What is NCCMI?

NCCMI is an organized serious program for small ensembles, with many performance opportunities. Proven to build leadership and musical skills, it is fun, challenging and engaging with the whole community. Chamber music is hands-down THE best way for young musicians to learn their craft. Composers like Beethoven and Shostakovich created many of their masterpieces for small ensembles of 4 players called string quartets. Fast forward to the jazz era, and we see jazz combos of 4 instruments. Whatever the style, THIS is chamber music.

Mission Statement

To develop the artists and audiences of the future by providing mentorship and chamber music education to students through the formation of small ensembles that present outstanding performances of musical masterworks.

Here’s how it works

  • Students with 2–3 years of musical experience sign up to audition.
  • Students are matched into groups based on experience and schedule availability.
  • Weekly sessions take place on nights or weekends depending on the group’s preference. These take place at partner churches or students’ homes.
  • Each group selects which events to participate in out of multiple NCCMI choices. They perform with their ensemble throughout the school year.
  • Students return year after year for ever-increasing challenges and the reward of creating art with like-minded young musicians!

Quality is at the center of everything NCCMI does!

  • Professional mentoring by North Carolina Symphony musicians and area college professors.
  • All NCCMI students receive 16 sessions with teachers (4-to-1 ratio)
  • An enriching curriculum based on 4 major requirements:
    1. Mid-year performance review concert
    2. Spring formal concert
    3. Outreach performance
    4. Masterclass or workshop


  • Community engagement awards for exceptional outreach performances
  • Full scholarship leadership ensembles and internships for juniors and seniors with at least 1 year in NCCMI
  • Opportunities for competitions
  • Special access to North Carolina Symphony and Chamber Music Raleigh events, including complimentary tickets and “behind the scenes” activities

Extensive outreach & partnerships

NCCMI spreads the joy of chamber music to over 40 locations each year! Events occur throughout the Triangle area in locations like retirement communities, churches, and museums. Most concerts are free and in accessible locations with ramped entrances.

Students study music by composers from all style periods. One local composer is commissioned to compose a piece for an outstanding student ensemble.

NCCMI partners with a number of community organizations in varying capacities.