Strike A Chord, Musica Viva Australia’s National Chamber Music Championship for high school students is going online and the entry fee has been waived!
Secondary school-aged ensembles from around Australia are invited to apply online by 27 August 2020 for their chance to progress to the finals and share in prizes worth thousands of dollars.
The championship is open to ensembles of between three and eight players in any vocal or instrumental combination.
Groups must be full-time secondary school (or home school equivalent) students and have only one player or singer
per part, with no conductor.
Twelve ensembles from at least six states or territories will be chosen to compete in the finals weekend, which will now be streamed on Saturday 12 September from locations around the country.
Strike A Chord was developed to mark Musica Viva’s 75th anniversary, with support from Creative Victoria and presented in partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).
First round auditions are via video submission and require only a 4 to 12-minute performance of an entire work, or movement from a larger work, as well as a short introductory video.
Musica Viva encourages groups at all levels of ability to apply, with special prizes, including coaching, music supplies and
support for developing ensembles to be awarded to deserving and promising young ensembles in each round
regardless of successful progression to the finals.
Cash prizes for first ($5,000), second ($4,000) and third ($2,500) place will be awarded by an expert jury at the
conclusion of the finals weekend. Musica Viva is also delighted to welcome Bendigo Chamber Music Festival and
Flinders Quartet as additional prize sponsors, providing valuable development opportunities for these young artists.
One ensemble will have the opportunity to perform as part of the Bendigo Chamber Music Festival on Saturday 6
February 2021, with travel and accommodation supported by Musica Viva. In addition, the Flinders Quartet, is offering a 12-month mentorship to a group that shows commitment and potential to take their ensemble to the next level.
Presenting Partner Casio has also expanded its support to include professional Digital Pianos for three schools in need
of a better instrument, as well as three portable keyboards to be awarded to first-round entrants.
Teachers’ Conference Weekend – registrations open 8 July
A free of charge, online National Teachers’ Conference will run prior to the finals weekend on 5-6 September in partnership with aMuse and the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, focusing on inspiring ways to support music in teaching practice. A combination of panel discussions, hands-on workshops and open coaching sessions will be on offer to teachers at all stages of experience, working with students of varying skill levels.
Broadcaster and educator Eddie Ayres will deliver the opening keynote on two days featuring leading presenters such as Nick Begbie, Naomi Crellin, Monica Curro, Anne Gilby, Aura Go, John Noble, Roman Ponomariov, Roland Yeung and Mark Walton. Places are limited. Register at https://musicaviva.com.au/conference.
Webinars and resources
Musica Viva has also developed a series of webinars and resources to help groups with their applications, planning and COVID-safe rehearsal techniques. The next webinar, on 25 July at 1pm, is an opportunity to meet first-round jurors Liz Sellars and Stefan Cassomenos and ask them directly about their approach to chamber music.
To register and to watch past webinars, please visit https://musicaviva.com.au/strike-chord-webinars/