Information & Interpretations


2023-24 Music Classifications
6A-32, 5A-32, 4A-56, 3A-64, 2A-64, 1A-103

Section 8, Accompanists
Sec. 8. Accompanists—Piano accompanists are important to the musical performance; however, adjudicators have been directed to use discretion in ratings when accompanists do not measure up to the soloist or ensemble. The soloist or ensemble is the primary focus of criticism and rating in any performance. An accompanist is required for all solos or ensembles published with accompaniment at regional and state solo and small ensemble festivals.

Piano accompanists need not be students, but we have many talented student pianists in Kansas. We encourage directors to utilize student accompanists when available and appropriate.

  • All accompaniments must be performed as written in order to receive a "I" rating.
  • In string or percussion ensembles, the pianist is a member of the ensemble and will be rated and critiqued accordingly. The pianist must be an eligible student.
  • Piano and other instrumental accompanists for groups may be eligible students or adult musicians of the director's choice. Instrumental accompaniment shall not be considered part of the ensemble and should not influence the judging of the choral performance.
  • Piano accompanists may serve, whether connected with the school or not. Each school must have a sufficient number of accompanists so that events will not be delayed. The same accompanist may not be used at two different music festival sites on the same day. In order to support our festival host site managers with entry scheduling, it is strongly recommended accompanists limit their events to less than 12. No accompanist may play for more than 22 events. There is no charge for piano or non-piano accompanists of vocal or instrumental entries.
  • Intelligent accompaniments (e.g., SmartMusic) will be allowed for solo performances only when a qualified accompanist is not available. Schools shall bring their own equipment to be used at the festivals, and the scheduled performance time limit must include setting up and taking down equipment. The intelligent accompaniment unit must be set on the interactive mode for all performances and the intelligent accompaniment must follow the performer. It must be used as piano accompaniment only and is not to be used in orchestral or any other accompaniment modes. Non-interactive accompaniment recording, such as CD or MIDI, etc., will not be allowed. Intelligent accompaniments should only be utilized as a last option when a qualified accompanist is not available. KMEA and their affiliate organizations will assist directors by offering clinic sessions on intelligent accompaniments at their in-service workshop and summer conventions.
  • If the piano or non-piano accompanist(s) of a First Division rated solist or ensemble desires a medal, it may be purchased from the KSHSAA at $2.25 each.
  • (Additional) Paid Instructors – Any coach and/or sponsor that works with students should be paid by a school district and/or school supplemental with a signed school contract. These payments must be made from a school activities or USD supplemental fund account. Booster Clubs should never directly pay coaches and/or sponsors for these duties. Booster Clubs may contribute money to a school activity fund which then makes the direct payment to the coach/sponsor. KSHSAA Handbook Rule 10 – Qualifications of Coaches, Directors and Rule 20 – Awards are to safeguard students, directors and schools and should help schools with compliance of IRS school regulations.

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All high school music head directors are required to complete the KSHSAA online rules meeting each year beginning. The online meeting will be available for credit from September 2 until November 1. Email reminders with instructions will be emailed to music directors and activity directors. Music Manuals will be mailed to schools by early August. Schools with coaches failing to complete the online meeting by November 1 will be subject to a $100 fine and their school will be listed in the Activities Journal


  1. NFHS “Introduction to Music Adjudication.”
    Link to course: