Local Preliminary Auditions
2013-11-03 18.32.46

DATE: TBA (usually late Sept or early Oct)

ENTRY DEADLINE:   TBA (usually early Sept)

TIME: 1:00 – 5:00 PM

LOCATION: West Chester University

SPONSORING CHAPTER: Main Line Music Teachers Association

Click here for the MLMTA website

MUSICAL SCORES: One original copy of the music must be provided for the judges. Photocopies are strictly prohibited.

AGE:  The Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival is open to Pennsylvania residents of any age, including adults.

FEE:  TBA for Local Festival (non-refundable)


  • Two (2) memorized pieces.  Music for the elementary level should be contrasting in style. Intermediate and advanced levels should be from two different periods of music history. 
  • Simplifications, or arrangements, are NOT acceptable, unless the original composer is the arranger (i.e. Liszt transcriptions, Brahms Waltzes.)
  • Arrangements of movie, Broadway or pop songs, hymns, organ literature, etc.; simplified or partial versions of classical repertoire (i.e. anything not originally composed for piano solo) is NOT acceptable.



  • Any student who has passed level 8A and 8B is exempt from taking the test.
  • Students
    need not progress to a new level every year.
  • Ensemble students also performing as soloists will take only one test.
  • Ensemble students performing as an ensemble only must take a test, at of the least experienced member of the group.
  • Test re-takes are not permitted.
  • Students are not permitted to see or take the test before the designated test date.
  • Performance level and theory level need not match.


  • Any piano, vocal or instrumental student of a PMTA member may participate in the DSPF Preliminary Auditions.
  •  Students in ensembles who are not students of members may participate for an extra fee, and the ensemble must be coached by the PMTA member
  • Students and families are not permitted to bring food/drinks or eat/drink on the premises of Evaluations or Honors Recital Venues.
  • Students are expected to wear appropriate attire: NO JEANS, SNEAKERS, T-SHIRTS, SHORTS OR HATS


Begun in 1980 by Dorothy Sutton, the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival is an opportunity for the talented music student to participate in a State Festival in a Showcase Recital. To assure high standards, the student must first qualify with a Superior rating in Local Preliminary Auditions, and must demonstrate a minimal knowledge of music theory by passing a written theory exam with a grade of 85%. Students performing at the State Festival Showcase Recital will receive a gold medal and a Certificate of Participation.

State PMTA Solo and Ensemble Showcase Recitals are held at various colleges and Universities in PA in November.