ANNOUNCING: WORLD BACH COMPETITION 2020

Hosted by Boulder Bach Festival

 

An opportunity for your Bach rendition to be heard—by the World


WBC is generously sponsored by:

As a response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with empathy toward all musicians affected, and with awareness of the importance of J.S. Bach's music now more than ever, the Boulder Bach Festival has started an annual online solo World Bach Competition. The WBC is open to musicians in multiple age categories, including students, professional, and community musicians—with no upper age limit. All instruments and voice types are invited to apply.

 

 Open to all musicians, internationally in the following categories:

 

  • high school
  • university
  • community
  • professional

 

Percussion, Brass, Woodwinds, Strings, Keyboard Instruments, Plucked Instruments, Non-Traditional Instruments, Non-Classical instruments, Non-Western instruments, Acoustic and Electric instruments, and Singers are all encouraged to apply, performing solo Bach. Transcriptions of J.S. Bach’s works are welcome. No multitracking—all entries must be performed live in the video, with the exception of vocal accompaniment in observance of social distancing (see below).

 

 

ELIGIBILITY

 

  • The competition is open to musicians in high-school and older. There is no upper age limit.
  • Applicants younger than 18 years of age will require a parent and/or legal guardian to sign the application form and to give WBC-BBF permission to post the video online.
  • The First Prize Winner in any category will not be eligible to compete again in the same category.

 


RULES AND REGULATIONS

 

Only complete applications will be considered by the Competition Selection Jury.

 

This jury will select videos to be posted on a public WBC playlist that will appear on the Boulder Bach Festival YouTube channel. The preliminary selection process is generous and some categories may permit up to fifty videos to be featured online. There are twelve categories, so potentially hundreds of videos may be featured and viewed worldwide. There will also be an award (in each category) that requires audience participation, voting by giving videos a “thumbs up”, in addition to the awards decided by the Jury.

 


CATEGORIES

 

High school student solo instrument (non-keyboard)

High school student solo instrument (keyboard and plucked instruments)

High school student solo voice (see below as pertains accompaniment)

University student solo instrument (non-keyboard)

University student solo instrument (keyboard and plucked instruments)

University student solo voice (see below as pertains accompaniment)

Community musician solo instrument (non-keyboard)

Community musician solo instrument (keyboard and plucked instruments)

Community musician solo voice (see below as pertains accompaniment)

Professional musician solo instrument (non-keyboard)

Professional musician solo instrument (keyboard and plucked instruments)

Professional musician solo voice (see below as pertains accompaniment)

 

 

CATEGORIES DEFINED

 

  • High school students must be intending to matriculate or return to high school (including online and/or home school) in Autumn 2020, (may not have graduated nor dropped out).
  • University students may be any age, and intending to matriculate or continue university studies in Autumn 2020, (including online studies).
  • Community musicians may be any age, (not open to enrolled students).
  • Professional musicians may be any age, (not open to enrolled students).

 

PRIZE DISTINCTIONS

 

The potential online exposure to the world is practically unprecedented in an event such as this, and winners (of any award, including honorable mentions) will be permitted to use the WBC logo and Boulder Bach Festival name in publicity materials.

 

 

There are four possible prizes in most categories.

The Jury may choose 1st , 2nd , and 3rd prize in each category, or may choose not to do so.

 

The Jury may award as many honorable mentions as they like.

 

EVERY category (all 12) will have an Audience Favorite Award, based on views and likes on YouTube, (see below).

 

 

CASH AWARDS

 

In the three Professional Musician categories (non-keyboard, keyboard+plucked instruments, and voice),

each will have a 1st Place cash award of $500.

 

In the three Community Musician categories (non-keyboard, keyboard+plucked instruments, and voice),

each will have a 1st Place cash award of $300.

 

In the three University Student Musician categories (non-keyboard, keyboard+plucked instruments, and voice),

each will have a 1st Place cash award of $500.

 

In the three High School Student Musician categories (non-keyboard, keyboard+plucked instruments, and voice),

each will have a 1st Place cash award of $300.

 

 

All winners (of any prize) will be listed on various social media platforms by the WBC and Boulder Bach Festival. The Jury will choose some videos to further promote in the months following the competition.

 

The selected applicants' videos (those who pass the pre-selection process) will be posted on Boulder Bach Festival's YouTube channel, on a playlist called World Bach Competition.

 

In EACH of the 12 categories, the Jury is permitted to advance/post as many or as few videos as they choose, based on their overview of viewing all the applicants’ videos. These decisions will be made during the process of watching and listening to videos. Unlike many other competitions, the WBC is inclusive as regards technique and musical style, in addition to instrument chosen. Criteria for adjudication are based on a holistic and inclusive approach, open-mindedness, and without predetermined expectations nor biases of any type, musical or otherwise. We encourage everyone to apply if you love Bach’s music and feel it speaks to you.

 


APPLICATION PROCESS OPEN UNTIL JULY 11, 2020:

 

  • Fill out and sign application form (DOWNLOAD HERE), and email it to WBC@BoulderBachFestival.org
  • VIDEO APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECORDED FROM ONE ANGLE THAT DOESN'T CHANGE, WITHOUT VIDEO STOPS BETWEEN MOVEMENTS OR SELECTIONS, AND WITH NO EDITS WHATSOEVER.
  • All video files must be sent to WBC@BoulderBachFestival.org using Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Email One (1) color photograph per person (headshot), JPEG file.
  • Email us a biography, 100 words maximum as a Word Doc. This may be used for promotion of your work.
  • Upload video to Dropbox and send the link via email. If you don't have Dropbox, you may upload to Google Drive and email the link.
  • The application fee of $60 must be received prior to July 11, 2020. Your application will not be considered complete until the fee is received.
  • The fee may be paid with a Credit Card or via PayPal, HERE>>>
  • Email WBC@BoulderBachFestival.org after you've paid the application fee so that we can track it; please include applicant’s name, email address, and method of payment.

Your application fee supports the Boulder Bach Festival (a 501c3 non-profit), including administrative costs, adjudication, PR, future planning, and educational programs. Prizes are underwritten by a generous BBF donor.                                      


DATES

 

Applications and videos will be accepted from May 10, 2020 until end of day on July 11, 2020.

 

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by email no later than July 31, 2020. Once accepted, applicants’ videos will be posted online and will be open to public voting, (via “thumbs up” on YouTube).

 

The public voting for the audience favorite special prize will take place from August 1, 2020 until end of day on August 15, 2020.

 

The Jury will announce all prize recipients via email, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and website on or before August 17, 2020.

 

Prizewinners' checks will be mailed to the address on their application forms the week of August 17, 2020.  In the case of recipients located outside the USA, we will email you for your banking information so that we can electronically transfer funds to your bank account. 

 

*Applicants should retain copies of all materials sent with their applications. Boulder Bach Festival and World Bach Competition aren't responsible for any lost documents and will not return documents or videos.

 

*All prizes will be determined by a panel of musicians and will include Boulder Bach Festival’s Artistic Director and Music Director.

 

*Criteria for adjudication are based on a holistic and inclusive approach, open-mindedness, and without predetermined expectations nor biases of any type, musical or otherwise. 

 

*Boulder Bach Festival advocates and promotes inclusive practices. It does not discriminate on the basis of racial or ethnic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, marital status, military status or political or union affiliation.

 

*Percussion, Brass, Woodwinds, Strings, Keyboard Instruments, Plucked Instruments, Non-Traditional instruments, Non-Classical instruments, Non-Western instruments, Acoustic and Electric instruments, and Singers are all encouraged to apply. 

 

The decision of the jury is final and not subject to questions, revisions, or appeal.

 

 

The special prize in each category for Audience Favorite will be determined exclusively by the videos with the most “likes,” (clicking the “thumbs up” underneath the video once it appears on the World Bach Competition playlist on the Boulder Bach Festival YouTube channel).

 

The musician in each category with the most video “likes” on their application video (as posted by WBC-BBF on our YouTube playlist) at end of day on August 15, 2020 (11:59PM Mountain Time Zone, USA), will be awarded the Audience Favorite distinction. In the event of a tie, the prize distinction will be awarded to both or all of the winners who received the most “likes.”

 


REPERTOIRE

 

 

FOR INSTRUMENTALISTS—ONLY UNACCOMPANIED WORKS ARE PERMITTED:

 

All works must be performed alone (solo). No exceptions.

Any work composed by J.S. Bach, even if recent musicology suggests otherwise, is acceptable.

The selections may be played on ANY instrument and in any key, any transcription.

Suites, preludes, fugues, partitas, sonatas, concertos without accompaniment (such as the Italian Concerto), and transcriptions are examples of acceptable works. Alterations and stylistic changes are welcome.

 

You may play more than one movement or piece. You may play movements from different pieces. (Please note the recording may not stop between movements or pieces, as explained above)

The maximum time limit is 15 minutes. No exceptions.

There is no lower time limit whatsoever.

Each performance will be considered on its own merits. 

 

 

FOR SINGERS:

 

Singers may perform with the accompaniment of any instrument(s), in any transcription or style.

 

Any instrument or instruments in combination may be used for vocal accompaniment. 

 

Vocal accompaniment for a vocal soloist (such as vocal quartet) will be accepted. However, only the solo artist, the primary lead singer (only one per video) will be considered as a potential prizewinner.

 

WBC suggests social distancing techniques in preparing a video performance in which you are accompanied. Split screen videos will be accepted and may be recorded at two locations simultaneously.

 

Adjudication will not consider the accompaniment in determining the potential prize for the singer.

 

Any work composed by J.S. Bach, even if recent musicology suggests otherwise, is acceptable.

Transcriptions, alterations, and stylistic changes are welcome. 

 

You may sing more than one movement, aria or piece of music. You may perform movements from different pieces. (Please note the recording may not stop between movements or pieces, as explained above)

The maximum time limit is 15 minutes. No exceptions.

There is no lower time limit whatsoever.

Each performance will be considered on its own merits. 

 

 

 

*For both instrumentalists and singers:

 

Video files must have been recorded after January 1, 2019. Performance videos from before COVID-19 are welcome.

 

Any singer’s video that includes accompaniment of an ensemble will require written and signed documentation from the ensemble that served as accompanist—permitting the online posting of the video.

 

The accompanying ensemble won't receive credit nor will they be considered as a potential prizewinner: only the lead, the solo vocal artist will be considered as the applicant. 

 

 

(Instrumentalist applicants apply alone, unaccompanied; see above).

 

 

Stay informed:

 

Subscribe to Boulder Bach Festival channel on YouTube,

Follow and Like Boulder Bach Festival on Facebook,

Follow and Like @CompassResonanceEnsemble on Instagram.

(COmpass REsonance is the BBF’s ensemble-in-residence)

 

Thank you for your interest, and please stay well!