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American Classic Festival Information

Frequently Asked Questions – Festivals

Looking for our Trip & Tour FAQ? Click here!



Pre-Festival Planning and Payment Information

What portions of my trip and festival participation 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 would like! After we provide a quote for your trip, let us know which portions you wish to handle and what you would like us to arrange. We can even help you in the brainstorming stage if you want to explore different options for your trip 

After I register, what if the number of students/parents changes?

You can change your numbers as many times as needed until 30 days prior to the date of the festival. Once your festival is 30 days away, the final numbers for your group must be set and final payments for all invoice items should have been submitted. Any requested changes MUST be submitted in writing to either of our Festival Account Executives listed below.

BriAnne Woodward                                   Becky Byers             

What if I need to add or cancel an add-on item?

We are happy to add additional items for your group to enjoy. Package additions such as attractions, tickets, and/or meals will be shown as separate items on your invoice.  

Cancellation of additional items such as, but not limited to meals, additional entertainment and attractions, transportation etc. may be governed by the terms and conditions of separate agreements for those services. Cancellations and number changes will be handled according to the individual attraction or meal contracts. Requested add-on services are subject to availability and may, in some cases, be non-refundable.

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

All invoices must be PAID IN FULL four (4) weeks (30 days) prior to the festival date. Park and/or attraction tickets will not be issued without full payment.  

Accounts which are not paid in full may place the festival performance and add-on services (when applicable) in jeopardy.  

What if it becomes necessary to cancel? Can I get a refund or a credit for next year?

For cancellations received up to 30 days prior to your festival date, you will receive a refund of all deposited funds except your nonrefundable registration fees. Please note some add-on services may be non-refundable. You can choose to receive a refund or apply the funds toward participation in a trip/festival the following year. 

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. 

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.

Who will be judging my students at the festival?

We support you in your desire to provide positive and beneficial performance experiences for your ensembles. You can expect thoughtful, motivational comments from our three (3) carefully selected adjudicators. Each understands the value of recognizing and rewarding the efforts of young performers at every level of development.  

What are the music requirements for festival participation?

Each group will perform three (3) selections.

Bring three (3) sets of original copies of music with measures numbered.

Music selections may come from any source.

What attire is appropriate for the festival?

There are no specific requirements. Festival participants perform in formal concert attire or organization t-shirt with nice jeans/pants. 

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, but not required.

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

What awards are available to competing groups?

Following the performance, the directors will receive their Division Trophy, performance recording, and adjudicator comments during their check-out process with the contest Registrar.

All participating groups in the Encore and Premier categories will receive a Division Trophy.

Entrants in the Premier Category may be eligible for the following awards:

Outstanding Performance Trophy if the group earns First Division ratings from all three (3) judges

Outstanding Soloist Awards (awarded at the adjudicators’ discretion)

Best In Class Trophy if the group earns first division ratings from all three judges (Provided there are two (2) or more groups in the category.)

A Vocal and an Instrumental Best in Festival winner can be selected from entrants in the Premier Category who have earned first division ratings from all three (3) judges.

The type and number of Best in Festival Awards is determined by the judges based on the overall quality of the performance.

At the completion of the festival, winners will receive any additional trophies by mail or by delivery to the school by American Classic Tours & Music Festivals staff.

Festival day registration and performance procedures

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

Approximately two (2) weeks prior to the festival weekend, you will be sent an email containing the following information:

Name & Address of Festival Site

Final itinerary

Final invoice

Required forms to submit at the festival (Stage Set-Up Form & Performance Selection Announcement Form)

Loading/Unloading and building entrance Instructions

Bus Parking

Changing Rooms

If your arrangements include additional service items beyond your festival, you will receive a separate email containing information specific to your add-ons.

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

Three (3) sets of original music scores (one per adjudicator)

Stage Set-Up forms can be emailed to us in advance (preferred) or delivered on-site during registration:

A Stage Set-Up Form for Instrumental Groups

Set-Up Form indicating location of piano for Choral Groups

Stage Set-Up for Show Choirs

A Performance Selection Announcement form (can also be sent in advance via email)

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 clothing changes needed.

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 to deliver the following items for the check-in process:

Original scores-Three (3) copies of three (3) selections w/numbered measures)

Stage set-up form(s)

Announcement form(s)

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 issues 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 Warm Up and after your Performance at each of our festival venues. Please tell us in advance if you want to use these areas at the performance venue.

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

Upon completion of registration, the guide(s) 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.

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 necessary 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?

A brief on-stage warm-up or sound check is permissible. Once the group is ready to perform, an announcer will announce the group and director, along with program information.

After the performance, the guide(s) 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.

Solo Performance Awards, Division trophies, and Outstanding Performance trophies will be given at the registration table 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.

Photography & Social Media

We will take photos of your group(s) onstage, and we may take photos with awards after your festival performance.

We love to share your success on our social media outlets and encourage students, parents, and directors to tag us on your social media as well!

We invite you to share your photos and videos!

Use the hashtag #MakeItAClassic




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

Bands and Orchestras:

Music stands, chairs, and a 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 may not be 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. Any choral group needing a sound system must bring their own equipment (such as microphones, amplification system, or accompaniment equipment)

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?

BriAnne Woodward  210-963-7176

Becky Byers  210-963-7174

Kyle Friesenhahn  210-313-7910

Mark Buley  210-421-0770