National Chamber Music Festival for Schools 2024

Chamber Champions

Congratulations to all the school ensembles that have made it through to the Final.

We are delighted that the Pro Corda National Schools Festival 2024 has begun.

The Pro Corda Festival is the only national festival to exclusively promote and celebrate chamber music within schools. It is available to all instrumental ensembles between three and nine players. The festival is a vibrant annual celebration of chamber music education in the UK. It is held in January, February and March each year and tours schools around the country through qualifying and regional semifinal rounds, culminating in a finals day at a prodigious performance venue. Each group receives individual coaching with a skilled adjudicator during every round, so the further they progress through the competition the more coaching and experience they receive. The Final usually has a special guest adjudicator and is a celebratory day of chamber music which allows the students the opportunity to play for, and meet, their peers in other schools from around the country.

Sunday saw an intensely exciting and action packed day of chamber music in Central London as the largest ever Pro Corda Schools Festival came to a conclusion. Our thanks to all the schools across the country who took part and their incredibly hard work, the teachers and parents for their dedication; and above all the students who took part across the whole festival. Their talents and the way they work together as young people gives such hope for our world.

Some of our 2024 Chamber Champions

Some of our amazing festival performers

How does it work?

Each group will be invited to perform at a qualifying round where they will receive a public masterclass and written report from one of Pro Corda’s International Chamber Music coaches. Successful groups will be invited to perform at a semi-final round where they will receive an additional masterclass. The final is adjudicated by a distinguished world-class musician.

All finalist groups receive certificates and five ensembles are selected to be Chamber Champions. These groups will be offered a public performance opportunity in a prestigious venue to be announced. In addition to the Chamber Champions, trophies are awarded to schools for Outstanding Performance, and Outstanding Contribution to Chamber Music Education.

The festival is organised into different age categories: under 12s, under 14s, under 16s and under 19s.

For a full list of rules and regulations please click the link at the bottom of the page.

Some of our 2023 Festival Award Winners

Selecting 5 Chamber Champion Ensembles has never been so hard, but the following were announced on Sunday evening and will perform at a prestigious Pro Corda concert in May:”

King’s High School Warwick U12 Accordia
Ipswich School U14 String Quartet
Eltham College U16 Purcell Ensemble
Woldingham School U19 LeeTrio
The Portsmouth Grammar School U19 Student’s Collective
This years’ Founder’s Trophy was awarded to Woldingham School.

Chamber music gives a unique and truly transformative education not just for the young musician and instrumentalist but for the young human being. It teaches sensitive and imaginative leadership alongside a sense of coming  together to create something uniquely beautiful when the sum of collective parts becomes a magical whole of something beyond what those collective parts are. That is the eternal wonder of chamber music; and I’m so delighted it was portrayed so vividly throughout  this year’s Pro Corda Festival.

The 2024 Festival Results

The Finalists

Selecting 5 Chamber Champion Ensembles has never been so hard, but the following were announced on Sunday evening and will perform at a prestigious Pro Corda concert in May:

King's High School WarwickU12 Accordia

Ipswich SchoolU14 String Quartet

Eltham CollegeU16 Purcell Ensemble

Woldingham SchoolU19 Lee Trio

The Portsmouth Grammar SchoolU19 Student's Collective

This years’ Founder’s Trophy was awarded to:

Woldingham School

Category: Under 19

Abingdon School Claritones
Ardingly College Clarinet Trio
Blundell’s School Year 12 & 13 Scholars’ Ensemble
Brighton College Desportes Flute Quartet
Brighton College Florence Price Quintet
Caterham School Zheng Trio
Central Foundation Boys School Jazz Ensemble

Charterhouse School Choy Piano Trio
City of London Freemens String Quartet
Epsom College Sax Quintet
Gordon’s School The Gordon Trio
Millfield School Striking Sounds
Queen Elizabeth’s School Saxophone Quintet
Queen Elizabeth’s School Violin Piano Trio A

Sevenoaks School Doppler Trio
Sevenoaks School Parker Saxophone Quartet
The Perse School Sticky G# Saxophone Quartet
The Portsmouth Grammar School Students’ Collective
Westminster School Liu Piano Trio
Woldingham Lee Trio

Qualifying Round: 25th Jan 2024

Venue: St Catharine’s School
Ardingly College – U16 – Elite Trumpets
Ardingly College – U12 – Junior Piano Trio
Ardingly College – U12 – Lire Quartet
Ardingly College – U14 – Al Taglio Quartet
Ardingly College – U14 – Intermediate Saxophone Quartet
Ardingly College – U16 – Flute Quartet
Ardingly College – U19 – Clarinet Trio

St Catherine’s School – U19 – String Quartet
St Catherine’s School – U16 – “Flautissimo”
Charterhouse – U14 – Wong Quartet
Charterhouse – U19 – Kwan String Trio
Charterhouse – U19 – Choy Piano Trio
Portsmouth Grammar – U19 – Student’s Collective Jazz Ensemble
Gordon’s School – U19 – The Gordon Trio

Venue: Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School U16 Wind Quintet
Shrewsbury School U19 Gaubert Trio
Shrewsbury School U16 Zemlinsky Trio
Shrewsbury School U19 Flute Quartet
Shrewsbury School U16 Debussy Trio

So that’s it for another incredible year of the Pro Corda National Chamber Music Festival for Schools.

If YOUR school would like to get involved next year we will be opening up the 2025 Festival in September 2024. Follow us on social media by clicking the links below and you will be the first to hear all the details of the new Festival.

Thank you to everyone who has participated and helped us along the 2024 Festival journey.

How can our school enter?

Schools can enter the Pro Corda Festival by filling in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with all the details of the applicants and the music they will be performing. Please upload the completed spreadsheet in the form below. Our Festival Co-ordinator will then be in touch with all the information you need.

You can download the spreadsheet by clicking the Festival Entry Form.

If you can’t access Microsoft Excel, or have any questions regarding the Festival please contact Pro Corda on 01728 831354.

All Host School Venues and dates can be found at the bottom of this page.

How do I pay the registration fees?

Schools can calculate the total fees for all their groups on the Festival Entry Form above. Payment can then be made via BACS (using the details on the Entry Form). If there is any discrepancy our Festival Co-ordinator will then be in touch.

If you have any further questions regarding the Festival please contact Pro Corda on 01728 831354.

Entry Fees:

U12 Category: £68
U14 Category: £75
U16 Category: £97
U19 Category: £112

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Host School Venues for Qualifying Rounds and Semi-Finals