I have already updated the website with most of the changes and updates for 2022, but thought it would be useful to compile them here. The upshot is this: Provided that conditions allow it, we do plan to be back in-person for Winterfest and the Texas State German Contest this year. However, based on feedback from last year’s virtual contest, some events are transitioning to be permanently virtual.

Updates about Specific Events

  • The drama event Play has been dropped due to lack of participation.
  • The Pass Auf theme for 2022 is “The Three B’s of German Classical Music: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.”
  • The Einzeltanz will be a mazurka. We have not yet received dance instructions, a video, or the music from the State folk dance coordinator, but I will put them on the website as soon as I receive them. A preview of the dance was in the 2021 State awards video.

Minor Rule Changes

Rules and/or critique sheets for the following events now reflect some tweaks:

  • The rules for Crafts were edited with the goal of better explaining exactly what a “craft” is and how it is different from a “model.” The wording of Criterion 2 for Original Models was tweaked for similar reasons.
  • For Gingerbread House (both Traditional and Non-Traditional), one sentence in the rules was changed: “All visible elements of the project must be edible, except for the base.” Previously, the rule was that absolutely everything used in the house had to be edible (except the base). So, non-edible support elements may now be used to help the house stand up as long as they cannot be seen (not even through any doors, windows, etc.). Everything the judges can see must still be edible.
  • In Needlework, hooked rugs are no longer on the list of acceptable entries.

Permanently Virtual Events

The Winterfest Executive Committee and State Steering Committee received a lot of feedback from students, teachers, and judges after our virtual contest in 2021, and most people agreed that some aspects of online submission and judging worked very well. While we are excited to have the majority of the contest back in-person this year, a few events do seem to work very nicely online, so the State Steering Committee has designated the following events to remain online permanently:

  1. [Arts] Digital Logo Design
  2. [Arts] Photo Essay
  3. [Arts] Video Show
  4. [Declamation] Oral Presentation
  5. [Declamation] Poetry Reading
  6. [Declamation] Prose Reading
  7. Research Paper

Having some online events will give students who have conflicts on contest day more opportunities to participate and will also allow us to use judges who live far away or can’t/won’t come to the contest venue on contest day.

Entries for these 7 online events will be due one week prior to contest day (Sat. Jan. 29 at 9:00am for Winterfest, Sat. Feb. 19 at 9:00am for State). Judging will occur that week and results will be announced along with all of the other events at the Award Ceremony on contest day.

I’ve updated the rules of each of these events to reflect online submission. The procedure will be basically the same as last year (upload a PDF to a Google Form). Here are a few additional thoughts…

  • [Arts] Photo Essay – we anticipate that most students will choose to organize their photos and captions in Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc (then convert to PDF), but if they really want to do it with paper, glue, and a posterboard, they can. They’ll just have to take pictures and compile those into a PDF.
  • [Declamation] Oral Presentation – we would like to see more participation in this category. Perhaps remind your students that it may be less intimidating now since they won’t have an audience and can do multiple takes until they get the presentation just right!
  • [Declamation] Poetry/Prose Reading – In 2021, we offered simply “Poetry” and “Prose” without the usual memory and reading divisions to avoid potential cheating in the memory category (students claiming to be reciting a piece from memory in their videos when they were secretly reading it). Instead, we said, “Read it or memorize it, we don’t care — just make it entertaining.” Going forward, we’ll continue to have Poetry Memory and Prose Memory live on contest day, but as we discovered last year, the reading events work quite well through video submission, and there’s no way to cheat because you’re SUPPOSED to be reading. Now the students can do many takes until they get it just the way they want it, which means they’re more likely to turn in a polished performance… which makes judging more pleasant, too.

In-Person Contest + Some Technology = Happy and Efficient Tab Room

That’s the hope, anyway. 🙂

Last year, judges signed up through a Google Form, and students filled out a Google Form for their events. These practices will continue as they allowed us to work much more efficiently on the back end.

In addition, we are working on plans to incorporate some technology into the judging on contest day (probably the Top 10 Assembly Awards sheets)… stay tuned!

TSGC’s 40th Anniversary

Last but not least, Texas State German Contest turns 40 this year! Celebrate, reminisce, and contribute memories in the 40th Anniversary Facebook Group. Share the link with your current and/or former students. The State Steering Committee is working on some plans for special observances and entertainment at the State contest.