Today I’m honored to share an interview with my friend and colleague, Sarah Alexander. Sarah is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) and very active in her local music teacher associations. She has used Simplissimo for two years so I wanted to share her comments. Hope you enjoy hearing how another teacher has used this online music festival system!

Whitney: What have you used Simplissimo for?

Sarah: I currently use Simplissimo to run two festivals per year for my local association.  One festival is for multiple solo instruments as well as chamber ensembles.  Simplissimo works seamlessly through all of the various components of each festival.
When Covid-19 hit our area, we were able to hold our festivals virtually through the Simplissimo platform. The judges appreciated how easy it was to navigate through the scores and performances as well as the fact that it didn’t require any storage of Google Drive, Dropbox, or other online platforms.

Whitney: What are your favorite parts of Simplissimo?

Sarah: Everything is online! It is so convenient to have every aspect of the festival in one place. I can coordinate registration, payment, scheduling, festival information, teacher communication, and now even virtual judging all on the site.  Axel is available with quick answers and solutions to the unique requests and situations that come up with each festival.

Whitney: How did you convince your association to try Simplissimo?

Sarah: With registration numbers reaching over 300 participants, our festivals were getting hard to manage with all the paperwork, emails, checks, etc. For our association, we chose to build it into the student fee. We were able to cover the cost of Simplissimo by slightly raising the student fee.  We were anxious that we would have less participation because of the raise in fees, but instead our numbers keep growing! 

Whitney: How easy was it to use for you and for the other teachers?

Sarah: The design of Simplissimo is very intuitive and user friendly.  As the chair of festivals, I was initially anxious about “building” it all online.  But, with preset fillable templates available and the drag and drop feature of scheduling, it was very “simple!” Also, I am no longer worried about losing a registration, not scheduling a student, or having a payment lost in the mail. 
For the teachers, from the newer to the more seasoned teachers, everyone is able to manage the online registration as it just requires the same information as the former paper version.  The virtual festival was also easy to navigate by just uploading links in the teacher portal.  

Whitney: Would you recommend it to other associations?  

Sarah: I highly recommend Simplissimo to any association, large or small, for festivals and competitions of various genres. It cuts down hours of work for me as the chair and helps teachers manage their festival registration and virtual submissions. My association will never switch back to our former way of running festivals and contests!

Thanks Sarah for sharing today! If you’re wondering what we’re talking about, check out my post here for managing online music festivals.

And if you’re wondering how to manage online music festivals this year, here’s a great option for you!

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at