back to National Chamber Music Championship

National Chamber Music Championship - Rules and Regulations


1. One online entry form per group must be completed and entry fee paid by 5.00pm AEST Thursday 21 May 2020. 

2. One tuned piano (tuned to A441hz) will be provided for the Semi-Final and Grand Final rounds. For any performance requiring an additional/different keyboard or piano, or variant tuning it will be the responsibility of the group to source the instrument and pay any hireage/tuning/moving costs. 

3. If the group wishes to employ prepared piano or play the instrument in any unconventional manner (including touching the strings), then this must be stated on your entry form. Any additional hireage fee, tuning or repair of any damage incurred to the piano is at the cost of the group at all levels of the Championship. 

Please note that this remains at the discretion of the individual venues/piano owners and may not be permissible in every venue. Championship Management will confirm whether this option will be possible for the Semi-Finals and Grand Final. 

4. Page Turners will be provided by Musica Viva at the Semi-Finals and Grand Final if required.  

5. By entering this Championship, you agree that Musica Viva may use your name, photograph or any video footage [including First Round videos] for any purpose and may make these available online as a webcast or for live streaming. All rights, including copyright in such media shall vest in and be owned by Musica Viva in perpetuity. Musica Viva has the right to produce and distribute without limit or payment of any fee, audio and/or video recordings of all Championship concerts or events in whole or in part.

All participants will be required to submit a signed Authority to Photograph, Film and Record form with their First Round entry. 

6. UNAUTHORISED RECORDING OF SEMI-FINAL AND GRAND FINAL PERFORMANCES BY PHONE, CAMERA, VIDEO CAMERA OR OTHER EQUIPMENT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. Photos in common/public areas such as foyers and outdoor areas are permitted and welcome. Musica Viva intends to live-stream the Grand Final, subject to confirmation. Each group in the Semi-Finals and Grand Final will receive a digital photograph of their performance from our professional photographer. 

7. All performers must behave with kindness, courtesy and respect for all staff, teachers, volunteers, jury members and other performers at all times. 

Group Personnel and Make-up 

1. All performers must be enrolled in a full-time Australian secondary school program (or home-school equivalent) as at 6 September 2020. 

2. Groups of three to eight performers can enter. Any combination of instruments and/or voice may be used, but the group may not include a conductor. Amplification is not permitted except in the case of instruments which by their nature require it or where required by the score. Vocalists are not permitted to use a microphone. 

3. Chamber music in this instance is defined as one player/singer per part, and all groups entering the Championship must comply with this definition.


1. Repertoire should be broadly classical in style. No jazz, musical theatre or pop music. Classical works with jazz or folk influence may be permissible at the discretion of the Artistic Director. If you are in any doubt as to the eligibility of a work please contact Championship Management for confirmation. 

2. Each group must perform either an entire work, or one or more movements from a larger single work. Repeats are optional. No cuts to music will be allowed, except in exceptional circumstances, and written approval must be obtained from Championship Management.

3. The total performance time for each group must not be less than 4 minutes nor more than 12 minutes. Tuning time and pauses between movements will not count as performing time. 

4. Original full scores and performance parts must be used if the work being performed is not out of copyright. Groups must electronically submit a copy of the full score of their work with their entry, for use by adjudicators. This may be a scanned original hard-copy, or a score that has been purchased for download. If the work is out of copyright it is permissible to perform from, and to scan and electronically submit, a photocopied score or a pre-scanned score downloaded from a free-use website but in these cases the group must also attach written verification that the work is in the public domain. 

While Musica Viva has permission to handle the performer’s photocopies during the Championship for adjudication purposes only, the organisation does not condone the unlawful copying of Copyright material.

Please contact APRA AMCOS if you’re not sure ( We respect copyright and breach of copyright may lead to disqualification. Musica Viva covers any performance licensing during the finals weekend. 

5. If the score requires audio-visual, digital or computer equipment, this must be provided and operated by the group. Playing from a digital score is also acceptable. Any additional venue or technical costs will be paid for by the group at all levels of the Championship. 

6. Groups selected for the Semi-Finals and Grand Final must perform the same work, with the same personnel, as in their First Round performance. 

Succession Through the Championship Rounds 

1. The First Round of the Championship requires groups to submit TWO separate video recordings – the first is of their performance, and the second is a spoken introduction/presentation of the group. 

2. Video 1 – Performance.

 a. The video must be recorded in a single take, with no editing. 

 b. The video camera must be set in a static position throughout the performance, with no zooming in/out during the performance.

 c. The performance must take place in front of a live audience (suggested min. 15 people). The video recording should continue after the end of the performance to include audience applause. 

 d. Performance videos must be uploaded to a secure file-sharing website (Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, etc). The link to the video should then be included on the Championship online entry form. Videos may not be shared publicly until after the completion of the Grand Final on September 6, 2020. 

 e. Videos may be recorded with any device, including smartphone, video camera, etc. The quality of the video recording shall not unduly influence the decision of the judging panel but groups are encouraged to test recorded sound quality in advance of the performance and make reasonable adjustments where necessary (eg. microphone placement) so that the judging panel can hear the group at its best. 

 f. Please use the file name [groupname_PERFORMANCE]

3. Video 2 – Group Introduction. This video will be used for publicity purposes only and will not have any influence on the decision of the judging panel. 

You may be as creative as you wish with this video, including camera placement, editing, zoom, lighting, etc, as long as the voice/s are clearly audible throughout. Introduction videos should be max. 3 minutes, spoken to camera, and may be recorded in any location.

Please include, as a minimum, the following information in your Introduction video:

 a. Title and composer of the piece being performed.

 b. First names and instrument of each player in the group.

 c. Name of the group, and where the group is from (town [or suburb/city] and state, eg. “Bowen, Queensland” or “Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria”).

 d. Brief responses to the following questions: 

   i. Why did you choose this piece? 

   ii. What do you like about it? 

   iii. What did you learn from playing it? 

   iv. What else do you want to tell us?

 e. Introduction videos must be uploaded to a secure file-sharing website (Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, etc). The link to the video should then be included on the Championship online entry form. Videos may be shared publicly. 

 f. Please use the file name [groupname_INTRODUCTION]

4. At the completion of the First Round, a total of 12 groups, from at least 6 states/territories, will be selected to play at the Semi-Finals in Melbourne on September 5, 2020. 

5. Following the Semi-Finals, six groups will be selected to progress to the Grand Final in Melbourne on September 6, 2020. 

6. If selected to play at the Semi-Finals/Grand Final, groups must be available to be in Melbourne on September 4-6, 2020. Groups will be responsible for organising and funding their travel and accommodation; travel subsidies will be available to selected groups requiring extra assistance in attending the Finals Weekend to perform.


Any general queries about the Championship or the above rules should be referred to Championship Management ([email protected]). Decisions made by Championship Management will be final.