Secondary school pupils who play an instrument or who are studying music are being invited to take part in a young composers' competition organised by the High Barnet Chamber Music Festival.

The competition is aimed at widening local interest and support in what is to become an annual chamber music festival at Barnet Parish Church.

At the end of the festival’s inaugural sell-out concerts in July, the artistic director Joshua Ballance (seen here far right with the Mithras Trio) said their aim was to develop an outreach programme to engage local schools.

The winning composition – and the deadline for entry is 20 February 2022 – will have its premier at the festival to be held next July.

In another initiative, the organisers are looking for two students who love music and who are interested in running concerts to become student ambassadors for the festival.

Their role would be to help prepare for the 2022 festival. 

Students entering the young composers’ competition have the option of creating a short four-to-six-minute piece for a piano trio (piano, violin, cello) or string quartet (two violins, viola, and cello).

There are three possible briefs for the competition: a piece that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the BBC; a piece that draws on the climate crisis as inspiration; or a piece that only uses three notes.

The winner will be able to attend rehearsals of their composition and talk to the ensemble about their piece.

In addition to a recording of the performance, the winner would receive free tickets for their concert and a £25 voucher for Chimes Music shop.

The student ambassador scheme is open to pupils in years 11,12 or 13 and they would need to play an instrument or sing and ideally have studied or be studying music to at least GCSE level of equivalent.

Although the festival promotes classical concerts, the organisers are interested in applicants from all musical traditions or backgrounds.

Applications close on 22 October.

For further details about the student ambassadors’ scheme and young composers’ competition contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In launching the two initiatives, artistic director Joshua Balance said that as a composer himself he knew full well how important it was to have a student composition played by outstanding professionals.

He hoped that the two student ambassadors would receive an up-close perspective on how the arts happen. The role could fulfil the Duke of Edinburgh award volunteering requirements.