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International Ensemble Competition
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International Ensemble Competition

California State University, Fullerton

Fullerton, CA, USA









The GFA International Ensemble is comprised of an Artist and Youth Division. The Artist Division attracts professional and collegiate-level ensembles while the Youth Division is designed for ensembles whose members are 18 years old or younger.

1. International Ensemble Artist Competition – Open to all ages.


2. International Youth Ensemble Competition – All ensemble members must be ages 18 or under through the date of the competition finals.

*Ensembles may only compete in one age division of the IEC per year.

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* & Concert at the 2018 GFA Convention in Louisville, KY**

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


String prizes from Augustine, D'Addario, and Savarez.




Concert Artist Competition: Oscar Ghiglia, Christina Singer, Doug Rubio, Andrew York, William Kanengiser


Youth Competition: Matt Greif, Michal Stanikowski, Lydia Bach, Jack Sanders


*All prizes subject to mandatory 30% federal tax withholding for foreign prize-winners; US prize-winners will be issued an IRS-1099 Form.

**The concert prize is awarded for the small ensemble division of the International Ensemble Artist Competition, only. Included with this prize is lodging for the following year’s convention and travel expenses up to $2,000. Jurors are not obligated to award a 1 st place prize.


Competitors Orientation Meeting


The competitors meeting will be held at 10 am on Thursday, June 22 in the Arena Theater. 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 end of the 4 pm concert on the penultimate day of the convention. The IEC Winners’ Concert will be held on the last day of the convention at 11am.


10. A single competitor will have allowance to compete in both small and large categories within an age division without multiple entries in either category.


11. IEC Competitors are not allowed to compete in the International Youth Competition. IEC Competitors are allowed to compete in the International Concert Artist Competition. Contact for assistance registering for multiple competitions.


IEC winners will be announced at the end of the 4:00 pm concert on Friday, June 23.


Application Deadline is May 1, 2017.





International Ensemble Competition full week - $265

International Ensemble Competition 3 day pass - $160


Competitors participating in the IEC are not eligible to participate in the International Youth Competition.

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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