Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival

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 either in adjudication or in Showcase Recital. To assure high standards, the student must first qualify in Local Preliminary Auditions, and must also demonstrate a minimal knowledge of music theory by passing a written theory exam.

DSPF Local Preliminary Auditions

General Guidelines: Students will perform two contrasting selections for one judge, and will taken a written theory test. To be eligible to perform in the LOCAL Showcase Recital, students must receive a Superior performance rating. (This is different from the State event. Refer to the STATE DSPF website for state requirements.) Pianists and vocalists must perform by memory. Memory not required for instrumentalists and organists.

  • Teacher Eligibility: RMTA teachers must have paid their local/state/national dues for the current year prior to submitting applications (i.e. paid BEFORE August 31).
  • Student Eligibility: Participating students must study with an RMTA member in good standing prior to audition date, and must reside in Pennsylvania. Adult students may participate in the local auditions.
  • Recital Qualification: An overall Superior rating is given if BOTH selections are deemed performance ready by the judge the day of the event.

LOCAL SOLO PIANO REPERTOIRE REQUIREMENTS: In an effort to encourage participation of our youngest students, there is no minimum length for repertoire for the local auditions. (This is different from the State event. Refer to the STATE DSPF website for state requirements.) Repeats are allowed and encouraged with appropriate changes in dynamics, register, etc. However, simplifications and arrangements are NOT acceptable at the intermediate and advanced levels for solo performance.

2020 DSPF Local Auditions WILL BE VIRTUAL!

  • Registration window: Noon, Friday September 11 through 5:00 pm Friday, October 2, 2020
  • Showcase Recital: NONE FOR 2020
  • Local DSPF Chair: MILLIE EBEN
  • Chair contact:

Registration process details will be emailed directly to participating teachers. 

Registration Fee:

  • $20 for first solo performance
  • $15 for each additional instrument or sibling performance
  • $20 per ensemble performance (Total fee. Ensemble is 2 or more students.)
  • $25 additional for a non-member student participating in an ensemble


2020 Virtual Event Forms

Downloadable Forms

  • Student Information and Permission Slip – Keep your permission slips.
  • Teacher Information – Everything you need to know!
  • Student Comment Sheet – Not needed for 2020.
  • Student Notice of Report Time/Reminders- Attach to participating students’ music
  • Theory test content
  • Photo Copy Release – Complete and attach to any photocopied scores your student is using.
  • Site Requirements

DSPF Registration Pages

2020 State DSPF will be virtual.  Visit PMTA website for details. Registration Window: October 1 to 3:00 pm October 17, 2020

Members must register their own students using the online registration system via the PMTA website. Fees paid by credit card or Paypal. For information on the State DSPF, please visit the PMTA website.

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