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Pop + Jazz Music Festival

This festival is organized in an American Idol master class format featuring music from the Pop + Jazz Music genre.  Students experience performances of similar levels while local professional musicians and artists work with each student individually and/or as an ensemble.  Students may opt to enter competitively for winners of "best of" categories.

Open to students studying any instrument, performing solo works or collaborative ensembles.

Event Details

Event Dates | November 9, 2024

Registration Deadline | October 18, 2024

Location | Elizabeth's Music School

Register students online.  Mail a check made payable to MTACC to the Treasurer within one week with registration fees.

Music Class

Meet the Visiting Artists

Our Visiting Artists are highly trained, vetted, and passionate about community music education.  They love what they do and do what they love!

Whether he is collaborating with an instrumentalist, coaching a singer, conducting an opera, or accompanying a choir, Chuck Dillard is a musician at his best while working with others. Hired as a church pianist at age seven, he fashioned his musical beginnings, education and career around the art of collaboration. Recently appointed as Assistant Professor, Chuck was brought to Portland State University to create a new graduate program in Collaborative Piano. Previously, he served on faculty at the University of Texas at Austin from 2008 to 2016 assisting to create a similar program. From 2001 to 2005 he was on faculty at Furman University in Greenville, SC as instructor of music theory and staff pianist. As a pianist, Dr. Dillard enjoys collaborating with performers ranging from sopranos to contrabassoonists. Some of his recital partners include vocalists Barbara Conrad (Metropolitan Opera), Donnie Ray Albert (Houston Grand Opera) and Morgan Smith (San Francisco Opera) and instrumentalists Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic), Stephen Lange (Boston Symphony), Gerry Pagano (St. Louis Symphony), Paul Pollard (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Jorgen Van Rijen (Royal Concertgebouw), Harvey Pittel (Pittel Trio) and Douglas Yeo (Boston Symphony). An enthusiastic supporter of recital evolution, his concerts often include elements of photography, dance, spoken word and other integrated art forms. In the field of opera, Chuck has a broad range of experiences as a conductor, coach and pianist. He has worked for companies including Austin Opera, Opera Carolina, Central City Opera, Piedmont Opera and his collaboration with Opera Colorado on a new production of Nixon in China is available on the Naxos label. In addition to working professionally, Dr. Dillard is very involved in vocal and operatic training for singers from the high school to the pre-professional level. He spends his summers with young singers in programs such as Opera Viva! in Verona, Italy, and Spotlight on Opera in Austin, TX. Operatic conducting credits include Le nozze di Figaro, Falstaff, Carmen, Little Women, The Crucible, and La femme Boheme - the first all-female version of Puccini’s opera. As an educator, Dr. Dillard crafts his instruction around the belief that today’s musician should be able to make a living in their art form while creating beautiful music in the process. He has developed courses in vocal and instrumental accompanying, lyric diction, music theory, collaborative literature and art song history. He is frequently seen at national conferences speaking on topics including orchestrating at the piano, works of Reynaldo Hahn, and how to work with pianists in voice lessons. Past conference presentations have been given at the National Performing Arts Convention, ClarinetFest, International Trombone Festival, National Opera Association, Music Teachers National Association, Collegiate Music Society, International Double Reed Society, and Texas Music Educators Association. Dr. Dillard received degrees in collaborative piano from the University of Colorado – Boulder (DMA) and the University of Maryland – College Park (MM). Also, he received two Bachelor of Music degrees from Furman University in piano performance and music theory. His principal teachers were Anne Epperson, Robert McCoy, Rita Sloan, Ruby Morgan and Derek Parsons. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lamba and Sigma Alpha Iota as a Friend of the Arts.

Festival Chairs

Have questions about the Pop + Jazz Music Festival?  We have answers!

Festival Guidlines

Festival Mission

  • To provide students a performance opportunity focusing on contemporary popular, rock, or jazz musical styles

  • To provide impactful feedback towards this style of music

  • To pursue inclusivity in American music and people

Festival Guidelines

  • Festival hours are Saturday 9am-5pm

  • Teachers registering three or more students will be expected to assist with monitoring sessions

Registration Guidelines

  • All registrations to be submitted online

  • Please input your student's full name properly and correctly, as participation certificates will be printed using this information

  • Please input all repertoire information, including composer and original performing artist

  • All participants may enter the festival as competitive or non-competitive.  Memorization is required for competitive entries.  When entering the festival as non-competitive, the participate will not be considered for award placement.

  • Please mail checks made payable to MTACC to the Treasurer within one week of registration

Repertoire Guidelines

  • Students must provide a legal purchased or owned copy of the sheet music or score.  They may also provide an optional transcription or arrangement.

  • If performing with a backing track, students must purchase a legal copy of the track, in addition to a printed lyric sheet. 

Student Divisions

  • Please adhere to the following performance times: 

    • Children (Grades K-3) | $25, 8 min (max 3 min performance time)

    • Lower Youth (Grades 4-5) | $30, 10 min (max 4 min performance time)

    • Upper Youth (Grades 6-8) | $35, 12 min (max 5 min performance time)

    • Lower High (Grades 9-10) | $40, 15 min (max 6 min performance time)

    • Upper High (Grades 11-12) | $40, 15 min (max 6 min performance time)

    • Collegiate | $40, 15 min (max 6 min performance time)

    • Recreational (19+) | $40, 15 min (max 6 min performance time)

    • Small Ensembles (2-4 players) | $60, 20 min (max 6 min performance time)

    • Large Ensembles (5+ players) | $100, 20 min (max 6 min performance time)

  • An additional 5 minutes may be purchased for $8​

Student Eligibility

  • Student must have studied with a current MTACC teacher for a minimum of 6 months

  • If the student studies with more than one teacher, both teachers' names must be entered on the registration form

  • Non-piano participants must provide his/her own accompanist or accompanying track

  • Repertoire choices may include the following:

    • A solo work, whether notated, student arranged, or improvised​

    • A solo song, played or sung to an accompaniment track (track must be provided on a playback device with an 1/8" jack out)

    • A collaborative song, played or sung, with multiple instruments

  • Students must provide their own instrument, except for a drum kit, acoustic piano, or microphone.  A keyboard is optional, but a Nord Stage 3 will be provided.  A/V accommodations include standard 1/4" or XLR jack plugs.  Technical accommodations include:​

    • A small drum kit​

    • A bass amp

    • A guitar amp

    • A keyboard

    • A piano

    • Up to two SM-58 microphones for vocalists

    • Up to two SM-57 microphones for auxiliary instruments (such as violins, flutes, saxophones, etc)

Teacher Eligibility

  • Teacher must be an MTACC member in good standing OR pay the non-member rate of $65 plus student fees

  • Teacher must be available to monitor for at least one session during the Festival

  • The Festival is run in a master class format.  The Visiting Artist will work with each student immediately following their performance

  • The Visiting Artist will award each group with a "Best of" Winner (medal) and Honorable Mention (ribbon).  The total number of awarded participants is at the judge's discretion

  • "Best of" categories: Best Solo Performance, Best Ensemble Performance, Best Stage Presence, Best Creativity, Best Groove, Most Convincing Performance

  • All participants will receive a certificate at the end of their session

  • Please respect everyone's privacy.  No recordings (audio, video, or photography) will be permitted during the Festival


  • The Visiting Artist's decisions are final and he/she is not to discuss the results with anyone

  • Teachers are not allowed to ask the judge on the final results

  • The Visiting Artist will notify the Festival Chair with the award results at the end of the Festival

  • If teacher, student, or parent contact the judge regarding the final results, the participant will be disqualified

  • The Festival Chair will notify the teachers of results via email by Wednesday after the Festival.  Teachers must make arrangements to pick up the awards from the Festival Chair within two weeks after the Festival

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