Theater Steps Participating Festivals

We deliver a learning experience beyond our private lessons. Theater Steps participates in nationally recognized music organizations that require a standard level of excellence in performance and technique yearly. Our instructors are also leading officers of these organizations which reflects the quality of our commitment to learning.

Our students have earned outstanding awards that resulted in performing opportunities in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, NJPAC, Madison Square Garden, and Red Bull Stadium. Our instructors follow a standards-based curriculum in teaching music that prepares students for music at the primary, secondary, and college levels where students are adjudicated and evaluated on technique and performance.

Theater Steps is an active member school in the following organizations: 

National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC)

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The NJ chapter of the National Federation of Music Clubs (NJFMC) is a prestigious music organization that recognizes musicianship excellence in music schools across the country. The NJFMC holds annual festivals where students are graded according to the current approved standards.  Each student is given the opportunity to demonstrate technicality and artistry at different levels, while being judged and critiqued by an NJFMC adjudicator. Students are awarded a gold cup after achieving 15 points, or a minimum of 3 years with a superior grade. They are required to memorize two selections, one of which is chosen by the NFMC.  NJFMC teachers strive to help each student reach their true potential as they continue their musical journey.

2021 Festival Dates: 

Due to the extraordinary circumstances with coronavirus, NJFMC has decided to remain virtual for the remainder of this year and 2021 until further notice. Safety is the main priority for all teachers and students while pushing forward with yearly events.

  • October 10 – NJFMC Vocal and Piano Competition Deadline
  • November 9 – NJFMC Competition Online Video Submission Deadline
  • December 6 – NJFMC Competition Winners Concert on Zoom
  • January 10 – NJFMC Junior Festivals Registration Deadline
  • January 25 – NJFMC Junior Composers Registration and Submission Deadline
  • March 10 – NJFMC Online Video Submission Deadline
  • May 2 – NJFMC Gold Cup Concert - CU


Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)

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The Music Teachers National Association was founded with the purpose of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. Today, MTNA has cemented its role as an organization essential not only to the professional and individual well-being of music-teaching professionals, but also a vital partner in their growth and development. It provides both a collective voice for teachers worldwide and a powerful alliance with a highly prestigious and influential group. 

2021 Festival Dates: 

Currently, MTNA is also following suit with online video submissions. They have not released their Spring Recital Audition deadlines. Spring Recital Audition deadlines are in April.

  • September 16 – High School Scholarship Competition Registration Deadline
  • October 20 – High School Scholarship Competition Online Submission Deadline
  • April TBD – Spring Recital Auditions Piano
  • April TBD – Spring Recital Auditions Voice

Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG)

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The Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG) was founded by a group of professional music educators from the Tri-State area to establish and maintain high professional teaching and ethical standards.  Members within the guild exchange music-related ideas, and information amongst colleagues. MAMTG promotes a foundation of music education for all students in the Mid-Atlantic region. An annual spring festival is held to provide a platform for music students to display their talents in a competitive environment. In addition to the competitions, the festival is a great place to network with other music professionals in the industry.  The Guild has been recognized as a viable music organization throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England States.

2021 Festival Dates: 

There will be no festival 2021 this year. The event will hopefully return in 2022.

Hispanic Youth Showcase (HYS)


See the stars of tomorrow shine in this unique, multi-disciplinary showcase featuring many of New Jersey's finest young Hispanic dancers, musicians and singers. NJPAC's Arts Education Department has hosted this long-running, annual celebration of Hispanic heritage each year since NJPAC's opening in 1997 and the Community Engagement Team is proud to continue the legacy. The Hispanic Youth Showcase provides talented young people with the opportunity to perform at a world-class venue, and to compete for scholarships and other prizes. This performance is recommended for ages 8 and up. All persons entering the theater, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

2021 Festival Dates: 

At this time, the organization is waiting to see if the venues will be open for business in May.

  • April ? – HYS Online Video Submissions (TBD)
  • May 28? – HYS Competition at NJPAC (TBD)

National League of Performing Arts (NLPA)

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We are a non-profit organization that was founded by a group of concert artists and music educators who share a passion for music. Our goal is to offer master classes, concerts, workshops, and performance opportunities for artists, aspiring artists, and students. We also hope that this organization will provide a bridge between leading artists, aspiring young artists and students as well as to create a bridge between different disciplines of performing arts.

The National League of Performing Arts, Inc. is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, including but not limited to:

  • Providing diverse performance venues for emerging young musicians from different parts of the nation;
  • Cultivating the artistic development of students through a variety of educational opportunities, such as offering competitions, master classes, workshops and seminars;
  • Creating a dialogue and collaboration between different disciplines of the performing arts;
  • Providing a bridge between leading artists and younger generations of artists;
  • Promoting public awareness and appreciation of the performing arts.

2021 Festival Dates: 

NLPA has chosen to remain virtual for 2021. They will be accepting video submissions.

  • April 10 - National Young Virtuosi Recital Competition Registration Deadline
  • May 1 – National Young Virtuosi Recital Competition YouTube Submission Deadline
  • May 23 – National Young Virtuosi Recital Competition Winners’ Concert

Music Educators Association of New Jersey(MEA-NJ)

Music Educators Association - New Jersey

The Music Educators Association (MEA) is a professional non-profit association that offers numerous activities, informative lectures and practical workshops that help improve musical growth and teaching skills. MEA offers recital, audition, competition, theory and composing opportunities to its members’ students. The upcoming Piano Audition is a motivational program that provides students with written evaluations and certificates. Students of all ages are invited to participate including adults, from Elementary to Young Artist levels. At each level, students perform appropriate musical selections and are expected to have an understanding of required technical skills (scales, chords, arpeggios, etc.) 

2021 Festival Dates: 

  • October 11 – Honors Recital Online Registration Deadline
  • October 18 – Honors Recital Video Submission Deadline
  • November 15 – Honors Recital
  • January 25 – MEA Annual Piano Competition Registration Deadline
  • January 25 – NJFMC Junior Composers Registration and Submission Deadline
  • February 22 - Annual Piano Auditions Deadline
  • February 23 – MEA Eric Steiner Composition Competition Deadline
  • March 9 – Annual Piano Competition video submission deadline
  • April 26 – MEA College and Summer Camp Scholarship applications deadline.
  • May 1 – MEA Original Composition Festival – CU
  • May 23 – MEA Annual Piano Competition Winners’ Recital
  • June 5 – MEA Annual Piano Auditions (Venue TBA)
  • June 6 - MEA Annual Piano Auditions (Venue TBA)
  • June 12 - MEA Annual Piano Auditions (Venue TBA)
  • June 13 - MEA Annual Piano Auditions (Venue TBA)
  • June 19 - MEA Annual Piano Auditions (Venue TBA)

Theater Steps Events

Theater Steps 2020-2021 Schedule

  • September 28 – TS Awards Pick Up
  • September 29 – TS Awards Pick Up
  • October 12 – TS Awards Pick Up
  • October 13 – TS Awards Pick Up
  • November 22 – TS Fall Mini Recital Online on Zoom
    • 12 PM Recital A
    • 2 PM Recital B
    • 4 PM Recital C
  • December 15 – Spring Festival Registration Forms Deadline
  • March 2 – TS Musical Online Audition Video Submission Deadline (Adams Family)
  • March 9 – TS Musical Cast Announcement via email.
  • March 19 – TS Musical Tuition Payment Deadline
  • March 30 – TS Online Musical First Rehearsal
    • Rehearsals every Tuesday from 6 – 8 PM.
  • May 23 – TS Spring Main Stage Recital
    • 10 AM Recital A (tentative)
    • 1 PM Recital B (tentative)
    • 4 PM Recital C (tentative)
  • June 19 – TS Musical Performance (matinee and evening)
  • June 20 – TS Musical Performance (matinee and evening)

Festivals and Competitions

Theater Steps’ students are highly encouraged to participate in festivals and competitions to better enhance their performance skills. Friendly competition is a great learning tool. Students tend to work harder for competitions and participating in a festival is a huge win in itself. TS participates in notable events including Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (MAMTG), National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA), and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). These organizations operate at a level of excellence and professionalism. At these festivals students are ranked and evaluated by well accomplished music adjudicators. They are given constructive evaluations on how to improve their musicality ranging from technique to interpretation and style.

Students posing with their instructor at MAMTG Festival


TS holds recitals annually in the Fall and Spring seasons. The recitals allow the students to showcase their ongoing progress with family and friends. Events are also held in the Fall season to support preparation for the spring festivals, competitions, and recitals.

students receiving awards at yearly recital