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Music Division

  • events 2019

Music Division



A.C.E. desires to have the highest quality music competition possible. Such competition isintended to demonstrate a students instrumental and vocal music skills, while encouraging astudent to apply his musical talents to Christian values. A.C.E. encourages all students to aspireto reach their highest potential; maximizing the gifts God has given them.

Please note:A.C.E. fully supports the authority of the local church and does not ask churches orChristian schools to adopt these music guidelines as their ministry standard. Furthermore, suchstandards are not given to imply greater spirituality. It is our privilege to minister to a verydiverse group from various denominations, each having a particular distinctive in musicalstandards. In an effort to show deference to those attending, A.C.E. has set specific standards forour competition. We respectfully ask that all sponsors and students maintain good Christiancharacter and graciousness at all times, especially in adhering to and respecting the standards setforth for convention.

Competition arrangements are to beChristian or patrioticrather than secular. Classicalinstrumental music is allowed as long as it is non-offensive to Christian values or good taste.

Music sung or played with a jumpy, sensual, or worldly style is not acceptable. ContemporaryChristian, jazz, gospel rock, or gospel country music are not acceptable. In our music guidelines,contemporary refers to a style of music, not the date on which a piece was written. Music mustbe appropriate for a typicalconservativefundamental church service (musical arrangement, text,

and presentation). In Vocal and Instrumental Music categories, contestants are not permitted touse the musical score (except small and large instrumental ensembles).Narration and/ordramatic dialogue are not allowed.

An analysis of music, text, and performance techniques are essential in determining whether asong/performance is suitable. Music is appropriate only when the lyrics, musical style, andpresentation are consistent with Biblical principles.

A.C.E. requests that ALL VOCAL ENTRIES be presented in the ENGLISH LANGUAGE.We apologize that we are not able to grant any exceptions.


Gentlemen: Dress shirts, ties, and jackets should be worn for all music performances with thefollowing exceptions:

1. School uniforms

2. A tuxedo with either a vest or cummerbund without a jacket

Ladies: Nice church outfits should be worn for all music performances with the followingexceptions:

1. School uniforms

2. Formal attire that meets the modesty requirements for convention

When selecting a musical piece, please consider the following:


Melody - A good melody has a definite high place near its conclusion so that there is a sense ofclimax and resolution.

Harmony - Harmony should support the melody and play a subservient role.

Rhythm - The rhythm of a song has much to do with the overall integrity of the piece. A subtlerhythm or sense of pulsation with a balance of regular accent patterns and occasionalsyncopation for variety and interest is acceptable. The rhythm must not overtake the melody,harmony, message, or overall flow of a song. Avoid musical compositions with excessiverepetition of a melodic phrase, harmonic pattern, rhythmic pattern, or any combination of thesethree. Music with continuous syncopation, dominant beat, highly accented backbeat, and/orbreak beat is not acceptable.

Worldly Identification - The message carried by a musical style does not change by simplyadding religious or Scriptural lyrics.

A musical composition should have a definitebeginning,build to aclimax point,andcommunicate a definite sense ofconclusion. The musical sound must not detract from themessage of the words.


Accuracy - Good lyrics must be Biblically accurate in both definition and associative meaning.

The key to a truthful presentation of text is balance and careful examination under the HolySpirits direction that the words are pure.

Implications - Any implied ideas must be examined to make sure that nothing unacceptable isimplied and that the intent of Scriptural teaching and principle is satisfied. A wise performer willalways check the implied communication of a songs message to verify its total accuracy.

Crossover Songs - The lyrics must CLEARLY state at some point Whom the song is about.Avoid songs that have no direct reference to the Lord and others that are written to referenceonly He or Him whenever Gods name is mentioned - crossover songs. (Such songs areacceptable in both the secular and Christian communities, as the song could easily be sung in thecontent of a secular love song.) The attributes of God should be maintained in the highest regardany time He is addressed.

Message - Good lyrics say something of value. Not every song needs to be as profound as ourrichest hymns, but good lyrics never include trite phrases just for the sake of rhyme. Suchphrases are designed for entertainment rather than edification. Good lyrics fulfill a definitepurpose. If the text is sung as a hymn, it should express some Godly attribute that helps usworship the Lord. If the text is sung as a gospel song, it should be a message that encourages us.The message should also be simple enough that almost anyone can easily understand it, relate toit, and apply it.


Presentation - Give careful attention that the musical presentation does not reflect secular styles(breathy, sensual, and so on). Crooning, sliding, sagging, or other such terms are vocalcrutches and should be avoided. Use caution that the presentation is not done in anentertainmentattitude or style.

Movement - No choreography, planned or unnecessary bodily movement (including handclapping, foot stomping, deaf signing, finger snapping, etc.), will be permitted. Occasionalmovement of the hands/arms for dramatic effect (i.e., placing hand to heart, raising hand towardHeaven) is permitted but should be used sparingly. Competitors should stand erect; bend kneesslightly to relax rigid leg muscles, with arms and shoulders relaxed and thumbs resting at theside-seam of clothing.

Questions to evaluate musical selections/performances:

1. Does the music glorify God, not the performer or composer?

2. Does the music reflect Biblical doctrine and Godly living?

3. Is the rhythm a subservient feature that does not dominate the music?

4. Does the background music play a subservient role to the lyrics and not distract thelistener from the message?

5. Are the lyrics Biblically accurate?

6. Is the performance a straightforward presentation, focusing on vocal technique thatemploys proper breathing (avoiding breathy tones, sagging and sliding pitches, and/orchoreographed movement)?

7. Is the music easily identifiable as a Christ-honoring piece as opposed to a new sound asin secular or entertainment styles?

8. Does the music invoke positive responses?

9. Does the selection draw the listener closer to God and uplift his/her spirit?

10. Does the music praise the Lord, focus on God, or deliver a clear spiritual message?

When evaluating musical selections, an appropriate piece will always yield aYESresponse toall of the questions given.

NOTE:Any student performing a selection that violates the music standards presented in theseguidelines (in musical content, text, or presentation) will not place in competition. Please givecareful attention to the musical selection and ensure that it meets the standards set forth in these guidelines.


IMPORTANT!All copies of music, tapes, judging forms, and photos must be CLEARLYLABELED with the contestants name, school name, customer number, telephone number,complete school address, and category.

1. Three copies of the arrangement,as performed, must be given to the judges before aperformance. Music must be performed exactly as it appears on the score. For example, ifchords are changed, music should be rewritten to reflect the changes.Submitted copiesmust include the musical score, numbered measures, and the lyrics.The judges mustreceive copies of the orrected / changed scores. Copies must be CLEARLY LABELED withthe contestants name, school name, customer number, telephone number, complete schooladdress, and the category.

2. Contestants may sing a cappella; be accompanied by an adult or student (of convention age)playing a piano;or use an accompaniment tape/CD (piano only). Record only one song percassette/CD. Tapes/CDs should be CLEARLY LABELED with the contestants name,school name, customer number, telephone number, complete school address, and thecategory. Please indicate if a Dolby recording is used in order to avoid confusion if asked toperform at a rally. Other sound tracks are not permissible. Note: Contestants are to make surethe recording is of the best possible sound quality. Poise and presentation are part of the

judging criteria; thus contestants are not to provide their own accompaniment.

3. Contestants must submit a color photo (snapshot or Polaroid) of themselves, with facesclearly visible. They must be in the SAME OUTFIT they will be wearing for that event.Photos should be CLEARLY LABELED with the contestants name, school name, customernumber, telephone number, complete school address, and the category.

4. A student may not use the same song two yearsconsecutively in the same event. In addition,the sameselection is not to be used by multiple groups from the same school in the same year.

5.VERY IMPORTANT - See Platform Competition Division for poise andappearance guidelines.

6. All vocal and instrumental music is to be memorized (exception Small and LargeInstrumental Ensembles).

7. There should be a preselected spokesperson for each group who will introduce the group, theschool represented, and the title of the song to be performed. (This is not counted againstperformance time.)

8. Personal amplification equipment for competition is not allowed.

9. Musical competition time limit is 5 minutes. If competition piece exceeds the 5-minute timelimit, the contestant will receive a.5-point deductionfor any portion of thirty secondincrements. (For example, a piece timed at 5:12 would receive a half-point deduction fromthe total score. A piece at 5:42 would receive a deduction of a full point from the total score.)

Checklist for Music:

1. Copies of music:Three copiesmust be brought to convention.Submitted copies mustinclude the musical score and the lyrics.All copies are to be in a clear plastic pageprotector with the contestants name, school name, customer number, telephone number,complete school address, and the category CLEARLY VISIBLE on the FRONT of eachcopy.

2. Photo: Submit a color photo (snapshot or Polaroid) simulating the performance wearing theoutfit in which the student will perform. VERY IMPORTANT: CLEARLY LABEL theBACK of the photo with the contestants name, school name, customer number, telephonenumber, school address, and the category.

3. Judge's Forms: Submit three copies, properly filled out.

4. Cassette player or CD player (if applicable): If using a cassette or CD for accompaniment,each contestant must provide his or her own playback device.

5.When selecting music for vocal music competition, careful attention should be given tolevel of difficulty. Songs with too much unison or lack of distinct, individual parts donot usually place well. All members (duet, trio, quartet, etc.) or sections (ensemble)should demonstrate an ability to carry their individual parts with proper pitch, tone,and blend.

VOCAL- Time limit: 5 minutes

Solo (1 contestant)

There are two different entries available in the solo category: male or female.

Duet (2 contestants)

There are three different entries available in the duet category: male, female, or mixed.

Trio (3 contestants)

There are three different entries available in the trio category: male, female, or mixed.

Quartet (4 contestants)

There are three different entries available in the quartet category: male, female, or mixed.

Small Ensemble (5-15 contestants*)

There may be only one school entry under the designation "Small Ensemble." Your ensemblemay be male, female, or mixed, but it will be judged with all the other Small Ensembles. It mayhave an adult directing. If a student plays accompaniment, he is not included in the 15 totalallowable contestants. (*The adult director is not considered a contestant.)

Large Ensemble (16 + contestants*)

There may be only one school entry under the designation "Large Ensemble." Your ensemblemay be male, female, or mixed, but it will be judged with all other Large Ensembles. It mayhave an adult directing. (*The adult director is not considered a contestant.)

In ALL music categories, male and female contestants are judged together.

Judge's Form Vocal Music

Download description in pdf format