High School Festival Goes Virtual for 2020

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Every fall, hundreds of high school students come to BJU to compete in speech, music, art, preaching and teaching competitions.

For the 48th year, the High School Festival will be held this fall but with a twist because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Submissions will be made online, which opens the event to many who even under normal circumstances wouldn’t be able to participate.

“We are excited that our annual High School Festival will be able to pivot to this virtual format to allow students to participate and to hone their talents,” said Dr. Darren Lawson, dean of the School of Fine Arts & Communication. “This new format will also allow expanded opportunities for participation from schools and individuals who have been too far to travel to Greenville in the past.”

What’s different for the virtual High School Festival?

You won’t need to travel and put yourself at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

BJU is planning to keep the event as close to normal as possible even though it will be held virtually. Let’s face it, packing visitors from across the country into the students’ rooms isn’t safe for the students or the visitors right now. However, the virtual event on Dec. 4 will include campus life sessions similar to what you would have normally attended such as masterclasses and a campus tour and will culminate in a webcast awards ceremony.

You will submit a digital version of your competition piece. Submissions are accepted Nov. 2–20.

Digital versions of your competition pieces will need to be submitted to BJU before midnight Nov. 20. You may only submit once per competition (no resubmitting a better version after you’ve already submitted). Guidelines for submissions will be posted in early August.

Each registrant will pay a flat fee regardless of how many competitions entered.

Students may enter as many competitions as they would like for the cost of registration, and each member of a choir or ensemble must register on their own.

What will remain the same for the High School Festival?

You will still need to register.

Sign up to be notified when registration opens at bju.edu/festival.

All competitions are the same as last year.

If you need a reminder, here’s the list of competition categories. Adjusted guidelines will be posted in early August.

  • Music
    • Individual
      • Brass
      • Classical Guitar
      • Harp
      • Organ
      • Percussion
      • Classical Piano
      • Sacred Piano
      • String
      • Voice
      • Woodwind
    • Group
      • Small Vocal Ensemble (2–6)
      • Large Vocal Ensemble (7–16)
      • Choir (17+)
      • Brass Ensemble (4+)
      • Handbell Ensemble (4+)
      • Percussion Ensemble (4–12)
      • Piano Ensemble (2–4)
      • String Ensemble (2–9)
      • Woodwind Ensemble (2–9)
  • Speech & Drama
    • Performance (Solo)
    • Acting (Group)
    • Original Oratory (Solo)
    • 24-Hour Playwriting (Solo)
  • Video
    • Narrative
    • Animation
    • Documentary
  • Art & Design
    • Two-Dimensional Art
      • Lettering/Calligraphy (pen and ink, brush and ink)
      • Drawing (pencil, colored pencil, pen and ink, pastel)
      • Painting (oil, acrylic)
      • Painting (gouache, watercolor)
      • Printmaking (linoleum, woodcut, etching, drypoint, serigraphy)
      • Mixed Media (combinations of media)
    • Three-Dimensional Art
      • Ceramics (fired pottery)
      • Crafts (felting, book arts, macramé, weaving, appliqué, basketry, batik, etc.)
      • Sculpture (clay, wood, stone, etc.)
      • Textile/Apparel
    • Photography
      • Single original black-and-white or color photograph (minimum of 8×10)
  • Preaching (for young men)
  • Teaching (for young ladies)

There will still be an awards ceremony.

While it will be a streamed awards ceremony, winners of each category of competition will be acknowledged and honored on Dec. 4. So invite your friends, your grandparents and your long-lost cousins to watch with you.