Shenandoah Valley Sing Off Contest Rules


  1. A cappella groups with members of all ages may apply. Immediate family members of judges are ineligible to participate.  Members under the age of 18 must have parental permission to participate.
  2. No less than four and no more than twenty members may participate in any one a cappella group.
  3. No entry fees are applied
  4. Participating a cappella groups must be considered amateur and not affiliated with a professional entertainment agency.
  5. Applications must be submitted by midnight, January 28, 2018.  The application will include group name, name and contact information for group spokesperson, individual names of members in group, affiliated school/organization (if applicable), and audio files of two contrasting songs that will be used to determine eligibility for the competition.   
  6. Accepted groups will be notified via email by midnight, February 4, 2018. Accepted groups must sign and return a “Commitment to Perform” pledge along with accompanying performance rules by midnight, February 18, 2018.
  7. A maximum of ten a cappella groups will be accepted to participate, based on vocal tone, intonation, blend, diction, rhythmic precision, and overall musicality.
  8. By submitting an application, entrants warrant their compliance with all rules and regulations associated with the Shenandoah Valley Sing Off. No ensemble will be permitted to perform without signing the “Commitment to Perform” pledge which includes a list of performance rules and regulations.
  9. When entering the Shenandoah Valley Sing Off, each contestant agrees that the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir and their successors and assigns have the right to use their names, likenesses, and images of all persons performing for future advertising, promotion and publicity in any manner and in any medium now known or hereafter devised in perpetuity.
  10. By participating in this contest, contestants agree to be bound by all rules and the decisions of the judges.



  1. All interested a cappella groups should fill out the digital application form located at the website and submit two contrasting audio files of (i.e. ballad and up-tempo selection) through the website by midnight, January 28, 2018.
  2. Based on audio file submissions, up to ten qualifying a cappella groups will be selected to participate in the April 21, 2018 Sing Off at Lehman Auditorium, 1191 Park Road, Harrisonburg, Va 22802.
  3. Ensembles may not use instruments of any kind.  All music must be limited to vocal sounds and body percussion.
  4. Contestants are not permitted to leave the stage or stage area during their performance. This includes singing or performing within the audience.
  5. The time limit for each song performance is 4 minutes. The clock will start with the MC’s announcement and conclude with the start of audience applause at the conclusion of the song. Songs going over 4 minutes will be given an automatic 10 point score reduction.
  6. Selected ensembles must submit three songs for possible performance:  an up-tempo selection, a ballad, and a song of choice. If duplicate songs are submitted from multiple groups, ensembles may be invited to submit alternate options.
  7. Large diaphragm condenser microphones will be available for use. Groups may not supply their own microphones. A 15 minute sound check will be offered to each participating a cappella group on Saturday, April 21, 2018 before the concert.  Sound checks will begin at 3:15 pm and conclude no later than 6:15 pm. If a group does not arrive for the sound check during their assigned time, they forfeit their right to a sound check.  Groups travelling from a distance will be assigned later times while local groups will be assigned earlier times.
  8.  For the sake of the other contestants and keeping the flow of the contest in order, ensembles are asked to be prompt when both entering and exiting the stage.
  9. Songs containing foul, vulgar or explicit sexual lyrics are not allowed. Contestants who during their performance, use any obscene, offensive, sexual or otherwise inappropriate behavior or gestures, including those referencing or depicting violence, nudity or explicit activity or which are not in the spirit of the contest or do not meet SVCC standards for any reason, will be disqualified from the competition. This contest is designed to be a child and family friendly event.
  10. Performing groups, and/or their families or associates who exhibit offensive behavior during any portion of the contest may result in the disqualification of that ensemble from further competition. Offensive behavior includes poor sportsmanship, bad manners, and lack of decorum.
  11.  The contest will consist of three rounds. All selected ensembles will have up to six minutes in round one to feature themselves singing either one or two songs. Six groups will move into round two, each performing a ballad or lyrical song in under five minutes. The top three groups will move into the third and final round. Song selections must be under four minutes and may be any style of choice.
  12. Performing groups may not repeat a song they have previously sung in an earlier round.