Repertoire Information

A complete list of required repertoire and guidelines for choice repertoire can be found in the National Federation of Music Clubs Bulletin.  The Music Mart (in Mankato, Faribault or Lamberton) has a reference copy of this Bulletin, or teachers can purchase their own copy either from The Music Mart or from the National Federation of Music Clubs (317-882-4003) for $13.  If planning to enter several students in the Festival, it is helpful for a teacher to have his own personal copy of the Bulletin.  The Bulletin is republished every four years, the current Bulletin is in effect through the Festival of 2020.

The Bulletin gives complete instructions & repertoire for all events.  Please note that many solo and small ensemble events are available to students:  pianists may enter piano solos, hymn playing, patriotic,sight reading, accompanying, duets, trios, one-hand solos & concertos.  Voice participants may enter art songs, musical theater, or duets in art songs or musical theater.  There are also levels for organ, guitar, string, woodwind, brass & percussion instruments.  The cost for the first solo event for a student is $25, but additional solo events a student enters are discounted to $15 each.  Ensembles are $10 per participant.

Though no longer officially part of the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), we use its basic structure and repertoire for our Scherzo Music Festival.  If a student has previously participated in the NFMC, we will gladly accept the student's NFMC accumulated points toward the gold cups.  The basic changes we have made to the Scherzo Music Festival that differ from the NFMC Festival is that students are not required to join a junior club, there are no age restrictions at all, teachers do not have to join the state NFMC club nor subscribe to the magazine, and our fees remain as low as possible every year.

Repertoire Requirements for the Piano Solo Event 

(see Bulletin for all other events)


  • Play one of the required compositions listed PLUS one choice composition.

In all Primary Classes the choice composition must be by a different composer than that of the required composition.


  • One piece must be listed in the Bulletin, chosen from 20 levels from Pre-Primary to Musically Advanced. A peek at some pieces in each level may be seen on the websites for each publisher by searching for "Federation" music.

  • Pre-Primary and Primary I choice pieces must be at least twelve measures.  Beginning with Primary II, choice pieces must be at least sixteen measures in length.

  • Required and choice compositions must represent the same level of musicianship.


  • Standard editions are acceptable.  No arrangements, abridgements, or transcriptions are allowed at any level.  Only complete compositions are acceptable.


  • Choice compositions may not appear in the Bulletin.


  • In Elementary I and above, the choice composition must be an original from works of non-American-born composers, even if later they became American citizens.


  • First-time entrants may enter at any level at which he can perform the required repertoire in the Bulletin, as determined by the teacher.  There is no age restriction.

Memory is required.  NOTE:  Memory is not required for hymn playing, patriotic, accompanying, or duets & trios.




Filling Out Student Applications

  • All applications must be mailed or hand delivered, not emailed.
  • Teachers (not students) should complete the applications
  • Students, please provide email & phone. This information is not kept or shared with others.
  • Be specific with repertoire info. We provide a list of all repertoire to the judges ahead of time. Please give the name of the “collection” or book. This is especially important for choice pieces.
  • Give both first and last name of each composer
  • Time both pieces and round to the nearest minute
  • Note any special requests for scheduling (i.e. scheduling siblings close to one another

Other Important Information for all participants
(not just pianists!)

  • A student need not receive a Superior rating to move to a higher level the next year.  In fact, you may skip as many levels as desired.  However, moving backward in levels is not allowed.


  • Receiving a Superior rating does not require the student to move to a higher level.  If remaining in the same level the next year, different required and choice repertoire must be chosen.