Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival


Begun in 1980 by Dorothy Sutton, the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival provides an opportunity for talented music students to participate in a PMTA State Festival Showcase Recital. To assure high standards for the Showcase Recitals, students must audition and qualify in a local preliminary audition and must demonstrate a knowledge of music theory by passing a written theory exam with a minimum grade of 85%.

Confirm your Teacher Code for this event by clicking on the link in the right sidebar under "DSPF Information and Forms". If you are new to this event, contact the chairperson for a Teacher Code assignment. See "Creating Your Student Numbers" below for more information.

A note to teachers who have not participated in the past:

  • Each student must take a theory test before or after the audition (follow signs to Theory Test Room). The passing grade is 85%.
  • Teachers must choose the level according to the student’s ability.
  • Note: Students playing late in the day are to take the theory exam before the audition.

Repertoire Requirements

Solo:  Two (2) memorized pieces of a contrasting nature by different composers, preferably from two (2) different eras in the more advanced levels.  All selections must be a minimum of sixteen (16) measures without repeats, including elementary level students.  Simplifications, or arrangements are NOT acceptable at the intermediate and advanced levels unless the original composer is the arranger (ie. Liszt transcriptions, Brahms Waltzes)  Unacceptable repertoire includes:  arrangements of movie, Broadway or pop songs, hymns, organ literature, etc.; simplified or partial versions of classical repertoire-anything not originally composed for piano solo.

Ensemble:  Two pieces of a contrasting nature by different composers, preferably from two (2) different eras in the more advanced levels.  Memory not required. Teachers may conduct or accompany their ensembles.  An ensemble is two persons or more, including teacher/accompanists.  No theory is required for teachers.  Any ensemble which includes a student of a non-member must be coached and entered by a PMTA member.

Entrance Fees and Deadline

  • Local fee: $17.00 per student, $20.00 per ensemble. Please make check payable to LVMTA.
  • State fee: $13.00, $20.00 per ensemble. Payment to State is only via PayPal or credit card. If a member of the ensemble is not a student of a PMTA member, the fee is $10 per student in addition to the $20 per ensemble.
  • Send all applicable paperwork to:

Darlene Ziegler
3028 Albright Ave
Allentown, PA 18104

State Regulations

  • Measures numbered must be included in each piece the student plays.
  • Teachers should check the PMTA website for repertoire requirements.
  • There will be no Solo or Ensemble adjudication at the State level.  Students will play in Showcase recitals only. The Judge will decide which piece the student will perform but if not, the teacher will decide.
  • In order to proceed on to the state level students must:
  1. Reside in the State of Pennsylvania (this rule does not apply to the local level.)
  2. Receive an overall rating of Superior
  3. Receive at least 85% on the theory test
  • There will be ONLINE @ PMTA Log In enrollment (no traditional mail) for those students qualifying for the State Showcase Recitals. This means each teacher (or the teacher's representative) must have the student's personal information, sibling and any ensemble performance information (if applicable), title of piece, performance time, and performance grade, and enter it through the website.
  • State Applications - Teachers must submit:
  1. State forms are only accepted by email to State Chair.
  2. Payment to State is only via PayPal or credit card.
  3. To register, teachers must have an active email registered in the State database.  Username will be your personal email address and password for everyone is piano1876 tuba.
  • Teachers must accompany their students to the State Festival and volunteer to help on recitals. If a teacher cannot attend, there is a $30 substitution fee. Parents may not be substitutes.

Creating Your Student Numbers:

Each teacher has or will be assigned an identifying code, which is a letter of the alphabet. To create student numbers, list your assigned alphabetical letter followed by numbers assigned to students ordered numerically by last name. Example: If the teacher's code = BB then students are numbered on the Application, Rating Sheet, and Roster sequentially as BB-1, BB-2, BB-3, etc. Enter your student numbers where indicated on the Application and Rating Sheets.