Denver Percussion – Fall 2020 Percussion Ensemble Competition


  • Who: High School & Middle School Band Programs and independent ensembles

  • When: Fall 2020 (August 3 – November 6, 2020 or later if schools are forced to change schedules) – All competitions are by video upload

  • What: Percussion ensemble music selected by Denver Percussion for ensembles of 3 to 10 musicians, which follows present Colorado and CDC guidelines for groups and coronavirus prevention.

    1. If your school is allowed to have larger groups, you may choose the large ensemble music selections at the bottom of the list.

    2. If you already have music you are working on, please contact Denver Percussion to see if that piece(s) will be acceptable for this competition.

  • Why: To keep kids engaged and give them a goal to look forward to, while still promoting musicianship and fun.

  • Cost: $100 per ensemble, no limit on number of ensembles from each school or independent group. Music and necessary instrumentation are additional expenses if/as necessary. Denver Percussion does have rental instruments available.

  • How: Band directors, or independent ensembles, will form groups to compete in a percussion ensemble competition for the fall of 2020. Students need not be percussionists to play in a percussion ensemble! Groups will select one or more pieces from the provided list for a minimum of 4 minutes but no more than 8 minutes of music for the group to perform (total video length must be less than 10 minutes). Music must be selected from the list provided and be all from the same difficulty level the ensemble has chosen (please contact Denver Percussion for exemptions/alternative selections). Please make sure to select music that is appropriately difficult for your ensemble, as music that is too easy will be boring, and music that is too difficult will be frustrating for your kids. All music may be purchased directly from Denver Percussion at a discount off the posted list price. Sample recordings and scores are available on the respective publisher’s website.

Groups will be scored on the following criteria:

    • Rhythm (50 points)

      • Individual rhythmic accuracy (20 points)

      • Ensemble rhythmic accuracy (20 points)

      • Complexity of rhythm (10 points)

    • Note accuracy (30 points)

      • Individual preparation (10 points)

      • Group preparation (10 points)

      • Complexity of music (10 points)

    • Musicality (20 points)

      • Individual phrasing & performance (10 points)

      • Ensemble phrasing & performance (10 points)


NOTE: There is no visual score for this competition, but ensembles are expected to dress and act professionally in their performance. Costumes related to the selected music are not required, but they may make the performance more fun for the group. Costumes will not increase, or decrease, a group’s score. Note that the actual performance is part of the musicality score, so performing well is encouraged.


Single file video submissions should be of high quality (HD1080 or better), from one fixed camera positioned to see the entire group. Note that the video may be comprised of a single take of the entire performance or mixed takes of individual pieces to allow for cleaning/sanitation between pieces. Stereo audio provided on the video should be of exceptionally good quality, and multichannel audio mixing (close micing) is allowed. Groups that do not have multichannel mixing capability may use a single stereo microphone. Please contact Denver Percussion with questions or for assistance in video and audio recording assistance as needed. We recommend you do a few dry runs of your video/audio work prior to the actual submission deadlines!


Competition Schedule (dates are currently tentative, and subject to change due to school closures):

All videos will be uploaded through a or similar link supplied by Denver Percussion. These links are time restricted, and late uploads will not be accepted. Failure to upload a video will result in a score of N/V (no video). Videos are large files and will take quite a bit of time to upload. Do not wait until the last minute to upload your video!


Round 1 – Video submissions by October 23, 2020 – Recording should show student achievement to-date. Perfect performances are not expected, as kids are probably still learning and perfecting the music. This scoring/comment round is for critique only and will not affect the final placement score.


Round 2 – Video submissions by November 13, 2020 – Recordings should be complete performances of all music selections. This scoring/comment is for critique only and will not affect the final placement score.


Final Round – Video submissions by December 11, 2020 – This final round will determine overall placement of ensembles for the competition. This is the score that will determine the final prize placement for all ensembles.


Prizes: Denver Percussion is working with manufacturers to come up with prizes for the top three groups in all levels of this competition. Prizes will be announced as soon as they are known.



Other rules:

All students will be required to have a parental (and/or student release for students over 18) for video recording and use. Denver Percussion requires all groups to have these releases filed before the first video submission for all students in the performing ensemble. Denver Percussion may promote any ensemble on its YouTube page to showcase the great things going on in Colorado. All necessary licensing for these videos will be obtained by Denver Percussion, and any future revenue(s) derived from such video will be retained by Denver Percussion.


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