Sun, 24 Mar 2024 9:30 am

March 2024 Adjudication

STFS School, Winslow Bucks

Adjudication in the arts is not merely judgment; it is a mirror reflecting the path of self-development – challenging, refining, and celebrating the journey of the artist.

Every year, we require all PWA students (except the Juniors) to take part in our Adjudication. It’s a full day of assessment, during which students will be marked on four types of performance, much as they would be for professional auditions. This is our  22nd  year, and ever since we started doing Adjudications in 2002, they have been part of the spring term’s curriculum. Adjudication is mandatory for all senior pupils, but parents of the current 7-8 Juniors class may find it beneficial to watch.

Our Adjudication is great opportunity to experience the audition process in front of four industry professionals, and is ideal preparation for the rigour of the professional audition process. We feel it is a really valuable element of the performing arts education we provide as a school.

The professional judges will be announced soon, and will all be Professional Performers at the top of their profession. Their CVs will be available to read on the day. They have no prior knowledge of our pupils – it is a totally an independent judging event!

What are the benefits?

We feel it is important for our students to audition in front of professionals because once they have experienced the adjudication:

  • It will make them more confident, which after all is why you send them to our School.
  • They will feel confident in auditioning for Castings & Casting Directors.
  • It will make them a better performer, and increase their overall confidence in performing.
  • It will improve their communication and self-presentation skills – very important in the ‘real world’.
  • Our teachers will know how each pupil reacts in a performance situation. A student can be trained to a high technical level in dance, acting and singing, but if you can’t perform it at an audition, or in front of a live audience, then there’s more work to do.

We are a professional Performing Arts School, and therefore the Adjudication is paramount to a student’s development at our School. It exposes them to a controlled level of pressure and demand on them as a performer, and that is very good for them; and ultimately, it is the nurturing of achievement that empowers the individual.

Don’t Worry!!

It is important that the students and you, as parents, really enjoy the day. It could be your first adjudication, or you could be a seasoned professional at them; either way, please enjoy it. My staff and I will be around to encourage and motivate all pupils on the Sunday.

We do not want any child or parent worrying about the weekend, which is why I am around to discuss any concerns that you may have. We want parents and pupils to realise that the Adjudication is what our Performing Arts school stands for: it’s about making each child confident enough to sing, act, and dance in front of others.  Our adjudications are renowned, and it is this competing against your peers that is fun, exciting and a great life experience.

Parents and pupils will be able to watch any audition they wish to, at any time. I strongly urge you to watch as many of the pupils you can, as you will learn a lot from their performances. Please enter rooms between each act, and keep very quiet.

Where and When

This year’s Adjudication is at STFS school on Sunday 24th March 2024. Group A-C is 9.30-2pm. Groups D-G are 1.30-5pm. Timetables will be sent out soon with individual timings.

Important Points to Note

  • It is imperative that you arrive 30 minutes before each category that you are entering.  
  • You can only be included for the main 6 cups on the Sunday evening if you have entered all 4 auditions.
  • There will be tea and coffee available for guests. But bring snacks and lunch for them to graze in between their performances
  • My teachers and I have no influence over the marks or comments, so please do not come to me after the event.

Adjudication FAQs

What will the students be performing?

They will be required to perform in four different categories: song, dance, monologue, and duologue. There will be four adjudicators, one for each category.

How are they marked?

They are marked out of 100 in each category:

  • 50 marks is a pass
  • 60 and above is Pass Plus
  • 70 and above is Commended
  • 75 and above is Highly Commended
  • 80 and above is Honours

A certificate and medal are given to all pupils that take part, and a trophy is given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each category.

Who are the adjudicators/examiners?

All our adjudicators are active members of the ‘business’ and will know exactly what is needed to ‘make it!’, just as they all have in their own right. Please remember that their judgement is only their interpretation of a piece, song, or dance. This is one person’s decision and we know that it is all on what happens on the day 

Does my youngster have to practice at home?

If they want to do well, then a resounding YES please. Practice makes perfect. This Adjudication is not about talent, but hard work and focus. I would kindly ask the Parents not to ‘coach’ their children in any discipline, as my teachers and I are very capable, and we do not want the direction changed.

What is a Monologue?

A part of a play in which one character speaks alone; a soliloquy. Monologue is a piece of oral or written literature (e.g., a story, poem or part of a play) spoken by one person who exposes inner thoughts and provides insights into his or her character.

What is a Duologue?

It is a dialogue or a conversation between two persons; a part of the script in which the speaking roles are limited to two actors. They will work with their chosen partner.

Do they sing and dance on their own?

Each pupil chooses a song that they’ve worked on in class, and may sing alone, but can sing together if they wish (they will still be marked individually). Please speak to me asap if your child would rather sing in a group. Students can NOT swap their song at the last minute; please do have confidence in your ability. Sometimes not all the song will be heard, but our vocal coach will discuss with each pupil where to sing up to.

For the dance adjudication, they work with their own class and enter together as a group. The adjudicator will watch a class perform a short routine that they have worked on this term, and then each student will be marked out of 100. Our dance adjudicator is different every year, and therefore the strictness of marking varies from year to year; so it is not prudent to judge this year’s marks against last year’s.

Do the Students wear costumes or use props?

Younger members feel that costumes will help them to create their characters better, so many of my younger students choose to wear costumes; however, I do not think that costumes are necessary for our older students, 12 -14 yrs and above, and so all other age groups are not allowed to wear costumes; just our school uniform. This is an audition situation; in auditions, costumes are NEVER used, and they will need to work harder on their characters without the back-up of costumes. Character shoes and practise skirts are allowed

Do we have to be there all day?

The day runs from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm, and there is a prizegiving at the end of each age group category: Groups A, B and C are in the morning, & groups D, E, & F are in the afternoon. When the timetables are finalised, you will be able to see your performance timeslot.

Can anybody come to watch, and is there a charge?

Please feel free to invite friends and family if you so wish – there is no charge to watch. It always means a great deal to the students to have a family member watching, and we also strongly encourage you and your child to watch other students in their adjudications too. Some of these students have been with us a while, and it’s really beneficial to see the standards that your child could achieve in years to come, as well as how their peers are performing.

Please understand that this process is more than just remembering lines, songs, or dance routines; it is about PERFORMING, and being the best you can be.

We hope this information will answer some of your questions as parents and students. Please know that we are only at the end of a phone, and will answer any other worries or queries. Please call on 01296-733258, and help us to help you.

Can’t wait to see you there.

 Emma xx


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