Pro Corda Festival

2021 Chamber Music Festival for Schools

Please take note: IMPORTANT UPDATE

Pro Corda will still be running its national schools’ festival this year.

We understand that many schools will not have students in for at least this half of term, and many groups within home learning are unable to rehearse. We will therefore work with all our entrant schools to offer a flexible chamber masterclass and creative workshop series to suit schools. This can be offered online or in person as regulations ease. It means the Festival is kept alive this year, at a time when the social and educational powers of chamber music are needed more than ever before.

However, for this year, the festival will be non competitive. All that we do this school year within the festival – both this term and next – will provide a great foundation for a really exciting Chamber Music Festival in its usual format in Spring 2022.

Some of the amazing performers at the 2020 festival

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 the beautiful surroundings of Pro Corda’s home at Leiston Abbey. 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.

Pro Corda Festival Judge Laura Feeneywith 2019 winners

How will it work in 2021?

For this year’s festival we need to conform to all current government guidelines. With most students out of schools for at least this half-term we are therefore offering our entrant schools an exciting flexible online Chamber Music Masterclass Series and creative workshop series to suit school.

These live online masterclasses can be booked as day or half-day events as your Chamber Music Festival experience in 2021. All masterclass groups will receive a Pro Corda Chamber Music Festival certificate signed by our Patron, Julian Lloyd Webber.

Crucially, the online masterclasses can be opened up to further students within your department. Given the restrictions on rehearsals, maybe your chamber ensemble isn’t quite there yet for full performance or you have younger/less advanced students and want to introduce them to the magic of chamber music – we will be using special creative ensemble improvisation techniques for this. Leading international chamber artists will lead the masterclasses which will be broadcast live to your school from our stunning 14th Century Guesten Hall and “Pro Corda Live” studio at Leiston Abbey.

If you have any questions about the Chamber Music Festival please do contact our CEO, Andrew Quartermain through via the form below.

We look forward to working with you in 2021!

Pro Corda Festival Judge Laura Feeneywith 2019 winners

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 send the completed spreadsheet following the instructions in the sheet. 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.

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 fantastic annual celebration of chamber music education in the UK. It has become a prestigious event with many schools being eager to be involved.

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