Youth Chamber Music Competition


Due to the "shelter in place" mandate for Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, we will be accepting entries by video recording only, and have extended the deadline to June 1st.

Please use the guidelines below for submission of your performances.

Electronic Submission Guidelines

1) Take a video of your performance.

  • Each member of the ensemble must be clearly visible.
  • The camera must stay stable: in the same position and angle for the duration of the video.
  • The video must be unedited and consist of a single take.
  • Length of musical performance must not exceed 10 minutes. (space between movements for tuning, etc. are not counted in the time limit.)

2) Upload your video to YouTube.

  • We recommend uploading it as “unlisted.” That means only people with the link will be able to view your video.

3) Send your video and music score to the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival.

Since 2003 the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival has offered an annual Youth Chamber Music Competition to encourage young music students to participate in chamber music ensembles. To participate, a competition entry form must be submitted on behalf of each group (available below). First, second, and third place winning ensembles receive $500, $300, and $200 respectively. While we are a Baroque music festival, all classical music for which a score exists is eligible for the competition and judging is based on performance. We do encourage ensembles  to play Baroque repertoire if they want, and winners performing Baroque music may be invited to perform at  concerts IV or V of our regular season, or on a Saturday evening online broadcast.

Entering the Competition for 2020
Please download our Invite letter and PDF form to enter.

2020 Youth Chamber Music Competition Application


Annual Timeline:
(Please check for specific dates on the current Competition Announcement Invitation and Competition Entry Form or contact us).

    • Early December: Competition notices are sent to teachers on our mailing list. Contact us to be included on our notification list for upcoming competitions. Note: Competition Entry Forms may be obtained at the link above, or by contacting us.
    • Early to mid February: Deadline for receipt of competition entry forms.
    • Mid to late February: Performance schedule appointed.
    • February-March: Awards Ceremony at Santa Cruz Baroque Festival's Concert II or III. Please check the current entry form for details. By entering the competition all applicants affirm their availability to participate in the auditions in February, and, in the case that their ensemble receives first prize, to perform at the awards best online pokies for new zealanders ceremony. Complimentary tickets to attend the concert and awards ceremony will be available to all competitors (2 guests per student) and their coaches (2 per ensemble).

Competition Q & A:

Who is eligible to participate?
The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival challenges and encourages high school age artists that will become the next generation of professional concert artists. All applicants must be in high school or of high school age, meaning 18 or younger if not actually currently in high school. Students not yet in high school are also welcome to enter.

Does the repertoire have to be Baroque or early music?
No. While we encourage students to explore this repertoire, the competition is judged solely on musical merits. Ideally your selection should exhibit the best of your group's playing as an ensemble!

Are there any specific requirements for playing multiple movements in varied tempi, styles, etc?
The performance limit is 10 minutes. Most groups prepare one selection or movement. We simply encourage groups to present 10 minutes of their best repertoire.

What counts as a chamber group?
At least 2 musicians, and up to 8 are accommodated on our entry form. Please contact us to compete with more than 8.

Are singers admitted to the competition?
Singers are welcome to enter the competition as part of a chamber ensemble.

May a student participate in the competition as part of more than one ensemble?
Yes! Individual students may participate in up to two different ensembles in a given competition year.

Is there a fee for participating?
There is no fee for participating. However donations are always appreciated!

How can a student find a chamber group to play in?
Ask your music teachers for possible match ups with other students. The Music Teachers' Association of California is a great resource. Forming a chamber ensemble requires a little bit of extra commitment, but it is all the more rewarding.

What level of musicianship is expected?
Most competing students play at an advanced level. However, the objective of the competition is to encourage music students to pursue chamber music. We invite your participation, even if your group is not certain about winning!