Q: Do I need to pre-register in order to compete?
A:Yes, for the first time this year, we are asking Bardic competitors to pre-register with the Champions stating their intent to compete. Those intending to compete must pre-register with Mistress Alys by February 6, 2017. Note that this is not the same as pre-registering for the event, although we encourage that as well.

Q: What are the judges looking for?
A; Both the King’s and Queen’s Bard this year prefer documented period pieces and period-style pieces, and encourage performers to try those forms. Their Majesties are looking for pieces that move them emotionally, and enjoy pieces that evoke SCA history and culture. So, the whole performing arts spectrum will be represented in the judging.

Q: Do I need documentation in order to compete?
A: Yes, if you are performing a period or “period style” piece. The documentation can be as brief as an index card citing the source of your piece. E.g., “Now Is The Month Of Maying” by Thomas Morley (1595), found in The Oxford Book of English Madrigals (Oxford University Press, 1978). However, more documentation, particularly if the piece is an original one, written in a period style, will be accepted quite happily and will be counted in the competitor’s favor.

Q: Can I compete as an instrumentalist?
A: Yes, as long as vocal performance is also part of what you do. At least one of your first two rounds should involve some sort of vocal presentation, whether spoken word or song.

Q: Can I use a group performance for one of the rounds?
A: Only individuals can compete to be King’s or Queen’s Bard. However, a group performance such as a choral song, recorder consort or a brief mumming may be offered as part of an individual’s body of work IF the exact role of the person actually competing is made clear. For example, when Lady Hextilda offers a group performance of a recorder piece, she states on her index card and documentation that she wrote the piece in a particular period style and is performing the alto recorder part.

Q: What if I don’t want to be a Royal Bard but I want to get feedback?
A: Schedule permitting, there will be time between rounds for people to display their performances without competing for either Bardic position.