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International Sacred Music Choir Festival


Competition & Concerts - Fiuggi (Rome), Italy
Competition Rules / Conditions of entry

Addressed to male, female, mixed, youth and children choirs, the competition will take place in Fiuggi, a charming small town in the green countryside, an hour east-southeast of Rome. Comprehends categories with and without compulsory piece; a repertoire of exclusively sacred a-cappella music must be presented including at least one piece of G.P. da Palestrina, one piece from the XIX. century and one contemporary piece composed after 1920.


Competition regulations

1. Classification

There are two classes of entry - A (with set work) and B (without set work) - depending on the degree of difficulty. A higher artistic level is demanded in class A. Choirs may enter for either Class A or Class B at their discretion, subject to approval by the jury.

2. Categories

Each class is subdivided into the following categories:

Classe A Classe B
(with set work) (without set work)
category AX: mixed choirs category BX: mixed choirs
category AF: women's choirs category BF: women's choirs
category AM: men's choirs category BM: men's choirs

Men and women of mixed choirs may also enter simultaneously in the categories for the men's and women's choirs. All choirs can sing in more than one category only if their number of singers and musical programme are radically divers. The order of performance within each category will be drawn by lots.

3. Repertoire

For all categories each choir must perform a minimum of 3 original church and/or liturgical a cappella choir compositions from the following periods:
a) one classical vocal polyphonic work by G.P. da Palestrina (for class A set work, for class B at choir’s choice)
b) one 19th century Romantic choir work (for both classes at choir’s choice)
c) a contemporary choir work composed since 1920 (only authentic pieces) (for both classes at choir’s choice)

For the categories in class A, the Palestrina set work will be chosen by the jury. The other works can be chosen freely from the periods indicated above and should possibly include one work from the choir’s country of origin.
For the categories in class B, the Palestrina work is chosen by the choir, as are the works of the other two periods indicated above. Here again, the program should possibly include one work from the choir's country of origin.

No instrumental accompaniment of any kind is permitted.

Each performance must last for a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 20 minutes. This does not refer to each single work but to the whole performance from the beginning of the first to the end of the last work.

4. Set works

The set works are:

Class A
Category AX (mixed choirs):
G.P. da Palestrina, "O Magnum Mysterium", motet for 6 voices

Category AF (women's choirs):
G.P. da Palestrina, "Salve Regina", Marian Antiphon for 4 voices

Category AM (men's choirs):
G.P. da Palestrina, "Incipit Oratio Jeremiae Prophetae", motet for 4 voices

Class B
All the categories are without set work.

Works may be pitched up to a maximum of a minor third higher or lower, on the choir’s request.

If the choirs had difficulty in getting the scores of the set works, help could have been requested at the Permanent Competition Secretariat.

5. Admission

The Artistic Direction will decide on admissions to the competition. Once the musical program to be performed at the competition has been submitted and approved by the Artistic Direction, it cannot be changed. Documents handed in won’t be returned.

6. Jury

The jury's decision is final. The deliberations of the jury are held behind closed doors. No appeals through the courts may be made. The deliberations of the jury are not public. After the prizes have been awarded, the choirmasters may consult the members of the jury. All the events in the competition are held in public.

7. Assessment criteria

a) Technique:
intonation, breathing, diction, rhythm, phrasing
b) Artistic performance:
stylistic accuracy, tone, textual interpretation, dynamics, tempo

Prizes and diplomas

The choir obtaining the highest points in each category will be awarded the first prize:

Class A

Class B

category AX: € 750 category BX: € 500
category AF: € 750 category BF: € 500
category AM: € 750 category BM: € 500

These prizes will be awarded if only a minimum of three choirs enter in the category. In case there are less entrants, the prizes may be reduced. At the discretion of the jury, the prizes may also be divided or assigned several times.

The Palestrina Prize:
In case of a particularly outstanding interpretation of the Palestrina work, the Palestrina Prize of 500,00€ may additionally be awarded, together with a Diploma.

The choirs classified first, second and third will receive gold, silver and bronze medals. Every choir will also be given an attendance diploma.

Conditions of entry

1. Male, female and mixed choirs may enter for the competition (minimum number of singers 16)

2. Choir members must not be professional singers, except for the director

3. When registering, please include the following documents:
a) a short biography of the choir and the choirmaster in English and Italian (maximum 1 page, wordfile)
b) a photo of the choir (black and white, pdf file or other format)
c) an audio-cassette or CD (videocassettes are not accepted) containing a minimum of three sacred music works recorded within the past two years
d) three copies of the musical scores of the chosen music
e) name list with birthdays of all participants

Please note that these documents will not be returned.

4. Travel expenses and transfer expenses during the Festival are at the expense of the participating choirs. The office of the accommodation organizer is at your entire disposal to plan your travel arrangements.

5. The fees are the following:
a) Registration fee: 50,00€ for each choir member (singers + conductor).
This fee will be given back only if the choir will not be admitted by the artistic direction and will not be returned in case of renunciation by the choir itself or single choir members
b) Participation fee: to be determined.

The participation fee includes:
- participation in all events of the competition
- 3 nights bed and breakfast in 2* hotel in Fiuggi or in its surrounding
- 3 meals

Upon request you can have three or four star hotels paying a supplement.

We wish to point out that the organizer has the exclusive right to supply these services which form an integral part of the participation’s conditions.

6. Information on extending your stay, transfer services, guided visits or concerts in Rome and Italy may be obtained from the organizer.

7. All photographic and recording rights are exclusively vested by the organizer.


You have to register in writing and enclose the requested material (see par. 3 of the conditions of entry), the registration fee and a deposit of 30% of the participation fee.


First day
- Arrival of all participants in Fiuggi, a charming small town in the green countryside an hour east-southeast of Rome, with a famous thermal spa
- In the afternoon, meeting of all choir directors and the jury members, discussion of the competition program, selection by lots of the choirs' order of performance in each category
- Dinner
- In the evening, inaugural concert

Second day
- rehearsals for the choir competition
- 10th International Sacred Music Choir Competition "G. P. da Palestrina"
- Concerts performed by the choirs in several locations of the region (to be defined)
- Dinner

Third day
- In the morning, transfer to Rome (cost is not included in the package and must be paid by the participants) and participation (singing) in Holy Mass which will be celebrated in one of the four major Basilicas for all participants
- Lunch with lunch packages
- In the afternoon announcement of the winners
- In the evening, prize awarding ceremony and final concert given by the winning choirs at St. Ignatius Church in Rome
- return to Fiuggi for overnight

Fourth day
- Departure or possibility to extend the stay in Italy (for example, visit to Rome with concerts, singing in the Roman squares or in the Sistine Chapel, visit to Florence or other cities - prices on request).

The organizer reserves the right to make any changes required due to technical reasons.

Artistic direction

Msgr. Pablo Colino, Vatican City
Emeritus Director of Music of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Bretschneider, Germany
President "Allgemeiner Cäcilienverband Deutschland"

International Jury

President: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Bretschneider
The Jury will be composed of distinguished international choir music personalities.


Courtial International s.r.l.
Via Paolo VI, 29 – 00193 Roma
Tel.: +39 06 6889951 - 68899528
Fax: + 39 06 68308568
Email: info@courtial-international.it


Associazione Internazionale Amici della Musica Sacra

VIA PAOLO VI, 29 - 00193 ROMA (ITALIA) - C.F. 97124180585 - TEL. +39 0668805816 - INFO@AIAMS.IT