SFCM sponsors an annual Youth Chamber Music Competition. Its primary purpose is to encourage students in the Central

New York area, grades 7-12, to discover the joy of preparing and performing chamber music under the guidance of a coach.

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SFCM’s annual Youth Chamber Music Competition takes place in the spring. Participants must be in grades 7-12 and enrolled in a New York school district within 90 miles of Syracuse or home-schooled in one of those districts. This
includes Ithaca, Utica, Watertown, and Rochester.

There was no in-person competition this year. Competitors submitted recordings for judging.

Complete rules

Each participating ensemble of 3-8 musicians must have a coach. At the competition, groups perform for about 15 minutes before two judges and receive written evaluations. Students in one or two of the ensembles are selected to receive prize money, and one group may be invited to perform at the beginning of an SFCM subscription concert before the featured professional ensemble. There is no entry fee for the competition.



Unfortunately, the 2020 competition was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. These are the winners and competitors from the Youth Chamber Music Competition held March 16, 2019.


2019 winner of Best Ensemble Award
Brahms: Trio in B Major, op. 8, Allegro con brio

Andrew Guo, violin, Brighton High School

Jackie Hager, cello, Brighton High School 

Raymond Feng, piano, Pittsford Sutherland High

The piano trio was coached by Joseph Werner at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance.


2019 winner of Best Syracuse-Area Ensemble Award
Beethoven: String Quartet op.18, no.4, Allegro ma non tanto

Purcell: Chacony, Z. 730

Yier Jin, violin, Nottingham High School

Grace Bloom, violin, Fayetteville-Manlius High School

Karina Balian, viola, Fayetteville-Manlius High School

Sammi Rizzo, cello, Fayetteville-Manlius High School

The string quartet was coached by Carol Sasson.

Olivia Walberger, violin

Natalie Roswick, violin

Andrew Li, viola

Andrew Ahn, cello.


The students in this string quartet all attended Fayetteville-Manlius High School and were coached by Peter Guarino. They played music by Grieg.

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Christopher Ziobro, soprano saxophone

Jason Cavanagh, alto saxophone

Sadie Fridley, tenor saxophone

Julia Gerardi, baritone saxophone


The students in this quartet all attended Fayetteville-
Manlius High School and were coached by Rebecca Bizup. They played selections by Glazounov and Paul Nagle.

Luke Pisani, violin, homeschool

Yuki Wada, violin, Olean High School

Lindsey Schaeffer, viola, Victor Senior High School

Amy Feng, cello, Pittsford Sutherland High

The quartet, coached by Molly McDonald at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, played Haydn.

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