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Four Central Coast Conservatorium of Music students have made it to the final rounds of the Strike A Chord national chamber music competition.

Gosford High School violinist Kaito Deed’s Frosty Shosty Quartet was picked from 155 groups as one of 12 national finalists in the Musica Viva Strike A Chord national chamber music contest for Australian school students. The quartet – which performed Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 8 in C Minor –  is one of only four from NSW to make it to the Grand Finals, which will be held in Melbourne in August.

First-time entrants Central Coast Ensemble – Central Coast Grammar School trio Elana Sydenham (flute), Dana Hamilton (bassoon) and Noah Taylor (double bass) were also announced as first-round prize winners, taking home the AMEB Emerging Ensemble Encouragement Award. They performed an arrangement of Michel Corrette’s Le Phenix. 

“It is wonderful to see our students working hard to gain recognition on the national stage for their musical talent and dedication,” said Central Coast Conservatorium of Music Artistic Director Patrick Brennan. 

“I know that all the students have been practicing independently for many extra hours with their fellow ensemble musicians on these pieces. Good luck to Kaito and the Frosty Shosty Quartet in the Grand Finals.”

The 12 finalists will perform live at the Grand Final at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday 31 August 2024.

2024 Strike a Chord Finalists

Aneres Piano Trio VIC
The Astra Octet NSW
The Fritzi Trio NSW
The Frosty Shosty Quartet NSW
JPMS Ensemble Animato QLD
Kingussie Trio VIC
Lumina Quartet NSW
Marryatville High School Baroque Ensemble SA
Syncopact ACT
Take Six QLD
Timli Trio QLD
Trio Fantastique WA


About Strike a Chord 

Established in 2020, Strike A Chord began as a digital-only competition, and has since grown in entry numbers with a record-breaking 617 entrants in 155 groups in 2024, from seven states and territories, with finalists preparing to compete in a live grand final held in Melbourne.

Almost 1400 young artists from 189 schools have participated in Strike A Chord since 2020 with 93% of entrants in the Novice Section coming from regional areas in 2022. Of the 157 grand finalists, nearly 50% have gone on to study music at a tertiary level in Australia and overseas.

Strike A Chord is a crucial part of Musica Viva Australia’s commitment to diversity and inclusion for students from culturally diverse backgrounds and in regional Australia, aiming to foster a love of chamber music in these students, allowing them the opportunity to work collaboratively and receive coaching from professional chamber musicians.

The program, led by Artistic Director of Competitions Wilma Smith, also acts as a bridge between Musica Viva Australia’s education work, delivered to more than 170,000 primary school children across Australia, and their Emerging Artists program.

Musica Viva Australia CEO Anne Frankenberg said: “The response to Strike A Chord from schools, students and teachers has been a revelation. Record entries in both categories, and in the free Coaching Program, are a compelling reminder of the appetite among young musicians for these wonderful opportunities.”