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International Ensemble Competition
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1. International Youth Ensemble Competition – All ensemble members must be ages 17 or under through the date of the competition finals.


2. International Ensemble Artist Competition –Ensemble members must be 18 or over through the date of the competition finals.


Proof of age of each ensemble member is required upon registration in the form of a digital copy of a passport, birth certificate, or driver’s license.





International Ensemble Artist Competition - Small Ensemble


1st Prize: $1,200

2nd Prize: $900

3rd Prize: $700


International Ensemble Artist Competition - Large Ensemble:


1st Prize: $1,200

2nd Prize: $900

3rd Prize: $700


International Youth Ensemble Competition - Small Ensemble:


1st Prize: $1,000

2nd Prize: $700

3rd Prize: $500


International Youth Ensemble Competition - Large Ensemble:


1st Prize: $1,000

2nd Prize: $700

3rd Prize: $500


Additional prizes from GFA sponsors TBD.


Competitors Orientation Meeting


The date, time, and place of this meeting will be emailed to all competitors. Attendance is mandatory for all ensemble members.



1. Duos, Trios, Quartets will compete in the small ensemble category.


2. Ensembles of five or more players will compete in the large ensemble category.


3. Entering ensembles should primarily play classical nylon-string guitars - which may include extended range guitars such as soprano, contrabass, and 7-string guitars - using classical finger style technique. Any plectrum usage must be approved by the Artistic Director by May 1st.   


4. Directors may conduct large ensembles, but may not perform as a guitarist with the group.


5. All ensembles are required to submit their program in advance, after which programs may not be altered.  Ensembles will be asked to proof the program at the Competitors' Orientation Meeting. 


6. There will be a single competition round for each division before a panel of three judges and the public. Performance order will be determined by a lottery within each age group.


7. The total performance time must not exceed fifteen minutes. Players will be timed from the moment the first note is played and the timer will run throughout the performance. Players who exceed the fifteen minute time limit may be stopped.


8. The judges have the option of stopping any of these performances before the fifteen minute deadline. All decisions by the judges are final. These prizes are not required to be awarded, and are given at the judges' discretion.  No ties will be allowed. 


9. Results of the IEC will be announced at the 8pm concert on the penultimate day of the convention. The IEC Winners’ Concert will be held on the last day of the convention at 11am.


Application Deadline


Applications will open in the fall of 2016.
Application and fees must be submitted and paid through the GFA website no later than May 1, 2017 at 11:59pm ESTEach individual of a competing ensemble must hold an active GFA membership and submit an application through the GFA website. No late entries will be considered. An ensemble will not be considered registered until all members have submitted an application. Competition registration includes full access to all convention events.

If a competing individual is not an active GFA member, there is an additional fee of $60.00 for a general membership, or $45.00 for a full-time student membership.

-Michael Kagan, Artistic Director of GFA International Ensemble Competition. Please direct any questions to Michael at

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