New for 2017

We are excited to launch the Northwest Chamber Music Festival which will run in parallel with the Orchestra Festival. Students entered in one of the three small ensemble divisions will receive the same kind of high-quality feedback from our artist/teacher adjudicators that people have come to expect from our larger ensemble competitions. All students from grades six to twelve are eligible to participate regardless of instrument. From flute duets to brass choirs to string octets, we will welcome your students’ groups with low registration fees of $10 (or less) per student. If you are close to Portland, we hope that you will encourage students to attend even if you are not attending the Orchestra portion of the festival.


Directions & Maps (Click to Download):

Registration: Please pick up your registration packets in the College Theater Lobby no later than one hour prior to your performance time.  In your registration packets you will find programs, exact warm up times and places, and any last minute schedule changes and information.   Please turn in your seating diagram and program information form (download here) and any other materials necessary for our staff to assist in setup when you register.  Please also turn in two copies of each score for the judges when you register.

Home Rooms/Instrument Storage: During your warm up and performance, you may store your cases in your designated case storage room. Please remove all items immediately following your performance as space is limited. After you drop off your cases, proceed to your warm-up room (by your scheduled warm-up time) to meet your ensemble guide. Due to the size of the festival this year, we cannot offer secured instrument storage. The Vista Dining Center and the Jazz Café will be available for shared instrument storage, but groups will be required to provide their own security.  Mt. Hood Community College and NWOF cannot provide security.   Participants should plan on storing instruments on their buses. 

Warm-Up: Each ensemble will be limited to a warm-up and tune-up session approximately equal to their performance time in an assigned warm-up room.  Warm-up rooms will contain chairs but no other equipment (i.e. no music stands).   In the interest of staying on schedule, those groups performing first or immediately after lunch may warm up in their performance site during their assigned warm-up period. This is clearly detailed on the schedule.

Performance Recordings: Each performing ensemble will receive a CD of their performance. This recording will be made by students from the Electronic Music Production course sequence at Mt Hood Community College who are supervised by their professor to ensure the highest quality available. There will be no video recordings made by the festival staff this year. These recordings should be picked up with the adjudication packet right after awards in the College Theatre Lobby.

Command Performances: Throughout the day on Saturday, the adjudicators will be listening for up to four ensembles to nominate for a short command performance immediately prior to the awards ceremony. If an ensemble is chosen for a command performance, they will be asked to perform one selection not exceeding ten minutes in length. Directors will be notified of their participation by the conclusion of the final performance in each room.

Awards: Plaques will be awarded to the top three scoring schools in each division. In the event of a tie, the “musicality” scores will be used as a tie breaker. On Friday, awards will be given immediately following the final group’s performance. On Saturday, awards will be given to all divisions in the College Theater after the command performances. After the awards ceremony is over, directors should pick up their information packets (with judges’ comments, recordings, and paperwork) from the registration table in the College Theater lobby.

Photography/Recording: No professional group photos will be taken at the event but the staff will be happy to point your ensemble to great locations for group photos. Please remind all participants and guests that flash photography is strictly prohibited. The staff will ask individuals using a flash to leave the performance venues without exception. While we do not prohibit audio/video/photographic recording during the event, we ask that you be mindful of the intellectual property rights of others. Capturing a performance is not against the law but broadcasting, sharing, or reproducing the performance is most likely in violation of federal copyright law. 

Divisions: Performing divisions are determined by ensemble size, school enrollment, and grade level and may or not match the athletic divisions we are used to.  This year, we continue scoring according to the OSAA/OMEA standards and we will use the information provided on your enrollment forms to forward scores to OSAA (in qualifying divisions) upon request.

Orchestra Divisions

Junior Divisions 

  • Orchestra 1 - 6th through 8th grades (middle school) – scored with the 1A/2A rubric
  • Orchestra 2 - 7th through 9th grades (junior high) – scored with the 1A/2A rubric

Senior Divisions

  • Orchestra 3 - High schools with a graduating class below 300 – scored with the 3A/4A rubric
  • Orchestra 4 - High school with a graduating class above 300 – scored with the 5A/6A rubric
  • Orchestra 3C - Chamber orchestras (10-24 players) from high schools with a graduating class below 300
  • Orchestra 4C - Chamber orchestra (10-24 players) from high school with a graduating class above 300

Small Ensemble Divisions          

  • SE 1/2 - 6th through 9th grades (middle and junior high school) – scored with the 1A/2A rubric
  • SE 3 - Small Ensembles (9 or fewer players) from high schools with a graduating class below 300 – scored with the 3A/4A rubric
  • SE 4 - Small Ensembles (9 or fewer players) from high school with a graduating class above 300 – scored with the 5A/6A rubric

Equipment: The festival will provide the following equipment at the performance sites:

  • One piano (all divisions)
  • Four timpani (all Full-Orchestra divisions)
  • Chairs and music stands

Food: On Friday, the Vista Dining Center will be open and serving food for purchase. There is no food service on campus on Saturday.
A list of restaurants in the immediate area is available here.

Contact with Judges: In the interests of fairness, we ask that all directors refrain from having any contact or conversations with the judges.  However innocent such interactions might be, they can be perceived by students in a very discouraging light.

Scheduling: Once again, scheduling is very tight this year. Punctuality is of the essence in keeping everything running smoothly and giving everyone a chance to perform and get feedback from the judges.  Please follow the instructions of our staff so that we can stay on schedule.  Judges will adjudicate without prejudice if groups have to stop before completion of their selections.  Groups which do not follow instructions will have points deducted from their scores.

Consistent with directors' requests, we are planning to offer immediate feedback from one of the judges after each performance as time permits.  This can only be done successfully if everyone keeps to their scheduled times.  Groups who do not finish within their assigned time frames will be requested to make way for the next scheduled group at the assigned time.  


Email:  grant.linsell@mhcc.edu

Office Phone:  503-491-7157

Mobile Phone: 503-400-2451


Participants with disabilities:  to request accommodations please contact the Disability Services Office at (503) 669-6923 or (503) 667-7670 (TDD) at least two weeks prior to the event.

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