Information to help you navigate the year
The LABBS contest cycle runs January to October
The following is a guide to what to expect in each month through the year as a contestant, including useful hints and tips.
- All quartets wanting to compete must also ensure they are registered by the same deadline as contest entry, This includes LABBS Quartets, as well as Mixed Quartets
(from 2023) who will receive "MQ" membership of LABBS through their quartet registration, conferring right to compete, and also qualifies them as LABBS members so that they are eligible to be nominated to compete at BHS International the following July.
- keep an eye out on the LABBS website contestants area for the contest entry form, which is normally launched by end of January/early February, Be aware that the entry deadlines are strictly enforced, so do it as soon as possible, don't leave it to the last minute! For 2023 the deadline for entry by all registered quartets to Quartet Prelims and entry to the Chorus contest at convention is 10th March
- by the end of February the contest rules and category descriptions are updated, in order to keep pace with changes to the BHS judging standards. Give yourselves the best chance for success by having a read of the rules and finding out exactly what the judges are looking for!
Contest entry deadline
- the hard deadline for all contestants'
contest entry is mid-March (2023: 10th March
), to enable the draw to take place at the Council Meeting following the LABBS AGM, on a Saturday towards the end of March.
- the contest draws for Quartet Prelims and Convention (where the contest entry deadline has passed), will take place at the March Council Meeting. These are usually streamed live on Facebook, and published on the website as soon as practical.
- Quartet Prelims contestants
should keep an eye out for updated timetables and contestant briefings.
- Quartet Prelims contestants
need to submit their songsheet for Prelims around this time, detailing the two songs they will sing, as well as arranger, composer and copyright information, together with announcement details for their entry on stage. Keep an eye out for the forms, fill out and return promptly by the deadline - don't be late as there may be some follow-up needed and you don't want to run out of time to comply with anything being asked of you.
- takes place on a weekend in the second half of June. Why not go along and support your quartets? Competing Quartets please refer to the quartet information
and quartet prelims
pages for more details on participation, as well as of course the contestants
page.. At the end of the Prelims contest the draw takes place for the Quartet Semi-finals at convention, including all LABBS quartets that qualify (16+1micwarmer), Mixed Quartets (6+1micwarmer) and any Champion Quartets which have entered to gain a score to qualify them to be nominated for BHS International.
- ALL convention contestants
need to submit their songsheets for Quartet Semi-finals & Quartet Finals, or the Chorus contest, by the published deadline in early September. The songsheet details the songs they will sing, as well as arranger, composer and copyright information, together with announcement details for their entry on stage. Keep an eye out for the forms, fill out and return promptly by the deadline - don't be late as there may be some follow-up needed and you don't want to run out of time to comply with anything being asked of you, particularly with regard to copyright.
- All convention contestants should keep a regular eye on the contestants page for contest timetables, which may be updated several times, as well as contestant information briefings that tell you where you will need to be when, on contest day. Stay informed!
- around this time the opportunity is advertised, firstly to all competing choruses and then to all members should places remain, for representatives to sign up to take part in a "scratch" chorus to serve as a sound check chorus for the tech team to set up the stage ready for contest. This activity usually takes place on the Thursday evening immediately prior to convention, so anyone registering will need to be there earlier than usual, on the Thursday. Taking part also benefits the choruses competing as their representatives can feed back information on the stage acoustics and what to expect.
- the long-awaited event takes place usually over the last weekend in October, from the Friday to the Sunday. Be there to witness everyone's performance that they have been preparing to wow you with all year long! From the quartet semi-finals, 8 treble-voice and 3 mixed quartets proceed to the final, with one from each to micwarm, plus any QC contestants singing for an international qualifying score (as they have to sing in 2 rounds).
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