General questions about the Music Festival
What does the Music Festival Association do in the years between the biennial festivals?
Even though the large festival takes place once every two years (the biennial festival) there is a lot of work that goes into hosting the event. This ranges from preparing our accounts, sourcing funding, selecting music, adjudicators, hotels, venues with good instruments, guest performers and creating recordings and resources for teachers as necessary, collecting, preparing and replacing trophies. These activities occupy at least a year. Sometimes they take even longer because most of our workers are volunteers who have full-time jobs in a wide range of disciplines. We are working on getting full-time funding for ourselves so that our dedicated volunteers can convert into full-time workers.
How can I work with the festival?
The festival often has need of volunteers, helpers and accompanists, to name but a few. You can send us an e-mail or letter to request volunteer work with us or simply follow us on social media where vacancies will be posted.
How can I be a festival volunteer?
Anyone can volunteer to work with the festival. However, we give preference to persons who have similar experience, or who are good working with younger musicians and who love music.
How can I contact the winners of the festival to perform for my event?
Send us a letter or e-mail. We can get you in touch with performers for events.
How can I provide services as a food vendor/ photographer/ digital recording/ archivist etc. of the festival?
You can send us an official letter or e-mail and request consideration. (See contacts section.)
Does the festival focus on Western European music?
Our festival focuses on scored acoustic music (that is, non-electronic and unamplified music). While much of this music is derived from the western European tradition and scored folk music from the Caribbean and other parts of the world, the festival is not exclusively related to Western European music.
questions from performers
How can I get footage of my past festival performance?
You can send us an official letter or e-mail (see our contact information) to request footage of past festivals. Recordings are usually the property of the hall or venue where your performance took place but only the Music Festival Association can request them on your behalf. This may come at a cost to you.
What happens if I lose my trophy?
Before you receive a trophy, you as a performer or parent, guardian or teacher will have to sign as the person responsible for it. If you lose a trophy you will have to pay for its replacement. Different trophies carry different costs.
Do I get to keep my trophy forever?
If you have won a trophy in the festival, you will be able to keep it for approximately two years only, and return it 2 to 3 months before the next festival. However, if you win a trophy in the same class for three consecutive festivals, you will get to keep the trophy for life and the Association will take responsibility for replacing the trophy for future competitors
What happens after I return my trophy?
When you return a trophy, you are given a commemorative plaque that will state your name and accomplishment as a musician.
How can I intern with the festival?
Our festival and association take on interns in project management and event management. You will need to go through the formalities of your school or university to be placed as an intern.
Do I have to be Trinbagonian to take part in the festival?
Any amateur musician from any part of the world can take part in our biennial music festival. In the past, we have welcomed groups and individual musicians from St. Vincent, Venezuela, the United States and Palestine. (See the rules for definition of amateur musician.)
What do I get as a winner of the festival?
At present, as a winner of the festival, you will receive a trophy and, upon return of the trophy, a commemorative plaque. You will also receive the opportunity to perform with the festival on special occasions and events. Some of these events will be remunerated. Through partnership with the Patrons of the Arts (formerly Patrons of Queen’s Hall) we have in the past offered bursaries for study to laureates of our festival. We are working towards offering scholarships to winners to study at selected local and foreign institutions.
Why doesn’t the festival provide monetary prizes?
We have often debated providing monetary prizes. Some people think that it will take our festival away from its moorings whereby musicians perform for the love and camaraderie of music-making. However, we are not averse to offering money prizes. We have not yet been able to identify sponsors who are willing to provide monetary prizes. (If you want to provide monetary prizes, please see our Sponsorship section – becoming a sponsor.)
questions about sponsorship
What do I get as a sponsor of the festival?
All sponsors resident in Trinidad and Tobago can claim a tax rebate for their contributions to the Festival as deeds of covenant. In addition to that, corporate sponsors receive the obvious branding and goodwill associated with the Festival and the opportunity to speak at our events and concerts. Sponsor representatives usually present special prizes to contestants.
Can anyone provide sponsorship for the festival and association?
Anyone can provide sponsorship to the festival. However, for large sums our sponsorship policy requires that we undertake a background check. At present, large sums are those in excess of $20,000, national currency.
questions about the association
How do I become a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival Association?
To become a member you must submit an application form and pay the standard registration fee and/or membership fee. (See Membership section.)
What do I get as a member of the Music Festival Association?
Members of the Association get discounted tickets to events held by the festival. Only members of the association are eligible for service on the regional committees and national executive.
How does someone become a member of one of the committees that manages the festival?
Service on the committees is by democractic process. The membership of the association votes other members to committees. To serve on a committee, we look for people who have formal qualifications and experience in similar work.