Virtual Festival

For the 2020 season, the PAFE board had to make the very difficult decision to cancel the Festival. For 2021 we want to hold the Festival. However, in order to be sure we can hold it and keep everyone safe, we have decided to hold the festival in a new format: 100% virtually. While we have made many decisions abut how to do this, some details are still being worked out. Please check back here periodically for updates.

As much as possible, the overall structure of the Festival will remain unchanged. The changes we are making are those required to keep everyone 100% safe.

If any other part of our website has different information than presented here, the information on this page takes precedence.



  • Except as listed below, the available classes will be the same as years past.
  • In order to allow us to focus on young performers, there will no longer be any adult classes. This is a change that will remain going forward.
  • Because the PAFE board did not feel it was safe for ensembles to meet, we made the difficult decision to cancel all ensemble classes for this year.
  • All remaining classes will be conducted virtually. Students and adjudicators will not actually meet, not even in a zoom-like setting.
  • Prior to the adjudication period, students will submit links to Youtube videos of their performances.
  • After Easter, the adjudicators will review these performances.
  • Once done, the adjudicators will provide written or recorded feedback to students, and issue awards.
  • Because this is a new process, the adjudication period will be extended from one week to two.


  • In order for everyone to be 100% safe, we will not be having in-person concerts.
  • We made the difficult decision to cancel the Artist Concerts. We urge you to share your videos with your friends and families.
  • The Concerto Playoff will be performed virtually. The judge panel will review the winning videos and make award determinations. The judging will be based on the same videos submitted for the classes. We will then inform the winners and share this information on our website and twitter feed.


  • Many dates on the schedule remain similar to years past. For specific dates, see our home page.
  • There is a new date on the schedule, the date by which the students must provide the link to their videos.
  • As mentioned earlier, the adjudication period will be twice as long this year.

Certificates and Awards:

  • Because the festival will be virtual, this year, we will not be providing Certificates of Participation.
  • Placement (1st place, 2nd place, Honorable Mention) Certificates will be sent to teachers, to be distributes to their students.
  • Special Awards and Concerto Concert Awards and checks will be sent to students after the end of the Festival.


  • In order to be 100% safe, all accompaniment in both solo and concerto classes is optional for this Festival.
  • We recommend for solo classes, students select pieces written by the composer for solo instrument, without piano accompaniment.

  • Adjudicators will be instructed not to mark down students who select accompanied pieces to play as solos, or when performing concerto pieces unaccompanied.
  • If students opt to use accompaniment, both live and prerecorded accompaniment will be accepted. Prerecorded accompaniment must be only the accompanist’s part; it may not include the student’s part.
  • Orchestrated accompaniments and computer-generated backing tracks are not allowed for accompaniment. Use of the MyPianist app is acceptable.
  • If playing unaccompanied, it is not necessary to count long periods of silence. Students may skip forward to where they re-enter.

Video creation rules:

  • Any late model smartphone should be capable of making an acceptable video, although laptops or cameras also can be used. If you are using a cellphone, make sure to use the forward-facing camera and not the selfie lens. You should not use a professional recording studio.
  • Work with your teacher to set up the best position for filming. The phone or camera should be in a fixed position and not handheld. It is best to film from slightly above you and not on the same level as your face. Ensure adequate lighting and test the audio quality.
  • Recordings must consist of continuous unedited, uninterrupted video footage of you from a single camera angle with coverage of your hands and face at all times.
  • For piano classes, your feet also should be visible in the video.
  • Dress for your performance as you would for an in-person Festival.
  • Review the time limits listed for your class and plan your video to fit within the time constraints. As with the in-person Festival, if your video runs beyond the time limit, the adjudicator will stop listening at the time limit. There is no penalty for going over the time limit and being stopped.
  • No mixing or sound enhancement is allowed through any kind of soundboard, including at a recording studio. No reverb can be added to the recording. The recording must be honest and acoustic. As closely as possible, it needs to be as if the adjudicator were in the room listening to you perform live.
  • You must begin each recording by stating your name in a clear voice (a first name matching that on the application will be sufficient) followed by the name of the piece(s) you are performing.
  • When performing two pieces, you must submit a separate recording for each piece. If you submit two recordings, each recording must include your name and the name of the piece you are performing.
  • Recordings must feature the piece(s) you entered when enrolling.
  • Recordings must be uploaded to YouTube and must not be set for private access.
  • All recordings must be recorded after enrollment opens (February 1, 2021).
  • All performances, except for woodwind, must be performed from memory.
  • Once the classes have been scheduled, we will send an email to you with detailed instructions on how to upload the videos to YouTube and how to submit those videos to PAFE.


Video uploading instructions:

You must upload all videos to YouTube. Please do so following these steps.

  1. Sign into your YouTube account, or create one if you do not already have one.
  2. At the top right of your home screen there is a camera icon with a + on it: . Click on this icon, then click on Upload video.
  3. From the next screen, click SELECT FILES. That takes you back to your computer files where you can select your video and click on it. You will then be taken back to the video upload screen and you will see that the video is automatically uploading.
  4. While uploading, please give the video the Title we asked for in the video submission email. This will follow this convention:

ClassCode LastName, FirstName: PieceTitle

Here is an example using the first piano solo class and student Robert Smith:

PS.P-2 Smith, Robert: The Merry Widow

  1. If you want to add other information such as composer, use the Description box to add that information.
  2. Click on the bullet that says “Yes, it’s made for kids”.
  3. Click the NEXT button to take you to the Video Elements page, and then again to take you to the Visibility page.
  4. Under “Save or publish”, select “Unlisted”.
  5. Click on the “SAVE” button.
  6. On the bottom right side of the “Video published” page, click on the “Copy video link” icon to place the link into your clipboard. This icon looks like this:
  7. Click on the “CLOSE” button.

Please keep your video posted on YouTube until the end of May, 2021. Class First Place winners, please keep your videos posted for one year.

Video submittal instructions:

Videos must be submitted to PAFE by March 26th, 2021.

As part of confirming your enrollment in PAFE classes, you should have received an email from listing each class in which you are enrolled.

Once you have uploaded your video to YouTube, please reply-all to that email, pasting the link to the video that you saved in your clipboard previously into that email reply. If you are performing multiple pieces, please paste all links in the appropriate places in the e-mail.

If you no longer have the video link in your clipboard, you can recover it following these steps.

  1. Sign into your YouTube account.
  2. Click on “Your videos” on the left-hand menu.
  3. Click on the thumbnail for the video you wish to submit.
  4. Click on the “Copy video link” icon that appears to the lower right under the video thumbnail. This icon looks like this:
  5. Paste that link into your email reply.