A distinguishing characteristic of QCMF is that it aims to be positive, non-competitive and educationally valuable, while still providing recognition to outstanding performances. The adjudicators for each section have the task of not only providing constructive feedback, but awarding every ensemble with either a gold, silver or bronze rating based purely on a set of award criteria. There is no ranking, placing or comparison within sections or performers.
The QCMF Awards Philosphy also aims reduce the competitive feeling associated with performing and increase the sense of community. This system of merit, has meant a lot more ensembles going back to their schools after the weekend with tangible recognition for their efforts. Many school walls across Australia are adorned proudly with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards received at the Festival.
Implementing the Awards Philosophy
- 2003 – the two perpetual trophies for the most outstanding primary and secondary school at the Festival were discontinued. Previously these trophies were awarded to the schools that had achieved the most points for the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards their ensembles took away from the Festival.
- 2007 – It was decided ery ensemble that successfully performs will receive an award. Whilst this may seem to slightly de-value awards from years past, it allowed for the definitions between a Gold, Silver and Bronze performance to be more transparent.
- 2008 – An Encouragement Award was introduced for the very rare occurrence of an ensemble not successfully finishing their performance, hence not meeting the criteria of a bronze award.
- 2009 – An Award of Excellence was introduced to allow adjudicators the opportunity to recognize an outstanding performance by an individual musician.
- 2016 – An overhaul of the Award Criteria was undertaken in consultation with the QCMF Advisory Board to continue to improve the quality of feedback given to teachers and performers.
- 2016 – All Festival Adjudicators are required to study the newly created QCMF Adjudicator Pack to ensure a minimisation of judement bias and improve the quality of feedback given to teachers and performers.