Rules &

General Rules & Regulations

The following rules and regulations applies to the entire competition.

Competition Repertoire

The intended competition repertoire using the prescribed form (attained after registration) must be submitted in soft copy to the organisers by 30th April 2024 to ensure that all requirements are met.

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

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.

Original Scores

Choirs are individually responsible for honoring copyright and performance rights of the songs. In light of our commitment to the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the festival no longer requires hardcopy scores to be provided. The scores should also indicate the necessary license that is purchased for use by the choir. 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.

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Category Singing Time Limit
A: Equal Voices A1 8 minutes
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.


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.

Individual Choir Members are not allowed to participate under different choirs in the same category of competition unless written approval is sought from the organisers and the relevant festival fees paid.


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

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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
  • Each choir is to prepare 2 songs according to the following requirements:
    Two contrasting choral compositions or arrangements
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 from 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


If your choir is unable to travel, you can still take part in the Singapore International Choral Festival by choosing to go virtual with us. Choirs will be able to take part in any of the above categories via virtual recorded submission and will be provided the same written comments, scoring and certificates subjected to the following conditions:

  • Choirs taking part in the virtual competition will be adjudicated by the same panel of judges but the scoring will be separate from the actual competition.
  • Choirs taking part in the virtual competition will not be eligible for the Grand Prix Round.
  • Competition submission must be in video format in one single take. More information and details will be provided to your choir when you sign up for the virtual competition.
Age Limit

The age limit of the singers must be observed according to category specifications, with age calculated in the year of the competition (in this case, 2024). However, a maximum of 15% of the singers in the competition choir may exceed this limit up to a cap of three (3) years above the age limit of the category, 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.

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.

The Jury

The decision of the jury is final and cannot be contested. The choir will be awarded points based on the average of the jury scores.

Assessment Criteria

For each work performed, choirs will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. Intonation – singing in tune, with pitch accuracy (100 points)
  2. Fidelity to Score – degree of exactness to performance directions (tempo, dynamic markings, articulation and so on) (100 points).

The average mark for (a) Intonation and (b) Fidelity to Score will be calculated by dividing the total points by three.

(total points for Category A1 will be divided by two)

Choirs will also be assessed on their overall (c) Vocal Quality (100 points) and (d) Artistic Impression (100 points).

The final score is on a 100-point scale, calculated by dividing the sum of (a), (b), (c) and (d) by 4. The awards are given according to the following:

  • 80.00 – 100 points GOLD
  • 70.00 – 79.99 points SILVER
  • 60.00 – 69.99 points BRONZE

The choir that attains a Gold award with the highest score in each category will be awarded the title of “Category Champion” and may be selected to take part in the Grand Prix.

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Intonation – 100 points (a) Fidelity – 100 points (b)
Song 1 80 82
Song 2 84 80
Song 3 78 86
Average 80.66 82.66
Vocal Quality – 100 points (c) Artistic Impression – 100 points (d)
86 80
Final Score [(a+b+c+d) ⁄ 4]

Fig 1. Sample Scoring Criteria, 8th SICF 2024

Special Awards

The jury may award special prizes or recommend a choir for participation in the Grand Prix Competition as they deem fit.

Grand Prix Finalists will be selected at the discretion of the jury, and may or may not include all Category Champions. The jury’s decision is final and cannot be contested.

The Grand Prix Competition will take place on 31st July 2024 at the Esplanade Concert Hall (venue may be subjected to change).

Choirs selected for the Grand Prix Competition are required to sing two songs up to a maximum performance time of 10 minutes based on the following criteria:

  • A new piece not performed before in the competition rounds
  • Either a song previously performed from the category of competition that won the choir a place in the Grand Prix, or another new piece.

Choirs selected for the Grand Prix are to submit original pdf e-scores of both pieces to the organisers for the purpose of adjudication.

Grand Prix Finalists will be ranked based on their performance and the choir with the highest average rank among the panel will be awarded Grand Prix Champion and qualify for the 4th Asia Grand Prix for Choral Singing which will be held in Singapore in 2025. The champions of each of the following qualifying festivals (Singapore International Choral Festival, Bali International Choir Festival, Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod, and the Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival) will vie for the highest accolade in the Asian choral festival circuit.