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American Classic Festival Information

Frequently Asked Questions – Festivals

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Pre-Festival Planning and Payment Information

What parts of my trip can be arranged by American Classic? What if I need a charter bus or hotel rooms?

  • American Classic can plan, make reservations, and arrange as much of your trip as you’d like! After we give you a quote for your trip, you can keep as much of your itinerary as you wish and let us know which parts you decide to take care of on your own. We can even help you in the brainstorming stage if you are unsure what you would like to do on your trip!

After I register, what if the number of students/parents changes or I need to add or cancel an add-on item?

  • You can change your numbers and/or add-ons as many times as needed until 30 days prior to the date of the festival. 30 days prior to the festival, numbers need to be set and payments must be received for all items on the invoice.

What if I have to cancel my trip? Can I get a refund or a credit for next year?

  • If you must cancel your trip, you will receive a refund of all deposited funds except your registration fees. You can choose to get a refund or save the dollars to use towards your trip the following year. Cancellations must be made 30 days prior to your festival date.

When is the final payment for festival participation due?

  • All invoices must be paid in full four weeks (30 days) prior to the festival date. Park and/or attraction tickets will not be issued without full payment.

When is the final payment for festival add-on items due?

  • Package additions such as attractions, tickets, and/or meals will be shown as separate items on your invoice. Cancellations and number changes will be handled according to the individual attraction or meal contracts.

How does the group receive our tickets for add-on attractions like Six Flags?

  • Tickets will be given to the director (or the person appointed by the director) at the performance site on the day of the festival. Accounts that are not paid in full may jeopardize their festival performance and arrangements for payment must be made prior to the festival date.
  • Six Flags Admission Tickets – Please keep all park and attraction tickets secure upon receipt. American Classic is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets once they are received by the director (or the person appointed by the director). Unused tickets may be used any day the park is open through the end of June.

Festival competition levels and awards information

What performance-level options are available for competition? Can the competition be tailored to my performing group’s needs?

  • The Encore Option provides an encouraging and informative experience focused on noting progress toward building a foundation of basic performance skills. Three qualified adjudicators with established expertise will offer comments designed to instruct and motivate the performers. Music (three selections) may come from any source. Concert attire is not required, and casual dress is acceptable.


  • The Premier Option – Critiques are offered from a substantial level of expectation appropriate to the age of performers and type of performing group. The standards for this option include refinement and mastery as determined by three qualified adjudicators with established expertise. Groups competing in the Premier classification are eligible for Best in Festival Award. Each group will perform three selections chosen by the director (may come from any source). Concert attire is appropriate and recommended.


  • Directors have the opportunity to select the performance level (Encore or Premier) during the registration process.

What awards are available to competing groups?

  • All participating groups will receive a division trophy and will have the opportunity to earn Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Soloist awards. These awards will be presented upon completion of the performance at the contest venue. Premier entrants will be eligible for Best in Class and Best in Festival


  • Entrants in the Premier Category who earn first division ratings from all three judges are eligible for consideration for Best in Class when there are two or more groups in the category. Vocal and Instrumental Best in Festival winners are presented to entrants in the Premier Category who have earned first division ratings from all three judges. The type and number of Best in Festival Awards is determined by the overall quality of the performance as determined by the vocal and instrumental judging panels. These awards will be decided at the completion of the festival weekend by the judging panels. Winners will receive trophies by mail or by delivery to the school by American Classic staff.

Festival day registration and performance procedures

What items should I expect prior to the festival, and when will I receive them?

  • An email containing information regarding the final itinerary, invoice, required forms to submit at the festival, and loading/unloading instructions will be sent approximately two weeks prior to the festival weekend.

What information do I need to provide at the festival site during registration?

  • Three sets of original music scores (one per adjudicator)
  • A stage set-up form, if applicable (provided via email referenced above)
  • A Performance Selection Announcement form (provided via email referenced above)

How early do we need to arrive at the performance venue?

  • Please arrive at the performance site 20-30 minutes prior to the first warm-up time, which will allow ample time for bus unloading, offloading any equipment, and registration.
  • Please allow extra time prior to your warm-up for any needed clothing changes.
  • There will be signs posted indicating the American Classic registration area

What is the sequence of events for arrival on site and registering?

  • Please keep students on the bus, unless otherwise instructed, until the registration process is completed.
  • Director should proceed to the registration area with original scores, stage set-up forms, and announcement forms ready to give to the registrar.
  • Student guides will be assigned to each performing group. The guides will remain with each group until after the performance is completed. The guides have specific instructions as to behavior, time constraints, movement of groups from warm up to stage, etc. Please follow all instructions. Ask to see the American Classic site coordinator if there are problems or questions.

Will there be a place where we can change clothes at the performance venue before/after our performance?

  • Yes, we arrange a place for your students to change clothes prior to the performance and after your performance at each of our festival venues we choose. Please let us know in advance if you would like to have these areas available to you at the performance venue.

What is the sequence of events for unloading and preparing for performance?

  • Upon completion of registration, the guide will assist with the unloading of students (and instruments) from the bus. Early arrivals will be escorted into the performance hall, a waiting area, or changing facilities if needed.
  • At the appropriate time, the guide will escort the performance group to the warm-up area. Instrumental groups are allowed 25 minutes for warm-up and choirs are allowed 15 minutes. This includes setup time. Five minutes of transit time is allotted between the warm-up area and the stage.
  • All sites run on a very precise schedule that must be strictly followed. Please have students move quickly and quietly when it’s time to move to the stage.
  • The stage crew should have the stage arranged according to your stage setup form. Please make any adjustments as quickly as possible.

Are parents/visitors allowed to come watch our performance? Is there an admission charge for parents/friends?

  • All visitors are welcome to attend any of our American Classic festivals. The festivals are open to the public and there is no admission charge.

What is the sequence of events for the on-stage performance and receiving results?

  • Once the group is ready to perform after a brief on-stage warm-up or sound check, an announcer will announce the group and director, along with program information.
  • Adjudication will be by a panel of three judges and comment forms will be received from each judge. There is no need to wait between performance selections.
  • After the performance, the guide will escort the group off stage and will then leave to support another group.
  • Directors, please return to the registration desk before departing the site. Performance result packets, trophies, scores, and a professional recording of the performance will be ready for pick up. Please check the result packet to make sure that it is complete before leaving the registration area.

Will there be an awards ceremony in the park?

  • We do not have an awards ceremony in the park, as we deliver Division and Outstanding Performance trophies to the director on-site upon completion of the group’s stage performance. Any Premier awards (Best in Class and/or Best in Festival) are delivered to the group during their trip or shipped to their school.

What equipment (instruments, risers, etc.) is provided for the performance?

  • Bands and orchestras: American Classic will provide music stands, chairs, and director’s podium in both stage and warm-up areas (there may not be one stand per chair nor director’s podium in the warm-up room). Chimes, xylophone, marimba, four timpani, and concert bass drum will be available on the stage area only. Directors must assume responsibility for bringing all necessary sticks, mallets, and any other needed equipment not specifically listed above. Tuners are not provided.
  • Jazz Bands: In addition to all equipment listed above, American Classic will provide electrical receptacles as needed. All other equipment needs of the group (complete sound systems, amplifiers, etc.) must be provided by the group. Platform risers are not provided.
  • Choral Groups: American Classic will provide a piano and 5 choral risers on stage unless the site has a different type of levels for performance. No special lighting will be provided. Any choral group needing a sound system must bring the equipment as needed (microphones, CD players, etc.).

General contact information

Whom should I contact with questions I may have prior to the festival?

  • Every American Classic staff member is committed to meeting your service needs and all questions and concerns are important to us. The American Classic office may be reached at 1-800-733-8384, 210-733-8167 during regular business hours Monday through Friday.

Whom should I contact with questions I may have during the festival weekend?

  • Penny Compton – 210-393-4503
  • BriAnne Woodward – 210-488-3346
  • Kyle Friesenhahn – 210-313-7910
  • Mark Buley – 210-421-0770

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