Protocols, Best Practices, Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

Call them what you want - we'll be trying to build helpful tips on this page to help band directors, students and parents get the most out of next year's Capital Region Music Festival

How do I register for Capital Region Musicfest?

You must register through the CRMF website - Go to and click on ‘Registration Page’, then click on ‘ONLINE Registration form’.

Please note that your registration is not complete until the treasurer receives a cheque or Etransfer for the entirety of your fees as instructed on the page.

When is the Registration deadline?

Payment Procedure:All registrations must be made ONLINE  (registration page) and the deadline is December 22 2023. There are limited spots so please register early to avoid disappointment!
Entries will be processed only upon arrival of a cheque or etransfer for full payment. Post-dated cheques will not be accepted. Once registration has been confirmed, no refunds will be issued. 
Please make cheques payable to“Capital Region Music Festival” and send to:
Kim Vrieling 1-391 Tillbury Avenue,Ottawa.  K2A 0Y3E-transfer to:
The fee structure listed above is an Early Bird rate.  Any applications received after the deadline (Dec 23 2022) will be charged at the Early Bird rate plus $50 per ensemble.
Further Questions?

Who is eligible to participate? 

Capital Region Musicfest accepts applications from Concert Bands, Orchestras, String Ensembles, Chamber Ensembles, World Music Ensembles, Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Combos and Choral Ensembles.

Where is the festival held?

For 2022, the Concert Band Division of the festival will be held at Earl of March SS, 4 The Parkway,  Ottawa (Kanata). Map

The Instrumental Jazz Division will be held at Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School, 149 Berrigan Drive, Ottawa (Barrhaven). Map

The Choral Festival will be held at Fisher Park PS  250 Holland Ave, Ottawa, ON K1Y 0Y5 Map

How do I choose repertoire? 

For all performing ensembles at the Capital Region Music Festival, “Pop” literature is considered to be inappropriate.

Concert Bands, Chamber Ensembles and Orchestras

Jazz and World Music Ensembles

Ensembles in this category are classified based on the grade level / age of the oldest band member.  Please consult the MusicFest Canada rules and regulations for more details.

Choral Ensembles

How many copies of the scores do I need? 

Please note that in all cases (with the exception of Jazz Combos), photocopied scores will not be accepted by festival staff UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER.

When do I need to arrive for my performance?

You need to arrive one hour before your scheduled performance time. 

Will festival provide storage?

CRMF will provide storage for cases, coats, boots and bags for the duration of your performance cycle (one hour prior to your performance and 1.5 hours after.  For example if your scheduled stage time is 2:30 p.m. Storage will be available from 1:30-4 p.m.)  

We regret that we are unable to provide storage outside of that block, as we have numerous ensembles in the building at any one time.  Students wishing to observe other performances must carry their materials with them.

What is the overall schedule for my visit to CRMF?

Check In: One hour prior to your scheduled performance time, you should check in at the registration desk and submit the following:

Proceed to instrument storage where you can leave cases, bags, coats and books in the assigned storage area 

Please Note - there is NO playing in the storage area!

Warm Up:  Approximately 30 minutes prior to your performance your ensemble will move to the warm up room.

You will have approximately 20 minutes in the warm up room, so plan your time accordingly.

Performance: Your performance slot is 30 minutes, including the time it takes to load on and off stage, and for the M.C. to introduce your works.  For this reason, we strongly recommend that you program only 20 minutes of music.  

Please note: Chamber ensembles are only allotted 20 minutes on-stage, including the time for loading and leaving the stage.

Clinic: Following your performance, your ensemble will receive a 30-minute (approx.) clinic with one of the CRMF adjudicators (n.b. 20 minutes for Chamber Ensembles).  

Photos: Following your clinic, there may be a photo area where parents can take pictures of their kids with friends.  This will be a host school decision, depending on space availability, and to be organized by the director.

Departure: You will depart festival approximately 2.5 hours after your arrival.  You may pick up your registration package on your way out, which will include your scores, ratings, comments etc.

How do you enter the stage?

At both Earl of March SS and LDHSS, Groups will enter from Stage Right (as you look OUT from the stage), at the back of the stage.  

Plan and organize your groups accordingly to ensure a smooth entry for your group.

How long will I be on stage?

Your total time onstage, including loading, M.C. introductions, performance time, adjudicator cues, and departure, is limited to 30 minutes.

For this reason, we strongly recommend that you program 20 minutes of music to avoid going over your allotted time.

Can I introduce my own pieces?

No.  Due to time constraints it is not possible for you or your students to introduce your own works.

Please be sure to include any information you’d like to share in your Ensemble BIO, which will be submitted at Registration and read by the designated M.C.

What is best practise for tuning on stage?

Some Directors like to tune or play a chorale on-stage before they begin.  Please be mindful that you will have an audience for your tuning that includes the adjudicators. 

You also need to be cognisant of the fact that this will come out of your maximum 30 minutes on stage.  For this reason we strongly recommend that if you wish to tune on stage, you do so quickly, and by section (brass/woodwinds, upper/lower strings etc).

What is appropriate etiquette for my students?

Will photos be available on site?

Oh no! My Piccolo/Clarinet/Tuba isn’t working!  What should I do?

What is Conductor Etiquette?

Be Prepared -   Make sure you have all of your paperwork and scores ready to hand in at the registration desk, that you’ve brought all of the appropriate equipment and prepared for emergencies by bringing extra parts, reeds, valve oil etc.

Be Polite - Be a model of kindness to the student performer guides and staff at the host school.  They volunteer to help host the festival, and are doing their best to help you.

On Stage -   Once your ensemble is seated, wait for M.C. introductions and a nod from the adjudication table to ensure they are ready for you to start.

The Clinic -  Take notes or follow the cues given by the adjudicator (some adjudicators will ask you to conduct particular sections of a work, or to try something new).

Festival Wrap Up - When you pick up your package and certificate from the Registration table, consider others in your response.  While some Directors prefer to make a ‘big reveal’, the resulting cheering can impact those who are still in the process of getting ready to perform, or who perhaps are less happy with their own result.

What are best practices for Festival overall?

Two common questions we hear from Adjudicators to the groups in front of them: “How did you feel about your performance today?” and “Do you know the story/composer’s intention behind the music?”

Can I stay after to watch other bands?

Absolutely!  - There is no charge for performers to attend additional performances by other bands.

Please remember that CRMF is unable to provide storage after your performance cycle is over, so students will need to bring their equipment into the auditorium with them.

Where do I send my Registration fee?

Please send your registration fees to;

Kim Vrieling, CRMF Treasurer1-391 Tilbury AvenueOttawa, ONK2A 0Y3

Remember, your online registration is not processed until the cheque/etransfer is received!  Register early as everything is time-stamped and there are limited spaces.

What is the breakdown of festival costs and use of our registration fees?

While costs for the festival may vary from year to year, here is a list of the things that registration fees cover.  

Please note that all members of the CRMF Executive Committee work in a volunteer capacity and are not paid for their work on the festival.




Hosting Costs:

Admin / Misc. Costs:

Where can I find a performance syllabus?

MusicFest Canada provides the following lists: