Program Regulations

Please note:  The Music Alive - FALL 2021 Education Edition will be both Virtual & In-Person.  The sections and details which appear below do not apply. 

Section 1 - Eligibility

1.i Music Alive applications are open to the following:

a.   all students and music directors, (including generalist teachers in elementary schools), as well as school ensembles and soloists operating within York Region, including York Region District School Board, York Catholic District School Board, and York Region private schools; and

b.  all community bands, orchestras, choral ensembles and individual musicians in York Region.

1.ii Application to the Program must be made through the Music Alive website

1.iii Participation from outside York Region is also permitted on a case-by-case basis, particularly when groups are interested in obtaining an invitation to the Musicfest Canada National Virtual Finals 2021.  Application to the Program must be made through the Music Alive website  Please note however, that the application process for entry into MusicFest Canada will be different for 2021.

Section 2 – Session Dates and Times

2.i Program Dates - the program runs for 16 weeks from Monday, January 18, 2021 to Friday, May 7, 2021.

Each individual program session is one hour in length.

2.ii Session Times - all sessions must occur during a regular school day; however, the scheduling of the mutually convenient exact date and time for the session will be determined by the applicant/music director in direct consultation with the guest artist.    

2.iii Deadline for Entries - Friday, April 30, 2021.

2.iv Once payment in the form of a cheque for a program session has been received in the Character Community Office, the contact information for the guest artist will be communicated to the applicant/music director, and the applicant may, at that time, contact the guest artist to arrange a mutually convenient date and time for the Program session.  

The guidelines in the following Sections 3 and 4 only apply if the applicant/applicants wish to be considered/recommended for MusicFest Canada 2021, Virtual Nationals .  

Section 3 - Adjudication, Awards and Placement

3.i Music Alive is intended as a valuable learning experience for both students and teachers. While the Program is essentially non-competitive, ratings will be awarded in all classes. Gold, Silver Plus, Silver, or Bronze awards will be given to participants who indicate on the entry form, that they wish to be evaluated in this manner. No indication of Awards or Placements will be announced at Program Sessions. (Note:  to emphasize, this is applicable only for those ensembles requesting a MusicFest recommendation for the 2021 Virtual Nationals)

3.ii All other participants will be treated as “non-competitive” and comments only will be offered after their performance. Each soloist/ensemble will receive a written adjudication, a certificate and (when time permits) a brief workshop with the adjudicator/clinician. (Not applicable for 2021)

3.iii Performers should recognize that they are not competing against one another especially since many sessions are organized generically rather than by class. Adjudicators have been directed to measure proficiency against a standard as outlined on the Adjudication Rubric. (Applicable only for MusicFest recommendation, 2021)

Section 4 – MusicFest National Finals

PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines are important for those participants who intend to use a Music Alive Gold or Silver Plus standard to go on to the MusicFest National Finals. (Note: MusicFest may only offer Virtual for 2021)

Before considering participation in the MusicFest National Finals directors should consult the MusicFest guidelines – Presentation and Performance at

Invitations to the MusicFest National Finals will be presented to Music Alive participants who meet the following criteria.

4.i Participants must have achieved a Gold or Silver Plus in the 2020 Music Alive Program.

4.ii Participants must complete the “MusicFest Referral Section” which is integrated into the application process.  (Note: This may have a different process for 2021 - details are currently under review.)

4.iii To be considered for an Invitation to the MusicFest Virtual 2021 National Finals:

  • Concert Bands must perform at least one selection FROM THE MusicFest REPERTOIRE LIST and at the level they intend to enter in the MusicFest National Finals. Repertoire lists on the MusicFest Syllabus can be found at
  • Concert Bands classes are determined by repertoire selection.
  • Choirs and Jazz Choirs must perform two contrasting selections.
  • Jazz Bands must perform two contrasting selections.
  • String Ensembles and Full Orchestras must perform two contrasting selections. Pop music is discouraged.

Section 5 – Scheduling, Payment of Entry Fees

5.i YRDSB entries will not be scheduled on Significant Faith Days as indicated on the Board’s Multi Faith Calendar. 

5.ii YCDSB Entries will not be scheduled during holy days/holidays.

5.iii Program sessions will not be cancelled in the event of a labour dispute, or work-to-rule; however, due to Covid-19, an alternate date and time will be rescheduled in case of unexpected changes in Music Alive, 2021 Virtual Edition.  

5.iv Payment by cheque, payable to Character Community York Region, must be forwarded to their office at Character Community York Region, 17250 Yonge Street, Newmarket, ON L3Y 6Z1 as soon as possible after the applicant has registered. Payment must be accompanied by a copy of the application invoice which can be downloaded from the Music Alive website, under the applicant's profile. 

5.v Arrangements for the Program sessions will not move forward until payment has been received. Once Character Community has received payment, the applicant will receive a confirmation email from, which will include the contact details of the guest performer.  All performance dates and times will then be arranged between the applicant and the guest artist.  

Section 6 – Cancellation and Refunds

6.i Due to on-going uncertainty and unexpected changes, cancellations or changes will be negotiated between the registration client and guest artist, encouraging that the session(s) be re-scheduled. If and when a session is re-scheduled, please advise Music Alive.  

6.ii Refund requests with Music Alive will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

6iii In addition to communicating with the guest artist, Changes and / or Cancellations should be made by email to

The guidelines in the following Section 7 only apply if the applicant/applicants wish to be considered/recommended for MusicFest Canada 2021, Virtual Nationals.  

Section 7 – General Information Applicable only to MusicFest recommendations, for 2021

7.i One original copy of each selection of music is required for adjudication/workshop purposes. Under provisions of the COPYRIGHT ACT, the photocopying of music is illegal unless permission of the publisher is given in writing. Photocopying of copyright music for the purpose of performance is illegal. No photocopies, computer-generated copies or copy derived from computer programs will be allowed in this Program in any case whatsoever, unless written legal authorization from the publisher is presented.

7.ii Music Alive reserves the right to disqualify any competitor presenting a photocopy, computer-generated copy or copy derived from computer programs.

7.iii  Teachers, students, guest artists / adjudicators, and administrators participating in any virtual session, Please note:  The Music Alive 2021 Edition requires that all partners follow the virtual / on-line learning guidelines and policies as outlined by the Ministry of Education, Government of Ontario. In order to protect all participants, no portion of any virtual session will be recorded.  Only the school applicant can host a virtual session.  Guest Artists are not permitted to host a Music Alive Session.  Guest Artists must follow the direction of the teacher-at-school with each and every arranged / organized session of Music Alive, 2021.

7.iv Photography or audio or video at any Music Alive 2021 virtual session is not permitted. No photography, no audio or video recording of any kind is permitted for commercial purposes.

7.v No photography or videotaping is allowed of competitors or Adjudicators without their express permission. These rules are designed to preserve the concentration of the performer and the Adjudicator and to protect their rights under FOIPOP. ALL COMMUNICATION DEVICES MUST FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES AND POLICIES OF THE SCHOOL.

Music Alive 2021 Fall Edition Program Information

Important! Please read the following information regarding the Music Alive program.

MusicFest National

MusicFest Syllabus

Information for Ensemble Directors: Musicfest Concert Band and Jazz Band Repertoire Lists