair@acellorondo.com)