A real or perceived conflict of interest is damaging to the reputation of both the festival and the adjudicator. No adjudicator should accept a festival contract where a real or perceived conflict exists between the adjudicator and a competitor and/or a teacher. Where there is a perceived conflict, as reflected in the most recent version of the CMFAA Code of Ethics, the Festival has the right to terminate the Adjudicator’s contract.

Preparing for a Festival

  • Never break your agreement or contract with a festival unless absolutely necessary, and never when a “better offer” comes along! If you must cancel a festival adjudication contract, particularly close to the festival opening date, find a replacement that is acceptable to the festival. (Your current Directory can be a valuable source)
  • Before arrival at a festival, adjudicators must be familiar with all the rules of the festival and be conscientious in determining recommendations for scholarships, final concerts, provincial finals, etc.
  • Always allow time to arrive at sessions punctually. Learn to limit adjudications if necessary to stay on time. Many people behind the scenes depend on this.

Behaviour and Attitude during a Festival

  • Always maintain a positive attitude in verbal and written adjudications even under trying conditions. Keep criticism constructive and be encouraging. Ill temper and sarcasm can do irreparable damage.
  • Never solicit students, particularly through offers of scholarships, promises of admissions to academic institutions, or criticism of the local teacher.
  • Never fraternize with local teachers or parents. Public socializing inevitably results in real or perceived conflicts of interest, particularly when any scholarships or other recommendation must be awarded. Appear in neat, appropriate attire. You are a professional and are setting a valuable example to all performers, parents and teachers.
  • Be totally discreet regarding the use of alcohol at any time, and adopt a “total abstinence” policy before any adjudicating sessions.
  • Never publicly criticize the festival syllabus selections, programs, timing, general working conditions, or the organization of the festival. Present these as written comments to leave with festival committees.
  • Avoid any public (or even private) criticism of your fellow adjudicators.

Adjudication Suggestions

  • Offer performers helpful and constructive suggestions.
  • Remember that the festival experience is about each student.  They need to profit from the experience with positive feelings.
  • Never directly criticize the teacher of a student.  For example, one weak student can jeopardize a teacher’s livelihood with a “You need a better teacher”remark made publicly. Avoid any request to give private lessons during the course of a festival (e.g. during a “session off”).
  • Avoid, if possible, criticism of the student’s choice of music edition.

Departure from the Festival

  • Remember to publicly recognize the efforts of the inevitable army of volunteers – secretaries, emcees, ticket-takers, chauffeurs, etc… They are a generous, supportive group of dedicated people.
  • Be fair and honest in submitting expense accounts, avoiding excessive costs for meals, room service, laundry, phone, etc… Alcohol should never be added to expense accounts.
  • Always adhere to festival rules regarding expenses covered. Never add spouse/companion expenses to your claim.

The Executive welcomes any other comments and communication about problems – real and potential – which may have arisen during your festival experiences. We will be happy to revise and augment the above list.