IMA Competition Get IMA Competition Document in PDF
(Illinois Music Association Competition)
(Updated 08-15-2018)

  • A very demanding event where students compete against other students of the same proficiency level.
  • Students from both group classes and individual lessons are eligible.
  • This is a wonderful and rare experience for all participating students where they can learn from the performances of their peers.
  • We’ve had numerous students who won trophies at this competition, however please note that piano and violin events are very competitive and require a good instrument for at home practice and a lot of practice time.
  • In 2018, NMA had 52 students competing in this event, and 32 won trophies placing at the top of their competition class.

  • WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All currently enrolled NMA students.Please consult your teacher whether your child would benefit from this experience.

  • PIANO STUDENTS: Students attending piano classes should have a full keyboard with 88 weighted keys for practice at home in order to be competitive in this event.

  • DATES: Saturday, May 18, 2019, for voice, and piano. Sunday May 19, 2019, for piano, violin, viola, drums, guitar.

  • CONFLICT: For District #204 students – please note that Fine Arts Festival is the same weekend. Check with your choir, orchestra, or band director if you are allowed to miss the Fine Arts Festival to participate in this competition.

  • LOCATION: Wheaton College in Wheaton.

  • ENTRY FEE: $29 per event. Piano students: if you would like to pick a specific day – Saturday or Sunday, the fee is $30. Fee for duets is $38 per ensemble ($19 per student).Please submit registration form with cash or check written out to NMA by the deadline listed below.


  • REPERTOIRE REQUIREMENTS: Violin, piano, and guitar have required repertoire lists for each level. Other instruments and voice are left to the teachers to decide. Your teacher will suggest the level and specific song that would be most suitable for the students.

  • VOICE CATEGORIES: There are 3 categories in vocal competition: pop, Broadway, and classical. A student can enter one or all of the categories, as well as duets. The fee for each category is $28, and for duets it is $38. Pre-recorded accompaniment can be used in all events.

  • ACCOMPANIST FEE: Violin students can play a capella (alone) or with a piano accompanist. Please note that there is an additional fee for the accompanist services.

  • VOICE STUDENTS ACCOMPANIMENT TRACKS: If you need a pre-recorded accompaniment, please obtain one before the competition. The accompaniment has to be on a CD. Please talk to your teacher about finding the adequate accompaniment.

  • Students need to own original sheet music which should be submitted to the judge on the day of the competition. Not having original music would disqualify a student from placing in top 3 contestants.

  • Music has to be memorized.

  • Due to the large number of competitors, competition rules do not allow changing performance times or refunds. We will know the exact performance times in early May, and we will post the list on our web site.

  • DRESS CODE: Semi-formal

  • Competitors compete with students of similar age and proficiency. The competitors are assigned one hour slot in which they perform with up to a dozen other students. After the students in same time slot are done performing, the prizes are awarded, and families are welcome to leave unless you are competing in another event.

  • Make sure to bring the original music and, for voice students, CD accompaniment with you to the competition.


  • 1. Consult your teacher to determine if you should enter this competition and what would be the appropriate song for the student. We strongly encourage you to take your teacher’s repertoire suggestion, since their experience will help choose the song that is most appropriate for the student’s age and proficiency level.

  • 2. Bring the completed registration form and the participation fee (see numbers 6, 9, and 10 above), in cash or check written out to NMA, by Sunday, January 26, 2019.

  • 3. Make sure to clear your schedule on May 18 or May 19, 2019 – the competition day.

  • Please let us know if you have any additional questions.