Rules and Regulations


The Singapore International Choral Festival is open only to amateur choirs. The amateur qualification does not extend to the conductor or accompanist. Choirs may be from conservatories or music academies.

The minimum size of the competing choir is 20 participants, not including the conductor and accompanist(s). Special permission to compete with fewer than 20 singers may be obtained from the organisers, should there be extenuating circumstances that prevent the choir from meeting the minimum requirement. There is no upper limit to the number of participants a choir may have.



There is no limit to the number of categories a choir may compete in. The categories in the competition are as below:

Category Age Limit
A: Equal Voices A1 12 years and below
A2 17 years and below
A3 25 years and below
A4 Open
B: Mixed Voices B1 19 years and below
B2 25 years and below
B3 Open
F: Folklore F Open
J: Jubilee J 50 years and above
S: Musica Sacra S Open

Choirs cannot compete in 2 categories within the same voicing (i.e. A choir cannot take part in both A1 and A3).

Choirs taking part in Category J are not allowed to participate in Categories A or B.

For each category, except for Category A1, each choir is to prepare three songs according to the following requirements:

Category A1

For Category A1, each choir is to prepare 2 songs according to the following requirements:

  • Two contrasting pieces, of which one piece must be performed a cappella (without instrumental accompaniment)

For Category A1, there will be an optional third piece – Daffodils by Kelly Tang. The best performance of Daffodils will be awarded a special Jury Prize, separate from the Category Awards. Only the required two songs will count towards the final scoring of the choir and their singing time.

Choirs interested in performing this optional piece should contact the organisers at for perusal copies and/or score purchase.

Category A2 and B1

  • Three contrasting choral compositions or arrangements
  • At least one piece must be performed a cappella

Category A3, A4, B2 and B3

  • One composition by a composer born before 1870
  • One composition by a living composer at the time of application
  • One free choice
  • At least one work must be performed a cappella

Category F

  • Three contrasting folk songs form the choir’s country/region
  • There is no restriction on the number of works sung with or without live accompaniment in Category F

Category J

  • Three contrasting choral compositions or arrangements of the choir’s choice
  • There is no restriction on the number of works sung with or without live accompaniment in Category J

Category S

  • One composition written/composed by a composer before 1750
  • One composition written/composed by a composer after 1945
  • One free choice


Age Limit

The age limit of the singers must be observed according to category specifications, with age calculated at time of competition (in this case, 2020). However, a maximum of 15% of the singers in the competition choir may exceed this limit, provided a valid reason is submitted to the organisers in writing at the time of application.

There is no age restriction on participants competing in the Open Categories.


Competition Repertoire

The intended competition repertoire using the prescribed form (attained after registration) must be submitted in soft copy to the organisers by 30 April 2020 to ensure that all requirements are met. Choirs who are performing songs not in English or Latin are to submit a song description/translation in English. There is to be no change in programme or performance order once it has been approved.

For choirs competing in multiple categories, repertoire should not be repeated.  Each work may be performed only once (that is, under one category).


Original Scores

Choirs are individually responsible for honoring copyright and performance rights of the songs. Choirs are to submit 5 original scores of each competition piece to the organisers for the purpose of adjudication during registration on 29 July 2020. These scores should be labeled clearly with the choir’s name for the purpose of redistribution post-competition. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in disqualification from the competition.

All published choral works may only be sung using original scores. The use of unauthorized/reproduced copies is strictly prohibited and will be subjected to a 5% final score penalty based on jury discretion.


Singing Time

The pure singing time limit for each category is as follows. This does not include time taken by movements on/off-stage, between pieces, or applause. In the event a choir exceeds the time limit, a penalty of 5% of the total mark will be deducted from their final score.

Category Singing Time
A: Equal Voices A1 8 minutes (excluding optional third piece)
A2 12 minutes
A3 15 minutes
A4 15 minutes
B: Mixed Voices B1 12 minutes
B2 15 minutes
B3 15 minutes
F: Folklore F 15 minutes
J: Jubilee J 15 minutes
S: Musica Sacra S 15 minutes


Change of Key

All songs performed for the competition must be performed in the original key in accordance to the score submitted. No transpositions are allowed.


Video/Sound Engineering

It is a condition of participation that choirs must agree to the photography, recording and broadcast of their participation in the festival by the organisers. Unauthorised video or audio recordings are strictly prohibited, likewise the use of equipment for the amplification of voices or instruments other than the technical setup provided.