Graduate Division | Lyrica Baroque

Graduate Division

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Ranney and Emel Songu Mize Graduate Division

The Ranney and Emel Songu Mize Graduate Division inspires, motivates and educates through goal-oriented performance and learning opportunities, offering motivated ensembles technical and interpretive guidance, perspectives on professionalism, and the necessary steps to reach their goals. The division encourages Graduate Ensembles to serve as leaders, inspiring younger ensembles through confidence, camaraderie and ambition. Students from across the country come together in New Orleans, raising the level of musicianship, motivating each other and immersing themselves in New Orleans’ thriving chamber music scene and community.



All Graduate Division ensembles are required to submit a video recording for NCF’s 2021 festival. Because of this year’s virtual format, we will no longer require Preliminary Round Recordings.


  • Graduate includes groups whose members are enrolled in a graduate program (i.e. master’s degree, artist diploma, doctorate), or a combination of undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The Graduate Division is open to any ensembles enrolled in any United States music programs during the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Division determination is made based on the oldest age of any member in each ensemble. For example, if three members of a quartet are enrolled in a graduate program and the other member has graduated and is playing professionally, they should enter in the Emerging Ensemble division.
  • Ensembles entering in the Graduate Division may not have a faculty or staff member as part of their ensemble.
  • Each entering chamber ensemble should consist of 2 – 8 performers. If you have any questions about your ensemble’s eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact us at



Video recordings must be submitted with the ensemble’s registration. . 

  • Friday, November 13, 2020
    SUPER early-bird registration deadline
    $40 per person
  • Friday, February 5, 2021

    Early-bird registration deadline
    $55 per person
  • Friday, February 19, 2021

    LAST CALL registration deadline
    $70 per person


Participation in the Judges’ Masterclasses is open to all registered ensembles. Space may be limited depending on the number of applicants. More information, including masterclass schedules, will be sent via email.

Each individual musician is required to submit a registration and pay a full registration fee for each ensemble they register with. Participants may enter in up to three ensembles. There will be an opportunity to identify the participant’s additional ensembles on their registration form.

Each registration fee covers 1/3 of the cost of programming for each participant. The other 2/3 of the fees are waived to make our festival more affordable. These heavy subsidies are made possible through generous donations. Donations of all sizes are welcome. If you are unable to make a donation, please consider volunteering. Encourage family, friends and employers to show their support by attending concerts and events, and/or making a donation. Donations can be made by check, cash, or online with a credit/debit card. 

Please email us with any questions or concerns regarding the registration fee. NOLA Chamber Fest will do its best to assist you with any concerns regarding financial needs.

A non-refundable registration fee for each participant must be included with the registration form. To register and pay online, click the register button and fill out the online registration form via Active.





Upon submitting your group’s registration, please have one member of your group email the following two items to

  1. Link(s) to a private YouTube video of your performance. If possible, please provide a separate link for each piece.
  2. A digital copy or scanned score of your competition repertoire in PDF form. If no full score is available, please send copies of each part.

For information and tips on recording your video, please visit our Resources page. You can also email with any questions regarding repertoire requirements, or submission of materials.

PRIZES (per ensemble)

Cash prizes will be mailed to winning ensembles.

  • $650 cash 1st prize 
  • $350 cash 2nd prize 
  • $250 cash 3rd prize
  • 1st prize will perform in the Interface Masterclass with Aizuri Quartet on Sunday, March 21, 2021. 
  • 1st prize will perform in the Winners Showcase. The Winners Showcase has been postponed to a later date.
  • 1st prize will perform a full program for a Groupmuse performance in New Orleans, to be scheduled in 2021.

Included with your registration fee:

  • Free access to the virtual Catalyst Quartet performance on UNO’s Musical Excursions series. 
  • Free access to the virtual Aizuri Quartet performance on the Friends of Music series.
  • Detailed comment sheets from each of the Guest Artist Judges.
  • Perform in the Judges’ Masterclasses on Saturday, March 20, 2021, led by our Guest Artist Judges. Participation in the Judges’ Masterclasses is open to all registered ensembles. Space may be limited depending on the number of applicants. More information, including masterclass schedules, will be sent via email.

All festival and prize related travel costs are the responsibility of the competing ensemble. For out-of-town ensembles, please contact us if you have questions or concerns regarding accommodations and/or travel. See our Resources Page or contact Jaren Atherholt ( for ideas and more information.


Dr. Robert Young
Associate Professor of Saxophone, University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Kathleen Winkler
Professor of Violin, Rice University

Marina Lomazov
Professor of Piano, Eastman School of Music



  • Results will be announced March 15, 2021 via email, social media and the NCF website.
  • Comment sheets will be provided within six weeks of the festival.




*Now that NCF 2021 is virtual, ensembles are expected to participate in as many festival events as possible.