Guidelines for Teachers


Branches: The Festival is open to students of active, provisional or student members of participating branches of The Music Teachers' Association of California. Branches of MTAC participate in the SCJBF by payment of an annual participation fee and by the presentation of a Branch Festival.

Teachers: At Branch Festivals, MTAC members present their students in the festival of the participating branch of which they are active members. In the event their local branch does not have a festival, teachers may present their students in the festival of a participating branch of which they are a contributory member, with permission of the branches involved.

There are several special “All-branch Regional” festivals for instrumentalists (other than piano and harpsichord) and singers. Members of certain related professional organizations may enter their students in these special festivals as follows: Members of the National Flute Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing may enter students in the Winds and Voice Festival. Members of the American String Teachers Association may enter students in the Strings Festival. Members of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) may enter students in the Organ Festival. AGO members may also enter students in a MTAC branch keyboard festival, with permission of the branch.

Students: Students playing instruments other that organ shall not have reached their 19th birthday by April 1; organists, their 22nd birthday; and vocalists, their 25th. A teacher may not present any students as one's own until after an enrollment of 6 months unless by consent of the former teacher. Students may play more than one instrument but may appear only once on each instrument at any Branch or Regional Festival.


At the branch level, students may play any original music of J. S. Bach, transcriptions of Bach's music, transcriptions of Bach's music, or music of other Baroque composers. However, to be eligible for selection to perform at Regional Festival, the following exceptions must be kept in mind:

  1. No music from the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook, ANH 113-132
  2. No transcriptions other than those made by J. S. Bach himself from his own works
  3. No works by other Baroque composers

The above exceptions may be used at the Branch level. They are unacceptable only for the Regional Festival.

Music need not be limited to the Complete Works Audition Official List of Bach's works in order to be eligible for Regional Festival. The only exceptions for Regional are listed above. Music from the current Official List is required only at Complete Works Audition. Multiple pieces must be from the same work or as categorized on the CWA list.

Students and teachers need to become familiar with and follow all rules that are printed on a separate page.


Branch Festival: Students are presented in short recitals of approximately 1 hour in length. A panel of not fewer than three (3) judges, selected from an approved list of adjudicators, will write evaluations of each performer. Teachers will receive the evaluation sheets. Excluding the exceptions listed under "repertoire," the judges will select up to 50% of the remaining eligible students to play in the Regional Festival, subject to minimum scoring requirements. The length of each student's performance shall be limited to 5 minutes. Multiple pieces must be from the same work or as categorized on the CWA list. Students of strings, woodwinds and voice will be judged in an all Branch Regional Festival.

Regional Festival: Students perform again in recitals with students from other branches that have been selected. A panel of three (3) judges will evaluate each student and will select 45% to receive a special award. The length of each student's performance shall again be limited to 5 minutes and the student must perform exactly the same music as played at the Branch. All participants will receive awards with special awards going to those selected by the judges.

Complete Works Audition: This highly competitive adjudication is for students who have been selected in the top 45% at the Regional Festival. These students perform a complete work from the Official List of Bach's works selected for Audition. The Official List as a 3-year rotating list and is distributed annually.

The purpose of the Official List is to encourage the study and performance of the many works of J. S. Bach, so that over a period of three years, a wide selection of Bach's compositions for solo instruments will have been heard at the Festivals, while also welcoming works for small ensembles and voice.

To be eligible for Complete Works Audition, a student must have been chosen by the judges at the Branch and Regional Festivals. Students must perform the same music as played in Branch and Regional for Complete Works Audition, but complete as shown on the Official List. Those selected for first place in each category will be presented in performance at a special Memorial Awards Program, and students selected for first, second and third must be present to receive their medals.

Please note: No special scheduling requests will be accepted for the day of the Complete Works Auditions. Scheduling of these programs and judges is a highly complex procedure that simply does not lend itself to exceptions for individual students. Students who cannot appear at the scheduled time will have to withdraw from Complete Works Audition.

SCJBF Honors Program: This special program will take place in October. It will feature first-place winners of the Complete Works Audition.

 (rev. 9/1/2022) �2006, 2017, 2021, 2022 Southern California Junior Bach Festival, Inc. All rights reserved