Pro Corda Festival

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. The 2019 festival saw over 176 entries from 35 schools throughout the country.

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 last year's winners

Pro Corda Festival Dates 2020:

Qualifying Rounds:
  • 27th January - King Henry V111 School
  • 30th January - Westminster School
  • 30th January - Godolphin School
  • 31st January - Nottingham High School
  • 2nd February - Dulwich Prep School
  • 3rd February - Blundell's School
  • 3rd February - The Perse School
  • 3rd February - St Helen's and St Katharine's School
  • 4th February - Sevenoaks School
  • 4th February - King's College School, Wimbledon
  • 5th February - Abingdon School
  • 6th February - Sevenoaks School
  • 7th February - Brighton College
  • 7th February - Caterham School
Semi-Final Rounds:
  • 24th February - Godolphin School
  • 25th February - Blundell's School
  • 27th February - Sevenoaks School
  • 28th February - Caterham School
  • 28th February - Abingdon School
  • 2nd March - The Perse School
  • 2nd March - Nottingham High School
  • 3rd March - Brighton College
  • 3rd March - Kings College School, Wimbledon
  • 3rd March - Westminster School
  • 3rd March - St Helen's and St Katharine's School

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.

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