The Preliminary Judges thoroughly enjoyed listening to all the DVD and CD recordings of ensembles that applied to the 2013 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and I would like to personally congratulate you on your accomplishment. While I would like to be able to invite everyone to Columbia, Plowman is a competition with limited resources and time.
There were 29 applications this year, of which 15 ensembles are invited to move forward to the Semi-Finals. It was a very, very difficult decision, and the judges conferred for hours last night.
The types of ensembles that applied this year were 9 saxophone quartets (!!), 5 woodwind quintets, 5 string quartets, 5 piano trios (pn-vn-vc), 3 piano trios (others), a brass quintet and a string trio.
The level was exceptionally high - but, looking back to the past competitions, Plowman has always been impressive. Perhaps the excitement this year also comes from the fact that this was the first time we accepted DVD recordings and kept CD as an optional format - and the performers' body language, if appropriate to the music, can be extremely powerful.
Semi-Finalist Ensembles have been contacted, and once their participation is confirmed (sometime after March 10), I will post the instrumentation of the ensembles we will be hearing LIVE in Columbia!
Plowman Preliminary Auditions are DONE. Enjoyed every minute of watching and/or listening to 29 DVDs/CDs. Result will be sent to respective ensemble representatives by tomorrow (Friday)!
If you have not been contacted with the confirmation that we have received your application, we are very sorry but we are officially now closing the application acceptance. If we receive your application sometime this week (we have been hit with another snow storm today, and it looks like snow will continue through tomorrow - i.e. office is closed), I will make sure your application fee is returned to you. We regret the rest of the materials will not be returned.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via web site. Unfortunately our Internet has been out of service since late last night, and am not certain when it will be back. Your patience is much appreciated!
The latest news is that First Baptist Church is closed for the weekend due to Winter Storm Q. This means we are unable to accept any application that comes in today, because there is no one there to receive it.
I will honor all applications received on/before Monday, February 25, but will need to go forward with the competition thereafter. Our next precipitation is expected on Monday, but hopefully it will not hinder Fedex and UPS delivery! Thank you for your patience.
Contestants - I will be in touch with you via e-mail after Monday.
Has Mother Nature intervened and cannot get to Fedex in time? If you were planning to send the application materials out today but got snowed in by the Winter Storm Q, I am willing to consider Saturday acceptance. You will need to contact me via web site for further instructions - because the current mailing address will not accept Saturday delivery. Good luck!!
We are 5 days away from the last deadline on February 22! If you are applying (and we hope that you will!), please take a moment to read this.
NO ENSEMBLE NAMES OF ANY KIND ON THE CD/DVD PLEASE. This includes what's marked on AND inside the discs. As I check the recordings, I am seeing TOO many discs with your ensemble name or other competitions as the file name (!). What you submit as application materials is YOUR responsibility.
Imagine this scenario: Sometimes judges with the best intentions cannot help but to Google who you are. It really is in your best interest to keep yourselves as anonymous as possible.
Thank you for your cooperation in pursuit of a fair competition!
Thank you for utilizing Paypal option! Please know that application fee alone will not count as completed application - we must also receive the completed application form and CD/DVDs by the deadline, either Feb 15 or Feb 22.
For those of you who have applied to Plowman in the past years, and if you are opting for money order or certified check, please make it payable to "Plowman Competition."
One more thought today:
PLEASE check ALL THREE CDs or DVDs that you are sending in, and make sure all copies are of the same medium.
My big pet-peeve is labeled CDs and DVDs. Please, ONLY composers and movement titles and length (optional though recommended), instrumentation at most - NO NAMES of you, your ensemble, or your school. If there are any, I will personally black it out and charge you extra for a Sharpie.
Thank you to an applicant who informed me of the missing Paypal button!! Yes, the button is alive and isat the top of the "Application" page.
The only reason for Paypal is, aside from its convenience, it is fast. In the past, I cannot tell you how many times we had to return PERSONAL CHECKS because we just don't accept it. Now, no one will have to go through the hassle of running to the post office and changing a single personal check to a money order so that the application can be validated, etc.
That said, Paypal fees are expensive compared to purchasing a money order from US Postal Service (USPS), which I think is still $1.20. The downside is that if by chance the package gets lost, the money order is also lost (and a huge headache to retrieve its full amount)... which is why insured delivery is always recommended.
So perhaps, in the end, extra $5 isn't so horrible if you can manage to pay via Paypal and send rest of the materials via Priority (or First Class). In the end, we don't care how it is sent to us so long as we receive the complete package safe and sound... and I'm sure you feel the same way.
Ayako Tsuruta, Artistic Director