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FAQs

Please find a list of help and support questions below. If you are looking for an answer to a question not outlined below, please contact us.

BEFORE THE FESTIVAL

Can I pay for my entries with a credit card?

When you register online, you can pay via PayPal or payment card.

Can I enter if I haven’t got access to a computer?
Entries can still be made using a paper entry form. Cheques should be made payable to the Stratford and East London Music Festival. If you have any problems or queries, please contact entries.selmf@gmail.com.

Will there be an accompanist available?

The availability of the official accompanists is subject to competitors stating on their entry form that they require this service. There will be an additional fee and this should be paid at the same time as the entry fee. It is generally possible to have a rehearsal in the period before the actual competitions or to have a short run-through in the hour preceding the class. Most music can be handed to the accompanist on the day of the competition. More advanced pieces (eg Lieder, Recital, Grade 5 and above) should be sent to the accompanist in advance. Please contact your convenor for more information. ​​

Can I bring my own accompanist?

You can use your own accompanist if you would like to. You will still need to bring a copy of your music to hand to the adjudicator.

Can I use a backing track to sing along to or do I have to use an accompanist?

It is not a problem if you would prefer to use a backing track for your performance. However, you would need to bring your own system as there is not always equipment available to play a backing track on. If this is something you wish to do, please inform the convenor in advance.

Can I put in a request for particular classes to be held (or not held) on a certain day?
Timetables for each class are not finalised until we have received and processed all the entries after the closing date. Unfortunately we can make no guarantees about particular days for any class, beyond the broad dates for each category which have already been specified.

When will I be told the dates and times of my class?

You will be notified approx. 10  days before the festival starts of the exact dates and times for your classes.

If I was a winner at last year’s festival, will there be classes that I won’t be able to enter this year?

Solo competitors may not enter a class if, for three consecutive years, they have been the winner of that class. Other than that, you can re-enter the same class.

Can I enter as many classes as I want?
As long as you fulfil the entry criteria, you can enter as many classes as you like. However, with a couple of exceptions, you may not enter the same piece in more than one class.

Is there a maximum age to enter the festival?

Where age limits apply, age limits refer to the competitor’s age on 1 September of the year prior to the festival. For a group or duet, the age of the oldest performer would count. There is no age limit for open classes. 

Is there a minimum age to enter the festival?
There is no minimum age to enter the festival.

Are there practice rooms available to warm up in?
There will not be a practice room available for the choir competitions at St Mary’s Church, but there will be rooms available at Redbridge Music Service. These are limited in number, so you may only have a short time.


ON THE DAY​

What do I need to bring with me? 

You must bring a copy of the music or written material that you are going to perform to hand to the official adjudicator - even if you are performing from memory. Original copies will be returned to you after the class, but we are obliged to keep and destroy photocopies.

Can my parents/ supporters watch me?
Parents and supporters are very welcome to come and watch any of the classes. Spectators are required to pay a small admission fee. NB Competitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Can I enter on the day?
Unfortunately you will not be able to enter on the day.

Can photographs or recordings of my performance be taken at the festival?

Due to copyright, no video footage or photographs can be taken of the competitors during their performances. Photographs of the winning competitor will be taken after the event and may be posted on our website and social media channels.

Who do I contact if there is an emergency on the day?
Please contact the Matthew Taylor on 07484 648005 if you have any problems during the festival.​ 
 
Will I be able to keep any cups that I win?
You will be able to keep any cups that you win for one year. They are the property of the Stratford & East London Music Festival and will need to be returned in January, ready for the next competition. NB You can keep medals though.

Can I get my cup engraved?

You can have your cup engraved at your own cost. However, please don't leave this until just before the cup is due to be returned.
 
Do I get a refund if I can’t get to the festival (transport strikes, etc)?
Unfortunately there will be no refunds for any reason.
 

AFTER THE FESTIVAL

When do I need to return my cup?
You will receive an email from the Cup Secretary with details of when and where to return your cup. For any cup related questions, please contact cups.selmf@gmail.com.

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