MSCA Competition Rules

This version of the rules was approved at the annual meeting of the MSCA in Rochester, MN on August 21, 2009.


1. Time and Place: Chanter units from any Temple in the Midwest Shrine Association are eligible to compete for awards at a time to be determined by the host Temple Chanter organization, with their Temple’s approval, during the Midwest Shrine Association Session.  

2. Supervision: Such Competition shall be under the supervision of the Midwest Shrine Competition Committee. All interpretations and rulings made by the Competition Committee shall be made within the framework of the Midwest Shrine Association rules. These rules, properly mandated by the Midwest Shrine Association Competition Committee, are not subject to review, correction, or waiver unless such review, correction, or waiver is made by the Committee.

3. Entry Forms: All Midwest Shrine Association Uniformed Groups who are qualified for competition may submit an Application for Contest Entry as defined in the first section of the MSACC Manual.

4. Eligibility: No Chanter unit will be eligible to compete in the competition unless each of its members is a Chanter in good standing and a bona fide member of the unit’s parent Temple. A member shall be deemed a member of the parent Temple if he regularly attends meeting there and resides in, or within a commuting distance of the city in which the unit is located. No unit member shall be allowed to sing or perform in more than one singing group of any one Temple. All units are encouraged to have members of their unit as Directors and accompanists. In today’s market this is not always possible, so qualified ladies are welcome. The Host Temple is encouraged to participate in the Judged Performances.

5. Meeting of the Representatives: At a time prior to the competition and at a place to be determined by the Host Temple, one representative of each competing unit shall meet with representatives of the Host Temple Competition Committee to receive instructions and to transact any business that may properly come before such meeting. Each unit shall be represented at the drawing for position in the competition.  It is suggested to the Host Temple that the drawing for position take place one half hour prior to the time of the actual competition. If a unit does not have a representative appear, the Host Temple shall draw for them.

6. Directors Meeting: The host unit shall schedule a meeting of the Directors of all attending units immediately following competition to conduct any business under the jurisdiction of the Directors. Any Director of units not attending, but who wishes to bring up business, must submit his request in writing to the President of the Host unit prior to this meeting.

7. Judges: Three qualified judges shall be selected by the Host Temple Chanter Unit with the approval of the MSACC. The judges are to be selected on the basis of their musical background and all judges are to be proficient in choral work as a director and have a degree in music or be currently recognized as qualified by experience in choral work as a choral director. No judge shall be selected who has a background limited to Barbershop singing or directing or who is currently involved in Barbershop music only. While judging they shall be given absolute privacy, without consultation.  Prior to the competition they shall be provided with a list of instructions approved by the MSACC setting out their duties as judges. In addition, they shall be provided with score sheets for each unit to be completed by them during the competition.  They shall be provided with written directions explaining the criteria to be used as judging guidelines in completing the score sheets. They shall complete individual score sheets for each unit. The results shall be transmitted to the president of the Midwest Shrine Chanter Association for tabulation, determination of awards, and subsequent announcement to the Units. The judges are to retain the individual score sheets until the completion of the competition.

8. Direction for the Judges: See attached Addendum A.

9. Competition Form: See attached Addendum B.

10. Score Sheets: See attached Addendum C.

11. Selection of Competition Numbers: There will be no required competition number. Each unit shall select two numbers of their choice. There must be a three year time period between a Chanter Unit’s use of a musical number in a Judged Performance.

12. Conduct of the Chorus:
. The singing and performance of any and all chorus competition numbers shall be done without physical movement or action by the chorus or any individual member of the chorus, excepting the Director and the accompanist. There shall be no oral introduction or comments of any kind made by any person of the Unit during their portion of the competition. All introductions or comments shall be made by the Master of Ceremonies of the competition who shall introduce each unit.

b. Both numbers shall be sung from memory, with or without piano accompaniment. Both numbers must be sung as published with the exception that passages written for solo, duet, trio, quartet, etc. may be used only when rendered by the entire personnel of all the section or sections for which the passage was originally written. Three copies of each score shall be furnished to the Host Unit for distribution to the judges. The copies must be marked in five measure intervals for the judges, i.e. 5 – 10 – 15 – 20, etc.

13. Penalties:
a. A chorus violating any of the rules established under the Code of Conduct shall be disqualified and its position and standing in the competition be forfeited.

b. Failure of any chorus to report to the contest site at the time set for it to appear shall be penalized at the rate of one (1) full point for each five minutes of delay up to a maximum of three (3) points for fifteen (15) minutes, at which time the Unit shall be disqualified and its position and standing in the competition be forfeited.

14. Protests: Any protests regarding these competitions shall be disposed of according to the Midwest Shrine Association Competition rules for protest and for Reviews of Decisions and Rulings (copies of which may be obtained from the MSCAA) which provide, among other things, that any such protests must be filed in the Office of the MSACC in the Host Temple not later than 5:00 p.m. of the day of the competition. Copies of the protest shall be given to all Units involved in or affected by the protest. The protesting Unit shall be represented by an officer of the Unit at the meeting of said committee to be held at 10:00 a.m. the day after the filing of such protest.


  1. Midwest Shrine Chanters Association judges are secured by the Host Temple in conjunction with the Midwest Shrine Competition Committee (hereinafter referred to as MSACC.)   Judges are under the jurisdiction of the MSACC and are instructed to deal with its members (generally a specifically designated member) in any case where a contest matter is concerned and with the officers of the Midwest Shrine Chanters Association. The MSACC will appoint one of its members to be in charge of each competition.

2.       All judges are expected to maintain a dignified and silent aloofness; both while on and off duty.

The duties of a judge are:
a.       To rate each unit with points from zero (0) to five (5) for each of the seven scoring categories as listed on ADDENDUM C.  A separate score is arrived at for each number and then the total score for both numbers.
b.       To add the scores for the seven categories of each number and then the total score for both numbers.

c.       To assist the units in improving their performance through use of written comments as provided for on ADDENDUM C, and in post contest review.

  1. Judges are selected by the Host Temple and the MSACC on the following basis.

a.       A reputation for knowledge and judging ability based on academically trained and/or experience (see section 7 of the MSCA Competition Manual.)

b.       A reputation for integrity and impartiality.

  1. It is the policy of the MSACC and the MSCA to allow a judge as much latitude as possible in order that he/she may exercise their very best judgment for grading and also for tabulation of their scores.
  1. Judges are not required or even permitted to invoke penalties for any infractions of contest rules. They are requested to make a note of them if they see them. Assessment of penalties shall be done by the officers of the MSCA and the MSACC member present.
  1. Judges shall refrain from discussing the contest with anyone during the competition.  Nor should they enter into conversation or controversies with members of competing Units or other persons except those recognized as having an official status in the contest management.
  1. Judges may make corrections on the score sheet prior to turning it in, but each alteration shall be initiated by the judge. At times, the sheets may be returned to the judges for clarification, completion, or correction. Any changes in the score sheet after tabulation must be signed by the judge and MSCA or MSACC official member.



1.       Each Chanter Unit is encouraged to perform. Each Unit will inform the host temple Chanters by the stated date whether they are performing competitively or non-competitively. Copies of the music to be performed shall be provided for distribution to the judges at the same time.

2.       Each Unit will select two pieces to perform. No piece will be more than four minutes in length. To promote expanding the Chanter Units’ Repertoires, three years must elapse between the use of a piece of music in the “Judged Performance” Venue. 

3.       The Units singing competitively will perform from memory.  The Units singing non-competitively may sing with music.


1.       Judges will provide a rating for each Unit competing.  A sample of the form to be completed is attached.

2.       Awards will be offered to those competing as follows:

Received                   Award
70 – 61                    GOLD
60 – 47                    SILVER
46 – 33                    BRONZE
32 and below          PARTICIPATION 

Points will be assigned on the basis of total points received for performance of both pieces.

3.       Judges will elaborate on two strengths and a weakness for each Unit. The feedback will be given to the Unit so requesting.

4.       Judges should be made aware that there can be more than one “Gold”, or one “Silver, or one “Bronze” Award given. This is an important point, and something the judges are not necessarily familiar with. We want them to evaluate each singing group on their own merit.

Click to view the Adjudication Form
Be sure to print it on 8 1/2″ by 14″ paper or your printer will shrink it too small to read.


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