DUSS-Ciompi Quartet Collaborative

Fall 2023: We will likely have openings for 1 violinist, 1 violist and 2 cellists for the 2023/24 season.

The DUSS-Ciompi Quartet Collaborative (DCC) is an intensive chamber music and orchestral program based at Duke University for advanced musicians age 12-18.

DCC Students will be coached weekly with members of the Ciompi Quartet and DUSS faculty and participate in regular master classes with visiting professional soloists and chamber musicians throughout the year. Student performers will attain new levels of technical proficiency and musical expression while making exciting discoveries within the world of chamber music as they polish repertoire in coachings and self-guided rehearsals.

The DCC students will have multiple opportunities to perform with their chamber ensemble in Duke University’s beautiful venues and around the Triangle. They will also participate in the DUSS Youth Symphony, a high level full symphony which performs standard orchestral repertoire in three yearly appearances in the Baldwin Auditorium. Participation in the Youth Symphony is required for DCC students.

Students of the DCC Participate in:

  • 4 hours of rehearsals and coachings each Saturday
    • 1 hour chamber coaching; 12 total each semester, generally @ 8:45/9am or 12:45/1pm
      • 6 coachings with DUSS faculty, 6 coachings with Ciompi Quartet member
    • 1 hour student chamber rehearsal in a reserved space in the Biddle Music Building, @ 8:45/12:45
    • 2 hours full orchestra rehearsal with the DUSS Youth Symphony, @ 10:30–12:30
  • 1 chamber performance on Duke campus each semester
  • 3 orchestra performances in Baldwin Auditorium each semester
  • Several solo and chamber master classes with professional musicians each semester, generally @2:30pm
  • Opportunities for community performances throughout the year.


  • Students are age 12-18.
  • Students agree to the attendance policy, which allows for 1 excused absence in a coaching and rehearsal per semester, excluding illnesses. Students must attend all special events, and must notify the director at least 4 weeks before an event if there is an excused absence conflict with a special event (i.e. master class or performance).
    • Excused absences include: college visits, music competitions, SAT tests (if there are not other test options that do not conflict).
    • This strict absence policy is to ensure that groups are cohesive and are able to have continued progress throughout the semester. Since there is only 1 person per part, all members need to be regularly present in order for the group to work well.
    • While we encourage participation in other extracurricular activities, DCC should be the primary extracurricular activity.

Student Semester Fee:  See fees listed HERE.

Auditions: Take place each fall, typically during the last weekend of August. See Calendar for dates each year. The DCC audition has the same requirements as the Youth Symphony orchestra auditions: 2 scales, solo piece, and sight reading.

  • See Youth Symphony Orchestra guidelines for audition details, as the same audition material applies. One Audition serves the requirement to audition for both the Youth Symphony and DCC.
    • Students may request who they would like to play with in their chamber group, however the audition is on an individual basis and we cannot insure that groups will remain together.
    • Students currently in the Youth Symphony will need to audition to join the DCC. Once a student is in the DCC, they do not need to re-audition to remain in the DCC in following years.
  • Students who do not place into the DUSS-Ciompi Collaborative are encouraged to participate in chamber music and ensembles through DUSS to prepare for future auditions.
  • The DCC will consist of up 3-4 chamber groups.
  • All students auditioning for the first time must Register in order to receive an audition sign-up link from our staff assistant, Katharine Whitmore.

*DCC is primarily designed for string players, however pianists, and harpists, and wind players are welcome to audition.